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All Marketers Are Liars: The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low-Trust World Hardcover – May 24 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (May 24 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591841003
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591841005
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #547,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Advertising's fundamental theorem-that perception trumps reality-informs this dubious marketing primer. Journalist and marketing guru Godin, author of Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable, contends that, in an age when consumers are motivated by irrational wants instead of objective needs and "there is almost no connection between what is actually there and what we believe," presenting stolid factual information about a product is a losing strategy. Instead, marketers should tell "great stories" about their products that pander to consumers' self-regard and worldview. Examples include expensive wine glasses that purport to improve the taste of wine, despite scientific proof to the contrary; Baby Einstein videotapes that are "useless for babies but...satisfy a real desire for their parents"; and organic marketing schemes, which amount to "telling ourselves a complex lie about food, the environment and the safety of our families." Because consumers prefer fantasy to the truth, the marketer's duty is to be "authentic" rather than honest, to "live the lie, fully and completely" so that "all the details line up"-that is, to make their falsehoods convincing rather than transparent. Troubled by the cynicism of his own argument, Godin draws a line at deceptions that actually kill people, like marketing infant formula in the Third World, and elaborates a murky distinction between "fibs" that "make the thing itself more effective or enjoyable" and "frauds" that are "solely for the selfish benefit of the marketer." To illustrate his preferred approach to marketing, the author relates a grab bag of case studies, heavy on emotionally compelling pitches and seamless subliminal impressions. Readers will likely find the book's practical advice as rudderless as its ethical principles.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Seth Godin is the author of seven books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than fifteen languages. He's been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Fortune, Fast Company and Business Week. Godin was singled out by Successful Meetings Magazine as one of twenty-one top speakers for the twenty-first century. Before All Marketers Are Liars, Godin wrote Free Prize Inside!, which Forbes picked as one of its books of the year (as did Fast Company). He is also the author of Purple Cow, the bestselling marketing book of the decade, and Permission Marketing. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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I have no intention of telling you the truth. Read the first page
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laura De Giorgio TOP 500 REVIEWER on Dec 17 2011
Format: Hardcover
The ideas in this book are not new - they revolve around the core of successful marketing, around positioning and creating a story about your business that revolves what is at other times called a unique selling proposition, how is what you are selling different than the similar products by other sellers.

The book is ultimately about creating your story, not just verbally but through the whole experience a potential buyer has with you, your company and your products. In other for the story to work it has to be authentic.

We create stories all the time, both as buyers and as sellers and in every area of our lives - they are part of selling, advertising, seduction, court-room, healing, and any form of inter-personal relationships. In the TV series "Shark", the lawyers begins instruction of his assistants with the words "Truth is relative. Choose one that works." This is true in any area of our lives, including in marketing.

We meet someone and we begin to weave stories in our minds out of the information we have and the information we don't have we fill in with whatever seems appropriate to us. When we buy products we may buy stories offered by the company manufacturing the product or we may create our own, according to our own beliefs and experiences (or lack of experience with anything similar).

The seller may weave the story around selling a kefir that says Hunza people live healthy and long lives - over 100 years old - from eating kefir and the buyer may translate the story that if he were to eat kefit, he will also have a long life - never mind all the other differences in lifestyle of people who have long and healthy lives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Dec 6 2008
Format: Hardcover
All Marketers Are Liars is one of Seth Godin's better marketing books. If you have a choice between reading Purple Cow and All Marketers Are Liars, opt for this one.

The book is based on the observation that customers want to align with offerings and services that reinforce their positive self-images. I'm sure that idea isn't new to you. Otherwise, why would someone pay ten times as much for an item of frequently poor quality that has five cents worth of a brand image stitched into its front?

The book builds from these premises:

1. Don't waste your time trying to educate people about what their worldview should be or what your offerings are. Instead just slip into their preconceptions in a comfortable, authentic way.

2. You won't be noticed unless you fit into their worldview and seem to offer something new that they value.

3. An effective, authentic story can help you make a better and more lasting first impression.

4. Most of the future "experience" of your story will be assumed by customers who want to believe that you are what you say you are.

The book takes a little long to make those points. I found myself wishing this were a tightly edited article rather than a meandering book.

Part of Godin's "promise" to his fans is that he will "shake things up." As a result, the title is deliberately misleading to make people pick the book up . . . because ever customer has been lied to my a marketer or sales person. There's nothing new there. His "new" point for those who haven't studied marketing is that customers like a little sizzle with their steak.

If you know about the emotional value of a brand, this book is a waste of your time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SBuckle on May 29 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're a marketer worth you share, you should already know that storytelling is central to your job; that good marketing means crafting a good story in all facets of the business. Whether you're developing an approval deck or a quarterly campaign, stories allow people to latch onto something, because utility rarely sells. Godin writes about the obvious stories about products and services marketers tell. The consistent and authentic ones are picked up, embraced - whether totally true or not - and spread.

Initially, I had a difficult time juggling the term "liar". Godin tries to explain and reclaim the word, but I wasn't buying in. Later in the book, he admits that he chose the word to sound extreme; that he wanted to tell a story about the book to the fringe and hope they re-tell the story enough that it makes it's way into mass. In other words, when telling a story you need to start where the worldview will easily embrace it. From there, if the story is authentic and consistent it will make it into the middle to become digestible by others (because others already live it). I particularly like this notion of segmentation rather than aiming for mass right away (Alex Wipperfurth talks about this too in his book, "Brand Hijack: Marketing without Marketing").

The book itself is an easy read - two to three sittings is all you need. The book does a good job of reinforcing rather than teaching the need of telling a story about a product or service. Like most of Godin's books, it's solid read for any marketer about a practice we should already be practicing.
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