This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See
Updated: Mar 28
February 17, 2021
By: Priyal Maheshwari
“We can’t change the culture, but each of us has the opportunity to change a culture - our little pocket of the world.” - Seth Godin
What does marketing mean to you? Why do you want to be a marketer? Or, a better question would be - what change do you seek to bring in our culture? In his book, This Is Marketing, Seth Godin asks these questions to the readers and urges the reader to come to their own conclusion. Godin is one of the most popular authors for Marketing books including Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable and The Dip, and he has written over 19 books.
In this book, Godin explains the power marketers carry with themselves - the power of bringing change in a culture. The first things that come to mind are that they need a huge audience, a big budget, and a foolproof marketing plan. Well, the last bit might be a little true, but the other two? Not so much! Rather than a huge audience, you need the correct audience, as well as the budget that will/can help you reach that said audience. The correct audience doesn’t need to be hundreds of thousands of people; rather it can be just the thousand people that create tension in culture. The correct audience, the tension, and the way to reach customers are what you need to bring a change, and as a marketer, you are the most suitable person who is capable of doing so!
A marketer wishes to market a product that is irresistible and attractive, but the journey of reaching that point is very difficult. As Godin claims, “Always be seeking, connecting, solving, asserting, believing, seeing, and yes, testing. The other to read this is: Always be wrong.” Trying out different strategies, being patient, being open to risks is what makes you a good marketer! Of course, you won’t be successful every time, but once you go past that failure, you have a lot of opportunities to grow and come back smarter.
As an aspiring marketing professional, I was engrossed in this book as it showed me the power a marketer holds! Furthermore, for me, the key takeaway from this book was when Godin discusses the most fundamental and important aspect of marketing: building trust. In this busy world, marketers, and companies often miss the simple concept of building trust, and instead, they spam people with repeated emails, messages, promotional posters, etc. Many of us, if not all, have opened an inbox full of spam. Godin remarks that in today’s world because everything is so fast, we want the results of our marketing to be fast too. However, marketing, especially engagement, takes patience, so we as aspiring marketers cannot forget this concept. This is a simple principle, but in all the marketing internships I’ve done, I have always been asked to spam their consumers, and even though that might work in the short term, it never builds long-term trust.
So, let me ask you the question again: What change do you wish to bring? Take your time and read the book to answer this question in the comments section!
Priyal Maheshwari is Marketing Society’s 2020-2021 Co-Director of Content. She is a sophomore at NYU Stern, concentrating in Marketing and Computing and Data Science with a minor in Astronomy.