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All Marketers are Liars Book Summary – Seth Godin

What you will learn from reading All Marketers are Liars:

– Why all marketers are liars.

– What world views are and how to identify neglected ones.

– How to language use language to created the desired expectations. 

The reality of marketing:

People buy stories (cognitive ease) and create a placebo such as wine tastes better in certain glasses (Expectations guide reality) 

The facts are irrelevant, what matters is what the consumer believes. Stories should make people feel special and should fit into their worldview. 

Consumers rationalise purchase decisions, therefore important to meet their expectations (authenticity) 

Every touch point tells a story, therefore must be seamlessly integrated. The cost of deception is to high, especially with society so heavily interconnected. Stories magnify the remarkable. 


People and their world views:

Worldview is the rules, values, beliefs and biases that the individual brings to a situation. Don’t try to change peoples worldview however, frame stories to suit worldview. 

A worldview is not who you are, its what you believe and assumptions you have made. It’s what you belief at this very moment. 

Opportunities lie in finding neglected worldview, framing your story in a way that the audience will focus on. But, it’s not just enough to find a niche that shares a worldview. The niche has to be ready and able to influence a larger group of their friends. 

A new worldview generate opportunities for products. Fit the products into prevailing narrative. Permission marketing works well when worldview is aligned and you are giving them value. 

Remember — People don’t want to change their worldview. They like it, they embrace it an they want it to be reinforced. It’s at the edges where you will find people with unfulfilled world-views. 


How to market using worldview:

Find a shared worldview 

Frame a story around it 

Make it easy for story to spread 

Create a new market which you own 


Seths’ two step process:

  1. Invent stuff worth talking about
  2. Tell good stories about what you have invented.


Choice of language is important:

Frames are words, images and interactions that reinforce a bias someone is already thinking. Fire arm safety is different from banning handguns. Change language, changes peoples opinions and perceptions. 

In media, using the labels “conspiracy theorists” and “UFO buffs” marginalises the individual creating a certain feeling and judgement of them. 

Euphemisms capture attention and stop people from immediately crafting negative judgements: 

Committee – Task force 

Fat lady – big woman 

Maid – Room attendant 

Porn star – adult entertainer 


4 ways we process information:

  1. Look for difference compared to status quo
  2. Look for causation
  3. Use our own prediction machine
  4. Rely on cognitive dissonance (confirmation bias)


Judging others and buying stories:

Judgements are stories we tell ourselves about other people, overweighting certain actions as inherently personal (attribution error). In face of random behaviour people make up their own lies / reasons. 

You’re not buying the product you are buying the story (what its going to do for you). So, growth starts with better questions, questions about storytelling. 


Techniques and Ideas for best stories:

Shortcuts, miracles, money, social success, safety, ego, fun, pleasure and belonging. 

You have to hint at the facts, not announce them. Expectations are engines of our perceptions. 

Before creating a story consider the second order effects. 

Oxymorons are powerful, combining two contrary things peaks interest as people want to know if you can do both. 

Appeal to worldview, each diamond different, forget industry normal of carrets and focus on what each diamond says. (Subjective validation)