Are marketers liers or good storytellers?

Initially the title of the book was All Marketers are Liars and then later on the title was changed to All Marketers are Storytellers.

This is a book about storytelling in marketing. It is about the power of stories. Basically Seth advices to market stories and ideas, not products.

I often have discussion with colleagues where I argue that marketing is often a smoke-and-mirrors approach that can be unethical, fraudulent and dishonest.

However, instead of boasting an “end justifies the means” viewpoint, All Marketers Are Liars argues in favour of building a “Great Story” — “Great Stories make a promise,” “Great stories are trusted,”factual,” “authentic,” and “Great stories are subtle.”

Seth talks about the importance of stories, about frames and world-views.

“Frame” your story in a way that makes sense to people so it breaks through the clutter and fits the audiences’ worldview.

According to Godin, great stories should match the voice of the consumer’s worldview. But a marketer shouldn’t focus on the product or water down her story to appeal to everyone, because it may end up appealing to no one. At its core, “marketing is about spreading ideas, and spreading ideas is the single most important output of our civilization.”

I love how Seth uses a lot of examples to drive his point.



I would recommend this book because all of us are marketers, we market our visions to our team, we market ideas to our siblings, kids and other family members, we marketers ourselves when we look for a good or sell something to customers.

We use marketing [whether we know it or not] in the workplace.

I would recommend this book to all entrepreneurs. Marketing and selling is a challenge to entrepreneurs. Often entrepreneurs tend to focus more their technical know-how, their products or services but struggle with marketing.

Selling products through the use of compelling, attention-getting stories is not new. However, Seth Godin provides a good rationale for why focusing communication through story is particularly important now.

The art of storytelling over and above just having 7Ps of marketing is highly important.

Storytelling makes the 7Ps to take off.

Godin’s writing style is very accessible and made it easy to think about how the concepts he covered could apply to an individual’s career.

Favorite quotes:

  • “We drink the can, not the beverage.”

  • “If consumers have everything they need, there’s nothing left to buy except stuff that they want. And the reason they buy stuff they want is because of the way it makes them feel.”
  • “Marketing is the name we use to describe the promise a company makes, the story it tells, the authentic way it delivers on that promise.”
  • “All marketers are storytellers. Only the losers are liars.”

  • “Stories (not ideas, not features, not benefits) are what spread from person to person.”
  • “Every consumer has a worldview that affects the product you want to sell. That worldview alters the way they interpret everything you say and do. Frame your story in terms of that worldview, and it will be heard.”
  • “We vote for a presidential candidate without saying, “Why not run the country for a month and then we’ll see.”
  • “Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but the stories you tell.”

  • “An idea in a book or on whiteboard has no impact. Just like a virus, an idea needs a brain to live in.”
  • “Until marketers start to take responsibility for the stories we tell and the promises we make, consumers will get increasingly more skeptical and suspicious – and all marketers will lose.”
  • “Consumers are all different but essentially they want the same outcome. They want to be promoted, to be popular, to be wealthy and wise. They want to be pleasantly surprised and honestly flattered.”







One thought on “Book Review: All Marketers are Liars [Tell Stories]

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