What is Marketing according to Seth Godin

Seth is like the Swami of marketing. Or maybe the shepherd of marketing because for over two decades he has been guiding the marketing profession as it evolves and matures. Seth is the author everyone has to read, no matter what kind of marketing you do.

And it makes sense for him to write a book about what marketing is. This is Marketing is a foundational book. Unlike other books, This is Marketing is not a book focused on one central idea, instead, it covers a wide range of topics from the rationality of buyers to adoption cycles. It’s a book about the core of what marketing is all about.

It also is a book about what marketers are about. It talks about our role in the world, our responsibility to use our talent for the greater good, our ability to change the world, and the importance of doing marketing in an ethical and respectful way.

In a way, this is the book that attempts to encapsulate all of Seth Godin’s wisdom in one tome. It includes the core concepts from permission marketing, written in the 90s, and covers important topics from All Marketers are Liars, which is probably Seth’s most important book.

In this post I will cover a few tidbits of wisdom I particularly liked in Seth’s book:

What is Marketing, according to What is Marketing?

Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve a problem. Their problem. Marketing helps others become who they seek to become”. Continue reading “What is Marketing according to Seth Godin”

Marketing Giant Interview With Rob Malcolm

This Marketing Expert Interview is with a true giant of Marketing, Rob Malcolm.

He is currently the Executive in Residence at the Center for Consumer Insight and Marketing Solutions at the McCombs Business School at the University of Texas. He has been a lecturer at the Wharton Business School, Chairman for the American Marketing Association, CMO at Diageo, and spent over 20 years at P&G.

1. What company is an example of good marketing today? Who do you admire?
Two immediately come to mind – Frito Lay and Wendys. Frito has consistently outperformed based on very sound portfolio differentiation, strong unique brand propositions and timely marketing that keep these impulse brands top of mind through culturally relevant marketing. I love Wendy’s “challenger” marketing approach that is leveraging its unique product difference in very clever comparative marketing.
Continue reading “Marketing Giant Interview With Rob Malcolm”

The Risks of Following a Blue Ocean Strategy

Blue Ocean Strategy

Adopting a Blue Ocean Strategy, pivoting to a brand-new markets without competitors, is, for many, the holy grail of corporate strategy. Who does not want to make competitors irrelevant and to in grow a vast, blue, new market uncontested? It it smooth sailing or is it too good to be true?

Pursuing a Blue Ocean strategy can be a great choice for many companies, but it is not without risks or challenges. It’s also not easy. Otherwise, every company would pursue a blue ocean. Let’s start with the definition of blue ocean and then let’s explore the challenges and risks in pursuing such a strategy. Continue reading “The Risks of Following a Blue Ocean Strategy”

Writing well is an essential business skill

Knowledge is useless unless you know how to communicate it – in writing.

We live in a world where most communication happens in 140 character messages, 7 second videos and short text messages. It’s easy to forget how important is good writing as an essential and personal skill.

I have been inspired by David Ogilvy, the father of advertising. His story is really interesting. His teachings fundamental. His books are some of the first every marketer should read. In the Unpublished David Ogilvy, I found great advice by the master.

The better you write, the higher you will go in Ogilvy and Mather. People who think well, write well.Continue reading “Writing well is an essential business skill”

Marketing Expert Interview with Margo Aaron on the Essence of Marketing

Margo Aaron marketing expert interview

Today’s interview is a little different. I usually interview marketers I have had the opportunity to know or work with for many years. A few weeks ago I stumbled across Margo’s posts on on Medium and then on her blog. I was immediately hooked by her writing style and her views on marketing, which I am proud to bring to this interview today:

1. What company is an example of good marketing today? Who do you admire?

There’s a famous saying, “When Aeschines spoke, his countrymen said, “How well he speaks.” But when Demosthenes spoke, they said, “Let us march against Phillip.”” In other words, the best marketing doing look or feel like marketing. You don’t want someone to say, “Wow that was a great ad!” you want them to say, “I need those shoes!”
Bench does a fantastic job of this, so does Masterclass.

The copy doesn’t say “Learn how to act” or “take a class on acting” – it says, “Meet your new acting teacher.” It’s speaking directly to it’s target market. They don’t want to “learn acting” – they want to get better and they who want to learn from a pro. 

2. Did you have a mentor or a person you learnt the most from? What was a key lesson?
Continue reading “Marketing Expert Interview with Margo Aaron on the Essence of Marketing”

What is Product Marketing and why is it so Important?

What is Product Marketing?

What is Product Marketing? Why is such an important function so misunderstood?

One of the biggest challenges for marketers today is that we are too often focused on the most tactical aspects of the job: promotion, contacts, reach, social marketing, etc.

We forget that the most important part of marketing, the source of value, is our understanding of customers, what customers want, and how to align your products to their needs and how they buy. Most marketing teams don’t have anyone dedicated to this function.

This is especially important in B2B because buying processes are more complex, there are usually more buyers involved, and products tend to be more technically complex.  To solve this problem, a relatively new function has been created, which is often referred to as product, audience or solutions marketing.
Continue reading “What is Product Marketing and why is it so Important?”

B2B Marketing Expert Interview with Christine Viera

B2B Marketing Expert

Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Christine Viera, a B2B Marketing expert, former CMO of Kapost and current VP of Strategic Marketing and Customer Experience at Level 3. Her experience also includes companies like Oracle, Avid, and Avaya. I admire Christine for her customer centricity and her focus on content, which you will se in the interview.


1. What company is an example of good marketing today? Who do you admire?

I admire how Jon Miller at Engagio has changed the conversation in B2B marketing. He and his team have been central to elevating account-based marketing from a tactic to a movement. It’s exciting to see key areas of marketing become the focus on entrepreneurship. Continue reading “B2B Marketing Expert Interview with Christine Viera”

RadioShack Strategy: A Lesson for Business Leaders

Strategy example: Radio Shack

RadioShack lost its focus and pursued a path where they had no significant advantage in a highly competitive field. In other words, RadioShack’s strategy was the wrong one.

The company fell into the “Large Market” trap. The same trap many entrepreneurs fall into. We see it on Shark Tank, I see it in strategy discussions in large companies. What is this trap and how to escape it? read on…

Continue reading “RadioShack Strategy: A Lesson for Business Leaders”

Are We Doing Content Marketing Right?

Are we failing at content marketing?

Without question, Content Marketing is one of the hottest topics today. But we are in the early days. Are we doing content marketing right?

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to participate in a Content Marketing panel at the Texas Marketing Summit in Houston. The other panelists provided with great insight. I also came to the conclusion that our understanding of Content Marketing is in its infancy, much like social media was 8 years ago.

It seems we still have much to learn and to improve as marketers. Sometimes it feels we are failing. Are you failing too?

Let’s Start With the Basics.

To understand the right way to do content marketing, let’s be clear about what it is not:

  • Content marketing is not new – it’s been around for a long time
  • Content marketing is not a strategy – it should support your existing strategy
  • Content marketing is not a program – but it should influence your marketing programs
  • Content marketing should not be a department in marketing – all of marketing should embrace it
  • Content marketing is not a tool or a set of tools – tools support it and enable it
  • Content marketing is not publishing blog posts, slideshare decks, and Instagram posts

If your view of content marketing falls under one of the bullets above, you are limiting your success. Content marketing is far more powerful than that. Continue reading “Are We Doing Content Marketing Right?”

Extreme Ownership – Leadership Lessons from the SEAL Team

Extreme Ownership Leadership Navy Seals


It is not easy to find a truly good leadership book. Two of the best I have found bring lessons from the military: Lead like Ike, and Turn the Ship Around. Maybe it is because they deal with life-and-death situations, or maybe because there are clear missions with no ambiguity over who won and who lost.

Navy SEALs are some of the highest-performing military teams in the World. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin are retired Navy Seal officers who fought in Iraq. This posts covers 10 leadership lessons from their book, Extreme Ownership.  The core idea is that leadership is based in clarity, trust and accountability.

I listened to the audio book version. In the last five years I have gone to maybe 200 audio books, most of which I probably would not have read otherwise. I don’t listen to music in my car anymore. It is one of the best investments I have made. I recommend you give Audible a try.


Here are the 10 Leadership Lessons from Navy SEALs Jocko Willink and Leif Babin:


1. Leaders Embrace Extreme Ownership

Extreme Ownership is the most important concept of this book, and it threads across the other lessons. It is a concept I have written about before in a post titled There are no Excuses, the Ball is in Your Court. And is one that we should apply to the business world. You can’t blame your products, your boss, your budget, the economy, competitors or your team for your success or failure.  You are accountable for your success in your job, your career and your life.

A true leader owns the outcome. When things go wrong, you have to take ownership. No excuses.

“On any team, in any organization, all responsibility for success and failure rests with the leader. The leader must own everything in his or her world. There is no one else to blame. The leader must acknowledge mistakes and admit failures, take ownership of them, and develop a plan to win.” Continue reading “Extreme Ownership – Leadership Lessons from the SEAL Team”