Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes
Video Time: 41 minutes 49 seconds
Successful marketing is a furious, elusive beast that has billions of dollars poured into it every year, only to elude the grasp of those seeking it. Seth Godin, entrepreneur and author of the most popular ebook to date, Unleashing the Ideavirus, attacks marketing from a slightly different angle. Rather than viewing marketing as a push for the adoption of specific elements or products, Godin emphasizes that success will be determined by those who manage to shape the consciousness of the market.
The first example that Godin opens with is a prime example of achieving this phenomenon. Mechanically sliced bread, oft considered the greatest invention ever, was first prototyped in 1912. It wasn’t until 1930 that sliced bread became a nation-wide staple under the intensive marketing efforts of Wonder Bread. Until then, there wasn’t a perceived need for pre-sliced bread when it took mere moments to slice. Wonder Bread made the public feel that the inconvenience of unsliced bread was dramatic and secured its dominance while other companies, that produced sliced bread, have descended into obscurity.
Instead, many companies subscribe to what Godin refers to as the TV-Industrial Complex. It is an endless cycle of buying ads to achieve recognition to sell products to… buy more ads. The critical flaw with this plan is that the playing field has changed and that it no longer works. Two major changes have resulted in this marketing revolution: people have less time and more choices. They now have less time to receive the messages from standard advertising and there are now more options than ever. The end result is that things are ignored.
Difference, distinction, uniqueness or remarkableness all increase visibility beyond the static that drowns out the typical commercial. Success requires the ability to transcend above the noise and, once there, confer a message that resonates with the recipient and shapes their behavior.
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