As we constantly hone our business skills and stay up to date with change, exposure to great marketing books are essential. Besides, how can a practitioner maintain that they have 20 years of experience, if they repeated 1 years’ experience for 19 years? Perhaps the most valuable aspect of engaging with marketing literature is that new cases studies can provide insight as to the options, tools and tactics available to solve challenges and reach our goals in the most innovative way. Before we start, I’d like to say that there are some concepts and inventions by Seth Godin that I quite admire – for example the “Purple Cow” theory which is related to copywriting.
Now as for the book titled “All marketers are liars because they are storytellers” by Seth Godin, These are my thoughts:
I should also state that it is always important to take context into consideration. Seth did a great job when he founded squidoo, however as with all platforms that attracts user-generated content, it is impossible to control the quality of the content. The end result was that Seth’s business got hit by Google’s penalties, so hard that it went off the radar and is now redirecting to Hubpages.com – which is possibly why Seth had to use other platforms as a contingency position. His latest appearances are on Udemy.com, with various punts at Amazon, where the marketing / freelance and outsourcing communities are still a part of Seth’s target market. Seth was smart to close it down since most of my clients who attempted to appease Google – are still sending out “disavow” letters in vain, whereas those who switched to a new domain had more continuity in their business.
Perhaps one of my criticisms of the theories proposed is this: If Google or any platform decides that there is a “site-wide” or “platform-wide” issue they do not approve of, then the cow can be Purple, Shining Purple, Dark Purple or any other variation of the colour – but it will not help. Simply producing “amazing content” as part of your content marketing strategy is in fact a waste of effort if the platform itself is considered unacceptable by the SERPs. I therefore contend that there are some criteria for purple cow content to be effective:
- The platform should be “reputable” in the eyes of Google. (I say in the eyes of Google since many great websites also got penalized unfairly. Remember, Google often hires employees in India who are not so great at enforcing rules – and they have a “free hand” until you can escallate the matter to the levels that get’s the attention of those in Mountain View – as we recently did for an Adwords client).
- It should be syndicated across various platforms in such a way that you avoid duplicate content and SERP penalties (something for you to think about). This I say because we actually have various options to re-purpose our content across a range of channels, ticking the box for “omni-channel” domination too. Now in this case, if one channel is affected negatively, guess what? Our audience will still be exposed to the purple cow!
- Attempt to brand the content in part since “branded content” will scare your competitors from pulling the rug: When others refrain from copying an idea, we can truely let our followers run with interactive C2C marketing and viral effects.
- The most important thing before we start telling stories as marketers – is we make sure we have an audience. The size of your audience is the greatest leverage over any piece of information released (that’s why media mogul’s own politicians today).
So are all marketers liars then?
No! The Lord Jesus himself used paraboles to help people make decisions that were for their own good – so you decide…
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