Storytelling beats advertising every time

Posted by David Meerman Scott 12:25 PM on May 24, 2005

I've always enjoyed Seth Godin's books and have read each of them starting with Permission Marketing (1999) as they've come out. I particularly liked his e-book Really Bad Powerpoint (and how to avoid it) (2001) although I haven’t been able to find the (free) download lately. 

It was indeed a pleasure to get my Amazon delivery of his latest - "All Marketers Are Liars: The power of telling authentic stories in a low-trust world" – the day before a Boston to LA flight (I'm moderating a panel at the Software & Information Industry Association’s annual conference). Perfect. Seth has a terrific way of telling his stories in book form as a quick and fun read. I started the book at Logan Airport and finished somewhere over Kansas.

In the run up to the release of the book, I enjoyed reading Seth’s Liars Blog. Seth even sent me a liar’s nose just like he wears on the book’s cover. Check out me with the nose.  I’m wearing it tomorrow at the start of the panel I'm moderating to tell a story about the lie that blogging and journalism are the same thing.

This book is a must read for any marketer who wants to break through the noise of one-way, TV-influenced interruption marketing. Stories are authentic. Interruption is not.  I particularly liked the section "Telling Stories in an Internet World". Seth explains why good Web marketing through storytelling beats advertising every time. Check out Animal Rubber Bands for an example. This product was sold through stories told by twelve year olds.

The examples in the book are fun, breezy and easy to grasp in several hours of airplane time. And hey, Seth says the stories can even fib a bit as long as they are authentic, reach the intended audience and not a fraud. Because marketers don’t lie. We tell stories that consumers want to hear. Want an example? It sounded great for me to say I read All Marketers Are Liars starting at Logan and finishing over Kansas didn’t it? Because Kansas in the middle of the US and anyone can gague the speed at which you can finish the book. Guess what? I lied. I actually read the Boston Globe in Logan then took a nap at the beginning of the flight. The plane didn’t even fly over Kansas (I asked the pilot). But I did finish “All Marketers Are Liars” on the plane and it is a great book. Read it and learn how to be a better marketer.

David Meerman Scott

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