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Meatball Sundae: How new marketing is transforming the business world (and how to thrive in it) Kindle Edition
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There's no doubt about it, Seth Godin is a leading thinker on marketing but I found this book long-winded and with little substance. Irritatingly this is a book I'd flicked through in a book store and bought. I think I must have read the few good bits. It rarely kept my attention and I think it's made up of blog posts which, while connected, don't seem to run into each other very well.
I love the metaphor of the Meatball Sundae - it's the result of combining two good things together and creating something messy and disgusting because the flavours clash.
Meatball Sundae is based around a series of trends:
1 - Direct communication and commerce between producers and consumers
2 - Amplification of the voice of the consumer and independent authorities
3 - Need for an authentic story as the number of sources increase
4 - Extremely short attention plans due to clutter
5 - The long tail
6 - Outsourcing
7 - Google and the dicing of everything
8 - Infinite channels of communication|
9 - Direct communication and commerce between consumers and consumers
10 - The shifts in scarcity and abundance
11 - The triumph of big ideas
12 - The shift from how many to who
13 - The wealthy are like us
14 - New gatekeepers, no gatekeepers
I felt it was a marketing pitch to corporate America rather than a useful guide to small businesses worldwide. Many of the examples used weren't familiar to me and that inevitably reduced their communication power.
I thought it was a waste of my time reading it but I kept hoping for something better to come through because I had faith in Seth Godin. Sadly I think he has created a Meatball Sundae himself.
About my book reviews - My goal is to help you to find the best business advice. I aim to be a tough but fair reviewer because the main cost of a book is not the money to buy it but the time needed to read it and absorb it. A two star review indicates that I'm very disappointed and I believe the book should have been much better to deserve your attention.
Paul Simister, business coach
There's no denying Godin has a dynamic approach to getting his ideas across. And there are some `remarkable' insights in this book, although many of them have appeared in his previous works. And whisper it quietly, many of them are often variations on well-established marketing theories.
What is special about this book is that Godin provides a real and practical sense of how the internet is changing perceptions about marketing. But in a desire to get our attention, and attain guru status he has a tendency to overstate his case. As with many business gurus there is also the tendency to resort to `common-sense' assertion and easy-on-the-ear sound bytes.
For many of us on the European side of the `Big Pond' the old marketing Godin writes about never quite had the hold it seemed to have in the States. And if you are a small business or SME (small & medium enterprise) it tends to be even less relevant. So, to a certain extent, I agree with Godin that much of the older, conventional marketing overstretched their big idea and now it is being found wanting. But I'm not sure it should be dispensed with altogether. And to be fair, Godin doesn't really say this, although his rhetorical flourishes mean this point often gets lost.
My reservations about Godin's book - and here I'm being rather `picky' - is that some good `old marketing' approaches, particularly those that have focused on the importance of building relationships, will have dropped off the radar when the `cream' of the new marketing has begun to curdle. Now that's really mixing your metaphors!
I also have reservations about how a growing `brand' of new marketers make great play with the idea of `authenticity' to make their case. They seem to take it rather for granted that it is a straightforward matter to recognise what count as `authentic' offerings.
Godin claims that if new marketers concentrate on offering `an authentic story that matches our worldview, we'll believe it.' What he doesn't acknowledge here is how the TV industrial complex, which he claims to be outdated, has influenced and continues to influence our worldview. Arguably, part of what the internet does is simply `bounce' and echo these `worldviews' across cyberspace.
And in his conclusion, Godin offers some very old-fashioned marketing theory when he states: `[New marketers] are going to grow fast using [their] knowledge of human nature and the New Marketing that allows people to express their nature.' This sounds suspiciously like old marketing to me. Why it is Godin is able to lay claim to having meaningful insights into human nature, I'm not quite sure. Maybe it has something to do with the occupational hazards of being a business guru.
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