All Marketers Are Liars – A Book Review

Two thoughts kept running through my head as I read All Marketers Are Liars.

1. Seth Godin is not a marketer.
2. If you are implementing a marketing plan, this book is not for you.

Now let me explain. Seth is not a marketer. He is much more than that. I would say that he is a philosopher of marketing because he has repeatedly challenged conventional thinking, and this book is no exception. If you are in the implementation stages of a marketing plan, this book won't help you. You should have read it before you started. It makes you step back and rethink the entire marketing process.

Many people will not like this book because it will step up and slap you in the face with some cognitive dissonance. To read and appreciate it, you have to embrace paradox.

The premise of the book is that marketing is about lying, but that lying has to be authentic. Confused? I thought so. This quote may shed some light on it.

We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are. – Anais Nin

What we think really does affect how we perceive things. By lying, but believing the lie, it comes to be true.

This book is filled with wisdom, like the following passage.

The problemlem with first impressions isn't that they're not important(They are important! They're crucial!) but that we have no idea at all when that first impression is going to occur. Not the first contact, but the first impression.

The book covers a lot of ground, and I found myself nodding and agreeing on almost every page, saying things to myself like "of course – that explains it." Seth has peeled away a veil to show things that should have been obvious, except that they are sometimes counterintuitive.

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You should definitely read this book, but only if you don't mind having some of your most cherished beliefs challenged. Seth provides plenty of examples of companies that build a story around a product so that it will appeal to people with a certain worldview, and the stories are only true because we make them so. And the section "I Like Books Seth Godin Writes" is one of the best things I have ever read. (For those of you who read it, yes, it made me uncomfortable that Seth could change my view on something so quickly. That is an extremely powerful illustration) So go pick up a copy. It's short and too the point. I think you will like it.

For more reviews, check out Seth on the Business Blog Book Tour.