Introduction to “This Is Marketing” by Seth Godin. Polish edition.

Marketing doesn’t deceive people. It’s people who deceive using marketing tools. Be proud of your marketing. This thought seems to define the latest book by Seth Godin.

Develop your company by respecting your clients, providing them with value, and inspiring them. Sign your style and the way of playing the market game with your name. In the Second Polish Republic it was referred to as “market nobility”; today this idea is worth coming back to.  In the 21st century, in the world of IT and marketing revolution, we desperately need ethic, efficient, and effective marketing. Responsible and reliable actions become the key to gaining and maintaining the customer’s trust. In the world of transparency, social media, and the possibility to immediately publicize the client’s opinion, being unreliable on the market is not only an unethical but also completely unprofitable action. There is a high price to pay for losing credibility. Learn to see in order to be seen.

The essence of marketing has to do with changing the world for the better, and not manipulating people. It is true that the art of marketing has a huge range of tools for influencing others to choose from. However, it is up to decision-makers and financiers, in what way and for what purpose these tools would be used. The concepts “permission marketing” and “inbound marketing” seemed to have brought an end to the stage of intrusive and bothersome marketing communication, but we know very well that it hasn’t taken place in Poland. Marketing strategies that are based on an innovative concept or breaking some patterns can be counted on the fingers of one hand. In the vast majority of cases we still deal with something that I call “product propaganda” – using mass advertising tools to engrave an offer of another company in one’s head.

Building unique value and customer experience is the key to forming perfection in marketing. That is a long and complicated process, at the heart of which lies shaping real market relations. However, that is still not the most important for many entrepreneurs. They perceive marketing solely in terms of supporting sales and increasing profitability, instead of intangible assets created by appropriate branding on the market. It is obvious and natural that the essence of effective marketing is achieving particular business objectives. Every entrepreneur wants to sell more, have higher market shares, better profits, or a perfectly perceived brand. That is, however, the effect of playing the market game by marketing humanists and engineers combining business offer value with the efficient use of technology. The bonus for the excellent game is the company’s score, and that is obtained thanks to your customers.

Solid and healthy roots of your organization are an important aspect of development. It won’t matter that you’ll pay a lot for making noise on the market if even the most interesting idea is wasted by an incompetent employee, supplier, or business partner. If you want to have better people, better service, or better outcomes, you won’t achieve that without building the Triangle of Three Smiles: of the satisfied shareholder, employee/supplier, and customer. That is what Seth Godin’s book is about: changing people for the better and about the value of marketing that you can be proud of. It is you who is supposed to control the market, instead of being controlled by it.

Today it’s not enough to create something valuable, unique, or inspiring. If you want to use your passions, interests, or talents to create a business, you need something more. This is exactly the process of changing, creating and managing the market. If Vincent van Gogh or Leonardo da Vinci had met Steve Jobs, the world could look a bit different today. Nowadays, the fact that you have the perfect product or service is not enough. What is important are your skills in playing the market game resulting in a satisfied boss, employee and customer. Marketing is the embodiment of the process of change understood as constant development.

Seth Godin has been inspiring millions of people for years. He’s one of those who can describe their passion in a colorful and intellectual way. That passion is marketing. I understand him perfectly, having been madly in love with this domain for almost three decades. Godin doesn’t tell stories, neither is he a TV or virtual preacher, who takes money out of your pocket using a soft-spoken monologue. His message is the real, humanistic philosophy of the art of marketing – fundamental values that are critical for every entrepreneur and marketer. Godin’s books are not meant to be handbooks or manuals; they are incredibly versatile business world guides.

A Must-read. Learn to see. This Is marketing.

I recommend this reading.

Jacek Kotarbiński

To jest marketing!
Nie zostaniesz zauważony,
dopóki nie nauczysz się widzieć
Seth Godin

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