All businesses are now storytellers

No doubt as an assiduous marketing professional, you are well aware of Seth Godin’s book ‘All Marketers Are Liars’. The book is actually about telling and using authentic marketing narratives but, ironically, Seth got his own storytelling wrong.

Fortunately, his publisher has given him a second chance and the new title now represents the gist of his story much more accurately. Few of us get a such a second chance in a world with instant, 24/7 media.

As a creative content creator, Godin’s new title will become one of those stories that will illuminate my own narratives and illustrate the importance of authenticity and accuracy.

As Godin says, lying doesn’t pay off any more. That’s because when you fabricate a story that just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, you get caught. Fast.

So, it’s tempting to be economic with the truth but it doesn’t take long for the reality to catch up with the story. We can spin a tale about a piece of technology or a customer service policy but once it is exposed to social media, we’re lost.

Godin’s book talks about two sides of a universal truth, one that has built every successful brand, organisation and candidate and one that we rarely have the words to describe.

Every day, we see brands fail because they failed to ask and answer these questions. We see worthy candidates fail to demonstrate authenticity in a most public way and flawed ones bite the dust. Ask US Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Perry.

There are small businesses that are so focused on what they do that they forget to take the time to craft the story of why they do it. And so on and so forth.

If what you’re doing matters, really matters — and it should do to you — then I hope you’ll take the time to tell a story: a story that resonates and a story that is authentic and true.


A corporate blog: more important than it ever was

Seth Godin on blogging…

“Blogging is free. It doesn’t matter if anybody reads it. What matters is the humility that comes from writing it. What matter is the meta-cognition of thinking about what you’re going to say. How do you explain yourself to the few employees – or your cat – or whoever is going to look at it?

How do you force yourself to describe — in three paragraphs — why you did something? How do you respond out loud? If you’re good at it [blogging], some people are going to read it. If you’re not good at it, and you stick with it, you’ll get good at it.

This has become much bigger than, “are you Boing Boing or The Huffington Post?” This has become such a micro-publishing platform that you’re basically doing it for yourself… to force yourself to become a part of the conversation, even if it’s not that big. That posture change, changes an enormous amount.”

Tom Peters on blogging…

“I will simply say that my first post was in August of 2004. No single thing in the last fifteen years — professionally – has been more important to my life than blogging.

It has changed my life. It has changed my perspective. It has changed my intellectual outlook. It has changed my emotional outlook, and it’s the best damn marketing tool by an order of magnitude I’ve ever had… and it’s free.”