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TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 17, 2011
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. Kefir may be part of the truth, part of the elements that contribute to healthier lifestyle, but not the whole story - still it is the truth that would work for the company selling kefir.

In this book there are examples of companies that have created stories around products that have injured people - like advising young mothers in poor countries to use powdered milk instead of to breast-feed their babies, which ultimately resulted in premature death of countless babies, partly due to the fact that the water which the mothers used to mix powdered milk was impure, partly because the babies were denied nutrients that support immune system and which are available only through the mothers' milk.

While this book and any other book related to marketing and selling would suggest that the seller focuses on the benefits and weaves the story around how his product can fulfill the needs and wants people have; the book also clearly points out to focus on genuine value for the customer and not to invent things that have nothing to do with the product or worse that can injure people because such stories can and will backfire.

On the other side of the coin are buyers, who should do their own research. Just as an example, there are all sorts of nutritional supplements many of which contribute to better health, none of which are likely 'cure-all" supplements even though they may contribute to general health and some of which may have serious side-effects. People in general seem to act as if they were hypnotized and they tend to go along with what someone says without finding out for themselves and whether it is a marketer or a seller or a friend who shares a story and the story may be valid from one point of view, it may still not be the whole truth and the more we know about things we are consuming, the more we may put those things in proper perspective, without expecting overnight miracles, and the more we may benefit from the products.

We live in a world where the word "instant" this or that is very popular element of many marketing stories, and people tend to get disappointed when they don't get instant results. On the other hand, people get so much bombarded with the promise of "instant" results that many actually seem to believe such stories before they buy the product - buyers will create their own stories based on what they want to believe, not necessarily upon what may be realistic to expect - and then they will get disappointed.

So, when weaving authentic stories about your product or service, it will help if you weave them in way that distinguishes your product or service, that is able to fulfill the needs and desires of customers and that will make your customers feel good for a long time to come. If you are passionate about your work and your work revolves around genuinely helping other people in some way, then the story you create would naturally be authentic and beneficial for your business and for your customers.
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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. If you think that people only care about product and service features, you need this book.

If you really want to learn about storytelling, I suggest you become acquainted with Stephen Denning's fine books on the subject. If you want to develop a sound foundation in marketing, see Phil Kotler's books.

If you want to be entertained without learning too much, stick with Mr. Godin.
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on May 29, 2011
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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on October 3, 2009
As a veteran marketer for both the high end real-estate industry and E-commerce, we have to read every marketing book out there.

This book is probably the best


Because it cuts to the chase

All marketing is just storytelling, that's it. And that's all it really is. Even if you have an amazing product, you still have to tell a story about it, and in reality, the easiest people to convince are people who already believe a part of it.

Any marketer who fails to understand this, fails in general.

If we are talking about ad-words campaigns etc, and the world of catch-e-marketing, then the rules are a bit augmented, but the principle is still the same

And it will always be the same

Our world is an amalgamation of stories, worldviews and beliefs, and our current industrial model was created to manufacture wants and needs. If you have to convince someone they want or need something, they better believe the thread of the story you are appealing to them with.

A+ for Seth Godin, a must have in any marketers collection.
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on May 21, 2005
All marketers tell stories, and if they do it right, we believe them. But the interesting part is that by believing the story the story becomes true. That is the premise of Seth Godin's latest book All Marketers Are Liars.
Nike tells a story of athleticism, of competition and excelling - and with that story they are able to sell a $150 shoe that is not far different than the $20 no-name running shoe you can buy at Wal-Mart. Apple tells a story of being creative and edgey and hip and are able to dominate the digital music market, despite other companies offering players that are not only technically better but are cheaper to purchase.
Seth argues that it's not the Nike shoe or ipod that satisfies our desires - but rather it's the story. Tell a good enough story and you can claim a premium on what you offer. Tell a good enough story to the right people and you will see the sales come through. The story doesn't have to necessarily be true but it must be authentic and consistent. The emperor can very happily walk stark naked through the streets and the people will for years talk about how spectacularly he was garbed.
I would have prefered if Seth offered up a few hard numbers, perhaps a case study of a company that did well by telling their story well versus one that bombed due to a lack of a consistant or inauthentic story. But then, Seth isn't here to present cold hard facts, but rather to tell a story of his own. If you've been following the story about marketing that Seth began laying out in Permission Marketing and has continued to develop through The Ideavirus, Purple Cow and Free Prize Inside, then you will definitely want this latest chapter. Seth's story is one that all marketers should know.
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on November 4, 2012
I bought this book as used, and it came to me in mint condition, more than what I expected for it to be. I pretty much paid less for more with the quality that it was in.

This is a must buy. Also a good read as it entails details within the marketing world, and the rather sly and ingenious ways that the marketing world utilizes in order to tell a "story".
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on April 8, 2010
For a new to marketing like me, reading this book was an eye opener. In general though, it aligns with the current common belief(-opinion) that we, the humans, are 'wired up' such that we only notice (and allow to receive) information that reinforce our existing views, called 'worldviews' in the book. From this idea, Seth Godin derives a number of techniques to 'frame' marketing messages such that your target audience will take. Those I think are worth trying (and I plan to do for my new startup)
Beside that, as most of his books are, this is an easy to read, spiced up with good humor and practical examples. Highly recommend investing your time into reading it
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on May 5, 2014
Wonderful, insightful with unique perspectives. Thank you Mo for these ideas. Many aha moments and realizations that are definitely worth spreading. As I proceed through my project, I've already started applying these concepts. The book is a masterful recount of the delusional brilliance and disruption that is Seth Godin.
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on March 1, 2009
As previous reviews have stated, Godin's book weaves the need for an authentic and compelling story about your remarkable product or service. His thesis that it is useless to attempt to change your target market's worldview is supported by Ori and Rom Brafman's Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior. If you want to know why you cannot use the out-of-date marketing methods that Godin talks about, Sway will explain why. Both books make compelling and useful reading.
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on November 23, 2012
this is a great book , seth writes in a plain spoken style that is not dry or boring , a ctually it is the opposite , everything is layed out in a clear manner but enough about that .. this book is amazing . end of story .
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