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This is Marketing

We read Seth Godin’s book, This is Marketing in Thought Readers in January. It is a fantastic book for the time we are in right now, as business owners, human beings, and as marketers.

Over the course of the month, we discussed a number of topics, and Seth himself even chimed in and answered some questions for our group which was a really big deal.  Right before we started his book, I emailed Seth, told him about our group, explained how Thought Readers worked and invited him to join us. I was blown away when he showed up.

Why does this matter?

Because Seth Godin walks his talk and that aligns with what he writes about in his book too.

People are looking for connection over clicks and they are looking to be seen, versus ignored. People want to know you care about them, especially when they’re your customers. You as a marketer and business owner need to pay attention to who your market is, (now more than ever before because it’s so noisy out there). Do things that delight and amaze people and you’ll have customers for life. If you do it really well, those customers will turn into advocates for your work and your business and it will feel good, not spammy.

While there are tons of things I could write about This is Marketing, Chapter 15 is my favourite and what is written in that chapter is worth more than the price of the book.

Chapter 15 is called “Reaching the Right People” and it touches on some really important points that I’ve summarized for you below:

1) Understand the difference between your strategy, tactics, and goals. Too many people change their strategy instead of their tactics and that confuses the very people who may want to do business with you. You’ve got to stick with your strategy if you want to reach your goals and not give up because your tactics aren’t working.  This includes your marketing approach and even your business lane. If you’re constantly changing what you do, and how you market, you can’t stand out and be known for your work.

2) You need to know the difference between brand advertising and direct response marketing.  Seth says “Advertising is unearned media. It’s bought and paid for. And the people you seek to reach know it. They’re suspicious. They’re inundated. They’re exhausted.  You didn’t pay the recipient to run that ad, but you want the recipient to pay you with their attention. So you’re ignored.”fancycrave-329196-unsplash

If you scroll through any newsfeed on a social network today, you’ll see sponsored ads.  Most people running the ads are targeting wide. They don’t know the objective of their ad spend, thus they cannot measure the result or the impact of what they are doing.  This is spray and pray marketing and it can be very costly. You must know if your objective is brand building and awareness, or if your ad is designed for clicks and conversions so you can measure whether or not it is working.

Every week, I turn blogs like this into an ad on Facebook because I want a specific group of people to see this content so that I remain a familiar and trusted resource for them.  There is an ongoing cost to do this, and it’s worth it.

Godin also says, “If you’re buying brand marketing ads, be patient. Refuse to measure. Engage with the culture. Focus, by all means, but mostly, be consistent and patient.  If you can’t afford to be consistent and patient, don’t pay for brand marketing ads.”  

3) Seth says, “The familiar is normal and the normal is trusted.”  What happens though, is people who are marketing give up on their ideas before they become familiar.  You’re stopping too soon and that is why you can’t build trust and gain traction. Patience is the long game of marketing, and it’s the game most people opt out of.  This is exactly why I do what I described above in #2 with my blog each week, and have done so for the last 3 years. I’m committed to the strategy of brand awareness.

4) It’s better for people to search for YOU than it is for your content to be loaded with SEO keywords. Seth says, “The path isn’t to be found when someone types in a generic term. The path is to have someone care enough about you and what you create that they’ll type in your name. That they’ll be looking for you, not a generic alternative.”

These four nuggets are super valuable to you as a business owner in terms of how you frame, think about and plan your marketing.  You must decide what approach you want to take, and whether you want to market and talk at people, or whether you want to market to establish deeper connections.

Every week in Thought Readers we have discussion questions where we go deeper into the books we read to find the nuggets we can apply to our own businesses to make a difference.

4 super valuable nuggets for how you frame, think about and plan your marketing as a #BusinessOwner Share on X

Here are a few questions for you to consider if you’re not already part of this business book club:

  1. Are you clear on your strategy? If not, how can you do this?
  1. Do you need to be more patient and stick with things longer?
  1. Are you familiar enough for people to search you out and refer you to others?

I’d love for you to leave me a comment and let me know your answers to one (or all three) of the questions above.

P.S. If you’d like to join the Thought Readers community, simply head over to 


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Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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