This is a recap of Seth Godin’s presentation yesterday at The Art of Marketing conference. Everything that follows this italicized paragraph is based on Seth’s words, and are not my own thoughts. Also, this is in now way a comprehensive recap of Seth’s presentation. Rather, it’s what I was able to take down as Seth spoke. If you were there and feel that there are any errors, please point them out in the comment section below.
Professional wrestling is fake. I don’t know if you knew that or not, but now you do. A trusted source has informed you that it’s fake. And since they did, professional wrestling hasn’t looked the same. You notice stuff now when you watch it.
Betty Crocker is not a real person. But in the 1930s, General Mills bought up 30 minutes of air time to have Betty Crocker answer questions and share recipes. General Mills, at one point, had 200 women employed to sign Betty Crocker’s name. And what General Mills noticed is that the more of a presence they had, the more people bought from them.
You shouldn’t worry about what’s next. You should worry about right now.
All your problems are perfect. If they weren’t perfect, you would’ve gotten rid of it a long time ago. And the only way you solve a perfect problem is by getting rid of the boundaries that makes it a problem for you.
This is the revolution of our time. It’s the only one we get. You forgot what it was like to go to work 15 years ago. No world wide web, they were just installing fax machines.
This revolution is massive. It’s something completely different.
Colonel Sanders spent his life driving from city to city. Not because he loved chicken, but because he loved a new way of doing business. Without him, there wouldn’t be franchises.
What you have to understand is that Henry Ford’s revolution is dying. His revolution was (1) interchangeable parts, (2) mass production, and (3) interchangeable people. His system had one weakness: not enough people. Not enough people who were willing to sit still and do what they’re told for 10 hours a day. Not enough skilled workers.
They want you to fit in so that they can ignore you. They want you to buy what the factories make so you have no choice but to work in the factory.
Every revolution destroys the revolution before it before it yields the good stuff.
Are you gonna win by being more obedient? Or are you going to win by being more graceful? Graceful is seeing and believing and connecting.
But have you worked with someone who is graceful? Someone who knows how to troubleshoot? If you have a map, you don’t need to troubleshoot? Yet, this isn’t what we teach our children. We raise them to comply and be obedient.
We no longer need to remember interesting facts. Wikipedia does that. We need to know how to solve problems.
All straight A’s teach you is that you’re good at school. But most of us don’t run schools. Yet we hire people that are good at school.
Every company that’s succeeding hasn’t succeeded because they’re compliant. They succeeded because they were connected.
Take North Korea. They’re really good at complying in North Korea, but we don’t buy North Korean products.
It’s really easy to make products, now. We figured out how to make a lot of things that work. The hard part is inventing and initiating.
Competence used to be very valuable. But now it’s only one click away. It’s pretty straight forward to find competence now.
In bowling, the best you can do is a 300. But it gets pretty boring watching people battle it out between a 298 and a 299. We need to avoid bowling. Bowling is about doing the same thing we did yesterday, over and over. But what people talk about is what’s new.
The average tenure of a CMO in the Fortune 500 is 18 months. They think they’re job is clever branding and great riffs. But, in fact, the M doesn’t stand for “marketing,” it stands for “movement.”
If you create a movement of people who want you to succeed, you will. But if you try to market at people, you will fail.
Che Guevera was a movement. The Grateful Dead wasn’t a band, they were a movement.
You don’t have an iPhone because it’s a good phone. You have it because it’s a badge. It makes you part of a movement and part of a tribe.
Most of us don’t do physical labor for a living. We do emotional labor. It the work of your heart.
Art had nothing to do with painting. There’s a town in China where all they do is replicate famous paintings. That’s not art. It’s painting.
When your receptionist is better than the automated system, that is art. She is connecting with people.
You cannot do art without generosity. And the magic of the web is that you can connect with people and be generous. It’s easier than ever to give your gift.
The thing about fitting in is being the most average. It’s amorphous. But what’s average?
Going to the edges: that’s easy. We know where the fringes are.
Take our lizard brain, the one responsible for fear, revenge and desire. Now, the lizard brain is wrong a lot. The lizard brain is often afraid. It will short-circuit everything. If a plane is going down, it’ll make you start screaming, but screaming doesn’t help keep the plane in the air.
But what the market rewards are people who are willing to fail. And There’s a crisis here: There’s something we know we can do, but we’re afraid.
The object is not how do I get people to buy this thing? It’s how do I spread the generosity? How do I get closer to the tribe?
We didn’t invent the internet so you could run ads. There are ads on the internet because marketers paid money of them and people are happy to take their money.
The opportunity, the thing that drives you, is that the factory and building and the bank aren’t as important as they used to be. Rather, it’s the opportunity to be human and to lead and to give and to connect.