Posts Tagged “Seth Godin”

Isn’t marketing just loaded with paradox?  …or maybe it’s what consumers really want.

You see, I’ve learned the hard way that people definitely want solutions to their problems, but they only want them in a way that fits their circumstances –or else you can just forget it.

Let me explain…


My mentor said a crazy remark. I thought it was kinda funny at the time, but as I’ve pondered it over the years, it became so clear to me that it was the crux of how to grab my customer’s attention and get them the results they wanted.  He said:

“For people wanting to lose weight, they don’t want you to tell them what to eat …they want you to tell them what to eat while they’re at Krispy Kreme.  They want to know what to eat while they’re in the drive-thru at McDonald’s.”


Here’s a real-life situation that happened to me. I’ll call my client “Joe.”

Note: As I tell this story, it will be plainly obvious to you, but “Joe” never got the picture, even to this day …and I admit it was my fault.

“Joe” had an amazing web site that got enviable traffic, but couldn’t monetize the site despite tens of thousands of visitors a day.  “Joe” had spent over $130,000 but was only earning about $1,000 a month from the site by the time I was approached for help.

The moment I saw the site I instantly saw all sorts of major problems and I knew the perfect solutions.  It was a textbook case.

Like it was yesterday, I remember “Joe” saying to me several times: “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.  Whatever you say, Mike.”

Hindsight: Whenever you hear those words, expect the real actions to be the opposite.


Anyway, long story short, “Joe” had a particular writing style and was adamant in writing a certain way.  To make money using the written word (as is the case online), your writing style must be emotional and compelling.  “Joe’s” style was anything but.  It was boring and proper.  It was educational and indifferent, not engaging. (…kind of like this article, except I’m not selling you anything.)

In addition to my own written work, I also “borrowed” headlines and copy from top masters who earn over 8-figures online to place on the site.  “Joe” rejected every one of them, critiquing everything I provided as if I was the protégé.

In the end, “Joe” felt bitter and I was frustrated because I failed to get the results I knew I was clearly capable of delivering because I had achieved them for others, including myself, over and over.


To parallel my mentor’s remark, here’s why I failed:

  1. At the time, I didn’t understand that “Joe” was in the proverbial ‘Krispy Kreme’ line, didn’t want (or understand enough) to step out of it, and I was not able to provide any solutions that were ‘on the menu.’
  2. I didn’t help “Joe” come to the conclusion (I didn’t even try to convince him, either) that the only route to success is to first embrace another style that does not include ‘Krispy Kreme’ in the routine.

You see, “Joe” had an invisible, subconscious, emotional attachment to a certain writing style (ie: to ‘Krispy Kreme’ metaphorically speaking) …and it’s almost always the thing we’re most emotionally attached to that gets us into trouble because it’s our blind spot (we ALL do it –none of us are immune to this devil).

All I heard was: “I’ll do whatever you say” …thinking this would be a slam dunk.

The solution wasn’t what I believed.

Sure, implementing my concepts would have absolutely made the difference.  But the REAL, ultimate solution was for me to frame the situation so “Joe” could recognize the real source of the problem.


Here’s another example that will hit home with MANY …the dating world.

As a divorced man, I’ve studied a lot of the “Double Your Dating” by David DeAngelo.  Initially, David gets men hooked by showing them tricks on how to get a phone number, a first date and even a first kiss using his “kiss test.”

But every woman knows tricks are short-lived and it’s really all about a man’s style, his body language and his ‘inner personality’ that generates attraction …things most men have zero clue about.

But, if David came right out and said, “Hey, I know why you don’t have a girlfriend!  You gotta change your body language and develop your inner game” …they would be like, “What are you talking about?  I’m just fine who I am. I just need a clever pick-up line to get their phone number and get them to get to know me, that’s all.”  They don’t see the bigger picture and David wouldn’t be able to help them.

By starting from the frame of, “Okay, you’re at Krispy Kreme.  Well, ‘that’ donut over there has less calories than this one.  It doesn’t taste as good, but it will start you in the right direction.”

And, then, they’ll come back and say, “Hey, I lost 2 pounds.  Hoo-rah!  What else can I do?” …and he’ll say, “Well, so let’s cut out Krispy Kreme once a week and see what happens.”

He just can’t come out and say, “Well, lay off the Krispy Kreme, fatso!” …just like he can’t say to the masses of ignorant men, “Well, stop being a needy, wussy, momma’s-boy and start being a man and display some attractive qualities.”  They have to come to the realization themselves, on their own (your job is to help them find the door).


So, how does this relate to helping you market your business and make more money?

As a business and marketing expert, I also have to continually market my product …me!

If I just come out and say, “Hey, Mr. Prospect, I know exactly how to get you more sales,” sadly, nobody is going to listen –even if I’m dead-on right.

Sure, it’s what they want to hear, but they won’t like the solution.


Because we get too emotionally attach to our own ideas and ways of doing things.

It’s frustrating when you genuinely want to help and you absolutely know the solution, but you’ve got to hold back.  Less is more here.  We have to slowly ween people off their emotional attachments.


I’ve had web site owners show me awful (but very ‘pretty’) sites that they slaved over for months and were clearly enamored with but got zero results and tell me they just need me to “optimize” it for SEO and the keywords X, Y, and Z so they can show up on Google (know anyone who’s done this?).  They won’t listen when they hear their whole approach is all wrong.

Sadly, they end up finding someone less-experienced who will appease them and then go looking for someone else while griping about how they got ripped off by this web guy.


You’ve got to get your prospect’s attention by offering them something they want that falls within their paradigm (with integrity, of course).

Then, help THEM see for themselves a way to get better and better results.


I’ll leave you with this quote on about Seth Godin’s book: “All Marketers Are Liars”…

“Marketers succeed when they tell us a story that fits our worldview, a story that we intuitively embrace and then share with our friends.”


Do you have a story to share about marketing your business?

Think I’m off base?

Are all marketers liars?  Please share below!


Mike Lewitz is an innovative marketer who truly ‘gets’ the mental and emotional buying process of consumers. He’s shown thousands of global business owners proven, cutting-edge marketing methods that bring abundant results.  Mike is formerly a Google Certified Advertising Professional and holds two Bachelor’s degrees (business & marketing) and an M.B.A. in Management.

You may freely distribute, copy & share this article with acknowledgment/referring link.

Tags: , , ,

Comments No Comments »

Marketing Definition:
by Mike Lewitz

The art and science of understanding the needs, wants and desires of what makes individuals take action, then applying that understanding in communicating a message that inspires the existing emotional and irrational drivers of individuals to elevate a psychological need, want, or desire for a perceptively external, tangible and logical satisfaction, and enticing the action of satisfying that need, want or desire by acquiring specific knowledge, products, or services provided by a specific individual or group.


  • Marketing is both an art and a science.
  • Emotions are the powerful, unconscious forces that drive us to make decisions and take action.  Thus, all decisions we make are emotional.
  • Emotional influences result in psychological needs, wants, and desires.
  • Psychological needs, wants, and desires cannot arise from emotions that do not exist.
  • We humans do not function within any ‘fixed’ or common reality. We function only on an individual perception of reality each of us has uniquely created in our mind.
  • We rationalize, validate and justify our psychological needs with logic.
  • Logic is external, rational, tangible, and measurable.
  • Our logical, rational conclusions drive us to seek out solutions that satisfy our perceived needs, wants and desires.
  • Since solutions are perceived to be logical, solutions are expected to be found through external, rational, tangible, and measurable means.
  • External solutions are (perceived to be) found though acquiring products, knowledge, and/or services.

There is no globally accepted marketing definition, and the most widely accepted version evolves over time.  As my personal understanding through study and application of how psychological triggers are activated to cause people to take action, I have developed this current model marketing definition.  The goal is to help people understand the incredible significance of the irrational mind in the decision-making process.

Modern brain science has only recently come to discover that we are exponentially more emotionally directed than anyone ever imagined in addition to clearly understanding the parts of the brain that control the decision-making process.  In fact, our emotions are so critical to decision-making, modern brain science has discovered that people who lack the ability to connect to the emotional part of their brain, such as from a severe brain injury, are incapable of making decisions at all.


Many former definitions relate marketing closer to consumerism and the buying and selling process. While this is certainly the purpose for doing marketing, buying and selling activities are NOT marketing, they are simply the the end result of applying proper and effective marketing principles that facilitate the emotional desire to purchase specific things.

In his book, Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices (1974), Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, wrote (p. 64):

“The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. Ideally, marketing should result in a customer who is ready to buy.”

NOTICE: The RESULT of marketing is: “A customer who is ready to buy.”

To illustrate the overshadowing emotional factors of marketing, here is an excerpt from the description of Seth Godin’s book All Marketers Are Liars found on

“Every marketer tells a story. And if they do it right, we believe them. We believe that wine tastes better in a $20 glass than a $1 glass. We believe that an $80,000 Porsche Cayenne is vastly superior to a $36,000 VW Touareg, which is virtually the same car. We believe that $225 Pumas will make our feet feel better-and look cooler-than $20 no-names . . . and believing it makes it true.”


People will not buy unless they have an emotional association with something.

Some definitions suggest that marketing creates and/or delivers value.  The statement is somewhat ambiguous, as value is determined only by each individual.  Value is subjective.

Value is only created in and determined by the mind of individuals.

Marketing only facilitates the understanding that value exists within a given product or service or piece of information.  Marketing does not create or deliver the value itself, although marketing does …and SHOULD always… direct the creation of value through the understanding of what consumers want.


For example: Suppose I write a book about how to change your oil in your car.  First of all, the ONLY reason I would write such a book is because I initially did some research and discovered there are many people who would like to learn how and don’t really know where to find answers.  (…just go with me on this…) Since you cannot acquire the actual value of the content until you read the book, you must first purchase it based on your value perception.

If you were a master mechanic, what would your value perception be of this basic, fundamental book?  Probably zero.

If you knew nothing about cars …AND… wanted to learn how to change your own oil, what would your value perception be, now?

What if I inadvertently titled the book: “Pepperoni Pizza: A Love Story.”

What is your value perception of the book, now?


Here’s where marketing comes in:
Marketing fills the communication gap …in both directions!

The real value of the book, as determined by the person who has a want or desire for the information in the book, is not based on the title.  Regardless of the title, the content of the book is the same.  Yes, the perception of the value of the book is changed …and this why understanding marketing is so important: it’s about activating the emotional triggers to get people to take action.

The job of marketing is to come in and demonstrate, or paint the picture of, the value; to give you the perception that the book is valuable to you …based on YOUR needs.

While I’ve used an absurd example, it’s important to recognize and acknowledge that people DO evaluate value based on first impression or ‘the cover.’

So, ask yourself: “How many of your products and services, even your business name, have you named in such a way that people don’t instantly recognize the value?”

If you’ve done this, you’re walking an uphill battle.


The ThighMaster is a great real-world example.

The original inventor of the item (whatever he originally invented it for) couldn’t sell it for pennies.  A smart marketer came in, bought the patent, made a couple minor modifications, got a sexy, young girl to model it (Suzanne Somers), and called it the ‘Thigh-Master.’  They created a message that communicated the value to others in a way the original inventor was unable to accomplish.

They made Millions.

Why?  Because they understood what their potential buyers wanted and then slightly modified the product and created a message that spoke directly to the wants of their potential buyers.

But, the original product was essentially the same.  The intrinsic value never changed and the marketing did not actually create any value.  The marketing simply communicated the message that the item has value to those who were looking for an item that provides the value they sought after.

The value itself is actually created by the business or individual.  In a large company, marketing tells engineering that consumers prefer and value the color red and engineering creates what marketing research has discovered will motivate consumers to buy.


Sadly, too many business got it backwards.  They create their product, then go figure out a way for people to “market” (read: sell) it …often by the time things aren’t going well.

Because nobody knows what is going on inside the mind of others, research is necessary to determine the value triggers.


Understand what your customer wants, figure out the emotional triggers, build what they want, create a message that leverages those emotional triggers and entice them to buy …in that order.

That’s the application of the definition above and a proven model to get consumers to chase you to the ends of the Earth.  …now GO take action.


Mike Lewitz is an innovative marketer who truly ‘gets’ the mental and emotional buying process of consumers. He’s shown thousands of global business owners proven, cutting-edge marketing methods that bring abundant results.  Mike is formerly a Google Certified Advertising Professional and holds two Bachelor’s degrees (business & marketing) and an M.B.A. in Management.

You may freely distribute, copy & share this article with acknowledgment/referring link.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments 1 Comment »