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Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing out of Sync? Paperback – Apr 24 2012

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Reprint edition (April 24 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591845351
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591845355
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #978,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Godin's latest business handbook (after Small Is the New Big and The Dip) revisits some of his most popular marketing advice, while emphasizing that it can't just be applied willy-nilly. In past decades, he says, companies were able to get rich by making average products for average people, but those markets have long since been sewn up; mass is no longer achievable [or] desirable. Rather than simply rely on mass media to raise product visibility, New Marketing treats every aspect of interacting with customers—including customer service and the product itself—as an opportunity to grow the organization. In order to be successful with such marketing techniques, a company must change its practices across the board. Otherwise, you're just putting whipped cream on a meatball. Godin has a perspective on everything from blogs (don't bother unless you really have something to say) to the long tail (if it's as valuable to your company as the top sellers are, why aren't you paying more attention?). His arresting conversational style is sure to once again set the business world talking. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Godinis a clear-eyed visionary with strong and sensible ideas on how the new economy can, should and will function.Miami Herald (Miami Herald )

[Godin's] arresting conversational style is sure to once again set the business world talking. - Publishers Weekly (Publishers Weekly ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the second book I read by Seth Godin. My first book was Tribes. I loved it. It prompted me to read another of Seth's books.

This book is so good that after I bought the audio book, and listened to it, I made notes. I refer to them all the time.

If you are interested in 'new marketing' using the internet and a strong force shaping the decade to come, then this book is a must read.

There are many people whose jobs or businesses are at risk due to the 'new marketing'. They don't see it coming. This book can help you identify if you might be in one of those jobs and how if will affect you. Get ahead of the game. Learn what's coming at you so you can develop the skills or business strategies to maintain your income.
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Format: Hardcover
I was really disappointed with Seth's new book. It seems he thinks he can keep writing the same stuff over and over. It's really just all the same.

I'd love to tell you more, but that's it - If you've read one of his, you've pretty much read them all.

Stick with his blog.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa4d35390) out of 5 stars 70 reviews
37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4cfad14) out of 5 stars Buy a copy of Meatball Sundae for your boss* Dec 26 2007
By David Meerman Scott - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I deliver keynote speeches and run seminars at companies, I am often asked for advice on how to convince the bosses that the new rules of marketing really work. Frequently people say something like: "My bosses make me prove ROI before I can do this online thought leadership and viral marketing stuff."

My cynical answer is: "What's the ROI of putting on your pants in the morning?"

But then I suggest that people to ask their boss if in the past few months, they've made a product or service decision based on a direct mail piece they received or based on a TV advertisement. (Almost no bosses have). Then I say they should ask their boss if in the past few months they've used Google or another search engine to make a product or service decision. (Virtually all bosses have).

Well now I have something else to suggest. Buy a copy of Seth Godin's Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing out of Sync? for your bosses.* Tell them it is an important book. Meatball Sundae will be your tool to help others in your organization to understand what you already get and what you are eager to implement. It will help you to get the buy-in to do the new rules of marketing that you know makes sense.

But first your bosses may need to transform your company.

Meatball Sundae lays out in a convincing manner the transformations that are taking place in business today. These transformations mean that everything needs to be looked at carefully, including marketing. But to just toss new marketing onto the top of obsolete business models is like putting whipped cream and a cherry onto meatballs to make a sundae. (Yuk).

Godin tells a story I really like. Josiah Wedgewood, a potter in England in the 1800's at the start of the Industrial Revolution, was the first to create a factory with a production line and job specialization. He built a showroom and shipped product around the world. And he sold bespoke pieces to royalty but first displayed those fantastic and expensive creations for several months so all could see. (Wedgewood was a marketing genius AND a business pioneer.)

Josiah Wedgewood took advantage of changes in society and technology and changed the way business is done, made millions, and founded a company still famous today. But his brother Thomas Wedgewood stuck to the ways that all potters have worked in the past, barely made a living, and is forgotten today.

Godin says fourteen trends are completely remaking what it means to be a marketer. And while these trends are transforming organizations that have the right approaches, they are crippling the organizations that are stuck with nothing but meatballs. Once again, marketing is transforming what we make and how we make it.

* > If you ARE the boss, you should buy copies for your board members and investors...
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4d15ed0) out of 5 stars Chasing marketing fads without changing your company can results in wasteful mistmatches Jan. 25 2008
By Craig Matteson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
If you had a bowl of meatballs and wanted to dress them up a bit before you served them, would you add whipped cream, a sprinkle of nuts, and a cherry on top? A meatball sundae doesn't sound attractive? Seth Godin knows how to write with snappy images to get his ideas across in crisp, concise, and memorable images. The idea of the meatball sundae is used to illustrate old style companies trying to "get with it" by using the New Marketing paradigm without updating anything else. One of the examples he cites is the $40 million Anheuser-Busch spent on Bud-TV to add zero new customers. I am not qualified to judge the appropriateness of the effort or what Bud was after, but I do agree with the author that the goal of all marketing, in the end, has to be to create more customers.

The book has three parts that each consists of multiple short sections that focus on aspects of the topic under discussion. Part 1 is "Thinking About the Meatball Sundae" and takes us through the history of marketing in the US and how it has gone through several upheavals and how those who got their marketing in synch with the new realities won.

Part 2 is "The Fourteen Trends", which discusses the realities of the New Marketing.
They fourteen trends are:

1) Direct Communication and Commerce Between Producers and Consumers
2) Amplification of the Voice of the Consumer and Independent Authorities
3) Need for an Authentic Story as the Number of sources Increases
4) Extremely Short Attention Spans Due to Clutter
5) The Long Tail
6) Outsourcing
7) Google and the Dicing of Everything
8) Infinite Channels of Communication
9) Direct Communication and Commerce Between Consumers and Consumers
10) The Shifts in Scarcity and Abundance
11) The Triumph of Big Ideas
12) The Shift From How Many to Who
13) The Wealthy Are Like Us
14) New Gatekeepers, No Gatekeepers

Part 3 is "Putting It Together" and Case Studies. The Case Studies are short illustrations of how these principles and trends support success or how failure results from ignoring them.

The book is a pleasant read and geared towards those trying to get a handle on what is happening now in the marketplace, especially to entrepreneurs thinking about their marketing efforts. It is written with energy and without academic jargon.

You will know if this book is for you. That is, if you are writing checks for marketing programs for your company, this book is for you.

Reviewed by Craig Matteson, Ann Arbor, MI
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa5ddfb94) out of 5 stars Godin again advances marketing innovation. 5 Stars! Jan. 1 2008
By Thomas D. Fuller - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Godin does an excellent job demonstrating why "old dogs" (the meatballs) and "new tricks" (the sundae toppings) often fail. His primary premise is that the techniques of Old Marketing (that is, interruptive marketing such as billboards, tv ads, and so forth) is dying, if not already dead. The problem for the adherents of Old Marketing is that they are unable to sync New Marketing innovations with their mass market products. They have been too focused on mass media, instead of consumer-to-consumer word of mouth marketing approaches. He then skillfully lists about a dozen other out-of-sync issues. The problem is that our societal changes and product individualization expectations have resulted in the consumer longing for altogether new (innovative) products through these New Marketing channels. We no longer want the built-for-everyone solution -- even if the maker starts a blog or other viral messaging about the item. I feel Godin does a great job of bringing together a number of key issues presented in some of his earlier works (such as Permission Marketing), as well as telling authentic stories (pick up "All Marketers are Liars" by Godin or "Why Johnny Can't Brand" by Schley and Nichols), along with some of the recent word of mouth marketing writings (such as "Word of Mouth Marketing" by Sernovitz and "Buzzmarketing" by Hughes). For good measure, "Make it Stick" is a great discussion of what makes certain events and ideas have lasting impacts on our psyche.

It is clear that Godin does not put forth his ideas as easy -- largely due to the decades (even centuries if you consider his Wedgwood example) of established marketing tradition, and the mega billion dollar machine that keeps the entire system going -- regardless of its increasing ineffectiveness. Nevertheless, Godin will make you a true believer in the need to make the changes -- not just to endure, but to thrive.

This is an A+ read and is worth your attention.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4cacea0) out of 5 stars Meatball Sundae? Yup. Old Marketing Strategies Could Give You Indigestion Dec 30 2007
By Thomas R. Clifford - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is perhaps Seth's finest work to date. Make no mistake. I'm a Seth fan and for good reason.

Seth makes it easy for non-marketing guys like me (a corporate filmmaker) to grasp the deeper meaning of this "Web 2.0" thing and connect to those who are as passionate about a subject as I am.

So what does this have to do with organizations trying to get a handle on New Media Marketing? Perhaps everything.

Most organizations are stuck marketing widgets/stuff/services/meatballs by sprinkling some whipped cream and cherries on top...blogs/pods/wikis/...and hoping for something remarkable.

Seth proposes new marketing doesn't demand better marketing. It demands better products/services/organizations.

Organizations should start with a product/service/widget/meatball worth talking about and new marketing tactics will enable your story to spread that much faster.

Is your organization stuck serving "meatball sundaes?"

Thomas Clifford
---Corporate Filmmaker
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa4cae15c) out of 5 stars First change your model, then your marketing Feb. 22 2008
By Brad Shorr - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Seth Godin sums up the central and profoundly important point of this book right here -

"The 'operating system' for marketers is now fundamentally changing. It doesn't matter how big your market share is today. If your product and your marketing are optimized for the older model, you will be defeated by the relentless tide of the New Marketing and the products and services that are designed for it." (p 182)

I hope companies with traditional models are heeding this advice, because it's only a matter of time before those models are Model T's.

"Meatballs" are average products made for average people. "Sundaes" are the new online marketing tools we see evolving and morphing by the day. You can't market meatballs with sundaes because New Marketing is all about quality and niches. The meatball model doesn't mix with the medium of the Web.

Godin tries hard to make his case, using several fascinating case studies and examples of how companies in the most mundane industries imaginable (blenders and notebooks, for example) have thrived by adapting their model to the New Market and then putting together smart sundae strategies.

For all his eloquence,lucidity, and credibility, Godin himself sounds a bit uncertain as to whether he possesses the necessary skill to make his case, going for a hard sell close in the final pages. Boy. If he thinks it's a tough sell, that should give one pause.

Despite the mounting successes scored by companies that embrace New Marketing, much of the business world is oblivious. While in some sectors YouTube is driving big sales, in many more sectors it is viewed as a mere source of personal entertainment. Blogs may be building loyal customer communities for some manufacturers, but for many more, blogs remain an utter mystery.

This book is must reading for business owners and high level execs, no matter what the business or its size. It's an attempt to explain the new marketing imperatives and why you must change your business and embrace them. Its message is similar to that of The Cluetrain Manifesto: The End of Business as Usual, only told more politely, with less ideology and more practical illustrations.