This is Seth’s latest book, well it’s latest for now. I say for now because Seth has written over 18 books [that I know of] and he is not showing signs of stopping anytime soon, and I’m happy with that.

In this book Seth redefines redefine what marketing should be today. He is trying to shift how we think about and “do” marketing.

The thing is Marketing is not only about selling. Marketing is about helping, it is about having the courage to show up with vulnerability, it is about telling stories that change people.

Marketing is about helping them to make decisions they won’t later regret.

Done right, marketing is an act of generosity, it’s work that matters for people who care.

But that’s not the marketing most people experience and not the kind of marketing many people practice. Today marketing is less concerned by people and their stories but about more concerned about numbers, image and competition.

The old-school approach to marketing is about creating a product or service, identifying a “target” audience, and then trying to push what you are selling into people’s lives.

Old-school marketing is aggressive and adversarial. In that world, marketers want to win… even if that means the customer loses.

Seth sees a different way. He believes marketing can be better than that. Marketing can be a force for change.

And what he shares with us are his insights into how marketers can make that change happen.

One of the most important steps he describes is to identify your “smallest viable audience”. Not the average, but “people like us, doing things like this”.

Part of selecting that smallest viable audience is the acceptance that it’s OK if what we create is not pleasing to everyone. [What a relief!]

Mass marketing is about trying to please everyone. And that leads to average. To mediocrity.

Forget about going after everyone. Instead, focus on the people you can serve best. And then use marketing to bring positive change into their lives.

Focus on those “people like us”.

This leads you towards, “Doing work that matters for people who care.”

Pause and think about that for a moment.

Wouldn’t it be great, as a marketer, if you devoted your time to doing work that matters for people who care?

There is a ton more to this book. It’s a deep and important read.

I have covered just my take on what I see as Seth’s goal with this book. His overarching message.

He also shares the strategies you can apply to achieve this goal, and the tactics you can deploy to move things forward.

And, as always with Seth’s books, he spoils us with a ton of short case studies and stories.



If you are on a quest to do work that matters for people who care and if you want to be a proud marketer, then Seth Godin’s new book This Is Marketing is for you.

If you haven’t read any of Seth Godin’s book, this is a book to start with.

This book is more than just marketing, it is about anyone who attempts to do that truly and honest matters by influencing society in a more empathetic and humane manner.

It has in it references to his previous books: What to do when it’s your Turn, Marketers are Liers, Permission Marketing, a bit of Icarus Deception, a bit of Tribes and one or two of the chapters are from his Akimbo Podcasts, and most of his thoughts are also from his daily blog.

I loved this book and I will go back to it as reference for the work that I do.

Favourite Quotes

  • “Marketing is our quest to make change on behalf of those we serve, and we do it by understanding the irrational forces that drive each of us.”
  • “It’s impossible to create work that both matters and pleases everyone.”

  • “It’s about being a driver of the market, not simply being market-driven.”
  • “It’s about being a driver of the market, not simply being market-driven.”
  • “It’s easier to make products and services for the customers you seek to serve than it is to find customers for your products and services.”
  • “Effective marketing now relies on empathy and service.”

  • “Marketers make change happen: for the smallest viable market, and by delivering anticipated, personal, and relevant messages that people actually want to get.”
  • “The way we make things better is by caring enough about those we serve to imagine the story that they need to hear.”
  • “Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve a problem. Their problem.”


One thought on “Book Review: This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn To See by Seth Godin

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