A book by Seth Godin “All Marketers are Liars: The Underground Classic That Explains How Marketing Really Works–and Why Authenticity Is the Best Marketing of All”


In his book “All Marketers are Liars” Seth Godin demonstrates the power of storytelling.

Give your customers a list of features and they’ll forget them in a minute.  Give them benefits and some will question them.  But everybody loves a good story.  Because that’s how we make sense of the world.  So give your customers a good story and they’ll spread it like wildfire.

Successful marketers focus on these questions:

  • What’s the story?
  • Will people believe it?
  • Is it true?

But is it really all about the story?  Aren’t consumers rational?

The short answer is: NO!

Features and price become secondary when you tell a great story.  That’s why we buy a $225 shoe even though it’s made at the same factory, with the same materials, by the same people, as a $20 shoe.  Or why we buy an $80,000 car that’s virtually identical to a $30,000 car all the way down to the individual parts.

Bad marketers talk about features.  Good marketers focus on benefits.  Great marketers tell stories.

But what makes a story EFFECTIVE?

For a story to work, people have to believe it.  It has to be compatible with their worldview.  So you need to step in their shoes and understand deeply their needs, dreams, and beliefs.

THAT’s when the magic happens.  If you convince your customers that Llama wool is the best material to boost running performance, they will push themselves and find excuses to justify the results.

What will make your story even more effective is if it’s true!

Unlike traveling carnivals that can dupe their customers over a weekend and disappear, brands can only survive when they show that they care about their customers and build long-term relationships with their fans.

When your stories are true, you build trust with your customers.  So it will be easier to tell them more stories, and they will believe them more readily.

So are all marketers liars?

No.  The author actually told a bit of a lie with the book’s title, to make a point.  Great marketers are in fact great storytellers.  They tell stories that resonate with their audience and stand the test of time because they’re honest.

Seth Godin

Book Author

Seth Godin is the author of nineteen international bestsellers that have been translated into over 35 languages, and have changed the way people think about marketing and work. For a long time, Unleashing the Ideavirus was the most popular ebook ever published, and Purple Cow is the bestselling marketing book of the decade.

He’s a recent inductee to the Marketing Hall of Fame, and also a member of the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame and (go figure), the Guerrilla Marketing Hall of Fame.

His book, Tribes, was a nationwide bestseller, appearing on the Amazon, New York Times, BusinessWeek and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. It’s about the most powerful form of marketing–leadership–and how anyone can now become a leader, creating movements that matter.

His book Linchpin came out in 2008 and was the fastest selling book of his career. Linchpin challenges you to stand up, do work that matters and race to the top instead of the bottom. More than that, though, the book outlines a massive change in our economy, a fundamental shift in what it means to have a job.

Since Linchpin, Godin has published two more books, Poke the Box and We Are All Weird, through his Domino Project. He followed these with The Icarus Deception via Kickstarter, which reached its goal in less than three hours. Joined by Watcha Gonna Do With That Duck and V is for Vulnerable, those books are now widely available. In late 2014, he announced his latest, What To Do When It’s Your Turn, sold directly from his website.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth was founder and CEO of Squidoo.com,. His blog (find it by typing “seth” into Google) is the most popular marketing blog in the world. Before his work as a writer and blogger, Godin was Vice President of Direct Marketing at Yahoo!, a job he got after selling them his pioneering 1990s online startup, Yoyodyne.

More about the author at sethgodin.com