Jan Kubr

Posts Tagged ‘trends’

A book read: Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2008 at 11:23

I have never studied marketing. Now when I wanted to start learning a bit about it I could start with classics like Phillip Kotler (at least so I was told that he is a classic). Which is basically like looking back and realizing what has been taught last century. Or – because many people say we are experiencing a huge change in how goods are offered to customers – I could try looking into the future. You guessed what I picked. I grabbed Seth Godin‘s latest book Meatball Sundae.

The book is officially about how to avoid a meatball sundae in your company’s strategy. That is when the way you market your product is not in sync the rest of your organization. In short, when you make average stuff for average people but try to use new media to make it look remarkable.

Great, but I have no marketing strategy yet, so this was not all that useful for me. Fortunately, what the book is really about is that identifies 14 trends of today no marketer should ignore (my comments in italics):

  1. Direct communication and commerce between producers and consumers.
    No middlemen needed anymore. Etsy is a great example.
  2. Amplification of the voice of the consumer and independent authorities.
    In the past you just had to please one reviewer. Now everyone has a strong voice.
  3. Need for an authentic story as the number of sources increases.
    Don’t lie. Today it is too easy to find the truth.
  4. Extremely short attention spans due to clutter.
    So you better communicate your message fast.
  5. The long tail.
    “John Gourville, at Harvard, and Barry Schwartz (author of The Paradox of Choice) have each argued that too much choice is a bad thing, that it leads to dissatisfaction and causes people to put off decision making. Too much choice makes the statement ‘I’ll decide later because there’s just too much risk of screwing up’ more likely.
    A trip to the mall certainly demonstrates that this is happening. Tons of empty-handed shoppers are all walking around looking for the perfect item. And often buying nothing.”
  6. Outsourcing.
    Are you doing something that can’t be easily outsourced (done by someone else far cheaper?). And are you using outsourcing to your advantage?
  7. Google and the dicing of everything.
    Don’t expect everyone coming to your homepage first.
  8. Infinite channels of communication.
    So you want your own ones, nothing general.
  9. Direct communication and commerce between consumers and consumers.
    They are going talk to each other about you. What will they be saying? And can they trade stuff among themselves?
  10. The shifts in scarcity and abundance.
    Used to be scarce and is not anymore: E.g. hard-drive space. It’s scarce now: E.g. attention.
  11. The triumph of big ideas.
    You better have something extraordinary to be noticed.
  12. The shift from “How many” to “Who.”
    Better reach a few people who care about you than hundreds who don’t. Now it’s easier to find people in your niche.
  13. The wealthy are like us.
    Because they are us. You are eager to pay a lot of money for remarkable things.
  14. New gatekeepers, no gatekeepers.
    You don’t need to hang out with the big guys. Just do something people will want and they will allow you to influence them.

And there’s more. This book is worth reading, don’t hesitate. Although Seth calls it “not short,” it will be a quick read for you. You can also check videos at Open Forum where people like Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia) and Sean Parker (Napster, Facebook, Plaxo) express opinions on the same topics.