Seth Godin – able to leap tall buildings in a single bound?

sethgodinfigure.pngOkay, I think I have seen it all. Too late to get this for the Holiday season for that Marketer that has everything, but Archie McPhee is selling a Seth Godin action figure (this is real). I’m sure they’ll go fast, so stand in line now.

[Now it make sense why Seth recently got glasses. He doesn’t want his super hero status compromised…ala Superman and Clark Kent].

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Lost in translation

Besides English, I have tried to learn two languages in my time – German and Spanish. Unfortunately, German never really stuck. All I can remember is the phrase – “Ich habe lockiges haar” or “I have curly hair”… which I don’t – so even this phrase wont help me out. With Spanish, I do okay.

I remember when I was learning Spanish I got to a point where I could translate in my head fairly well from Spanish to English and back again. But as anyone that has learned another language call tell you, to truly learn a language you have to get past the mental exercise of translation and move to a higher level where you start to think in the other language (it is really cool when you even start to dream in the other language).

The hard part about being in the “translation stage” is that it is very taxing. It takes a lot of time and energy to push past The Dip and on to a level of proficiency. I remember a lot of memorizing, headaches and feeling mentally spent (yes, learning another language can be exhausting).

I’d say that this is not unlike many of the communication that goes on between businesses and consumers. Often times, businesses speak in a different language then their customers and the customer is left to translate what it means. For example, a marketer may have bullet points of their products features:

  • Our hair stylists are professionally trained
  • Our hair stylists know the latest trends

And the customer is left to translate what it means to them:

  • Professionally Trained – “They do not use a Flowbee for their haircuts and certaininly will not use the phrases – ‘oops’ or ‘I’ll just have to try and even that out’”
  • Latest trends – “No mullets or mutton chops or anything else that will limit my social life”

The problem is, when you do not take the time to think and speak in a way that your customers understand, few of them continue the metal exercise of translation of what you are trying to say. They usually just end up moving on to a different company that speaks their language.

Happy Tuesday!

Seth Godin’s Visit to Utah

Seth Godin has now come and gone. He was here to promote his new book The Dip.

I won’t go over all of his presentation; it was more or less one of those “you-have-to-be-there-to-enjoy-it” presentations. However, I will highlight some of his more memorable quotes:

  1. “Being average is dramatically over-rated.”
  2. “Ad agencies should cross the street and meet with their clients and help them make better products.”
  3. When asked his opinion about persuing an MBA, Seth responded “The (school) academy is about teaching people what we have done yesterday, a little better.” Basically, I interpret that as there are many other ways to learn up-to-date business ideas, but an MBA is not the best way.
  4. When asked to imagine that he was a substitute teacher in a middle school marketing class for a day, what would he teach? He mentioned three things: 1). “No one cares about you, at all. Get over it!” 2). “Start selling stuff on Ebay” and 3). “Get good at telling stories that others want to hear.”
  5. When asked which three books he would recommend everyone read, he said: 1). Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash “keeping in mind it was written 10 years ago” 2). Geoffrey Moore’s Crossing the Chasm “preferably the old, original version” and 3). John McWade’s Before and After Page Design – which will teach you to “see before you do” and “how to be a graphic designer in about an hour”.
  6. “Those that are succeeding are asking ‘How can I be of service’ instead of ‘How can take advantage of the system’”.

All in all, I would say that Seth Godin is an incredibly nice individual with amazing insights. Easily worth more than the $50 I plopped down (but don’t tell Seth that!)

Seth Godin is coming to Utah!

It appears to be official! According to Seth Godin’s blog, he is coming to Utah on May 24th from 1 PM – 4PM. Here are details:

Seth Godin, the Marketing Guru will share his latest insight in marketing & talk about his latest book “The Dip”.

The cost is $50 per person, which includes 5 free copies of his latest book. Or you can buy 5 copies of his book for $50 and hear him speak for free (you decide).

Come early to network with others. See you there!

$50 to hear the top marketer alive?

Got Godin?If you live in Utah (or if you can fly to Utah within 3 to 5 hours), please support the effort to get the most brilliant marketing mind to speak in Utah on May 24th. For $50 you will not only get to hear Seth Godin but you’ll also receive 5 copies of his new book The Dip. But wait, there’s more! If Seth were here personally, I bet he would guarantee that you would come away with Three C’s (and maybe more) after hearing him speak:

  1. Change – Seth is an “Agent of Change”. You will see your business, your industry and yourself in a whole new light. Once you’ve have tasted this change, there will be no going back to your old ways (you will not want to anyway).
  2. Clarity – Seth will enlighten the path of remarkableness for yourself and your company.
  3. Quitting – (okay this isn’t a “C” but it does start with the same phonemic sound, does that count?) “What really sets superstars apart from everyone else is the ability to escape dead ends quickly, while staying focused and motivated when it really counts.”

Come and join us if you can. I promise that you will not be disappointed!

Must see Godin

If you have not seen the Seth Godin Video Brochure, I would highly recommend it as it contains a few Godin gems!

The über customer loyalty test

I blogged a while back about a post from Seth Godin about gauging the remarkableness of your customer’s experience by whether or not they wear your company’s t-shirt. Denise commented that “T-shirts are a great start. Then, once you’ve reached cult-like status, tattoos baby.”

Yesterday, I think I witnessed the uber-test of customer loyalty at the funeral of my wife’s grandma. She was buried with a can of Diet Coke. T-shirts may shrink and tatoos may fade, but the burial is the final life-defining act.

We’ll miss you Zenna!