Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook Summary

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Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is a message to everyone who’s not on the social media train yet, showing them how to tell their story the right way on social media, so that it’ll actually get heard.

I love Gary Vaynerchuk. I’m not one of those people who claim to hustle as much as he does, but his talks inspire me to go above and beyond what I was doing before. Given he has a new book out in two weeks, a collection of lessons from his #AskGaryVee Show, I thought it’s time to take a look at this gem.

Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook is not only the book’s name, it’s also Gary’s formula for social media success. When it came out in 2013 it rattled the social media world and became Gary’s third New York Times bestseller.

If you’re not getting the most out of your social media game yet (trust me, you aren’t), then this is for you.

Here are 3 great lessons from the book:

  • If you’re not on social media, you’re going to lose.
  • You have to constantly deliver great content, that’scustom-tailored to the platform, before asking for something in return.
  • Instagram is your best bet for massive engagement among themasses.

Ready for Social Media 101? The class is in session!

Lesson 1: If you’re not on social media, you’re going to lose.

As of April 2014, there are 327 million phones in the US – but only 317 million people.

That’s more phones than people.

No wonder it seems everyone’s iPhone is glued to their hand. What’s more, 70% of Americans are on Facebook, Snapchat reports 100 million DAILY active users, and 400 million people are on Instagram each month, the platform that outgunned Twitter last year.

People are using social media a lot – and wherever the attention is is where marketers should go.

It’s normal for new media to replace the old, but the revolution happens faster and faster, because more people can easily be reached at scale. It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million people, TV 13 and Instagram?

18 months.

If you haven’t started yet, start now. When you’re not on social media, you will lose.

Lesson 2: You have to constantly deliver great content, that’s custom-tailored to the platform, before asking for something in return.

The way you win the social media game is by producing great content.

In the old days this might’ve meant one set of six awesome TV commercials, which run for 6 months, but now this means fresh, fantastic, daily content, year-round.

How do you do that?

Simple: You let your fans do it.

After all, that’s what social media is for.

You provide the framework of a great story, that you craft around your brand, and let the users share, engage and fill in the gaps.

The key is to give your fans and community so much value, that when you ask for a sale, people will actually feel guilty for not supporting you, because you’ve helped them so much.

That’s what jab, jab, jab, right hook stands for – give, give, give, and then ask.

However, not all jabs are created equal, and you should pay attention to these 3 things when crafting your content:

It can’t be annoying or intrusive. You’re not trying to shove your brand into the users face, so be classy. Subtle, seamlessly integrating content that’s visually appealing works best.

It can’t be too demanding. Don’t make your users jump through hoops. Make it fun, informative, and entertaining.

It must be native to the platform it lives on. This is a big one.

No, cross-posting from Instagram to Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr, does not mean you just served great content on all platforms.

Gary says content is king, but context is god.

There’s a reason the top 20 Vine accounts are all comedians, why Twitter only allows 140 characters and that Snapchat deletes all the content once you’ve seen it.

Never disrespect the context of the platform you’re acting on.

Lesson 3: If you want massive engagement across all ages, be on Instagram.

This lesson is not directly from the book, even though it does talk about Instagram quite a bit.

Gary’s been very bullish on Instagram from the get-go, but even more so in the past 2 years. Just last week, he released a video which demonstrates the tremendous power of Instagram in 2016 in just 28 seconds.

With over 400 million users, 75 million using it daily, and the platform forcing you to consume all the content in one feed, Instagram shows much higher engagement rates than Facebook and Twitter combined.

Instagram accounts pop up out of nowhere, and then amass a whopping 500,000 followers in a year, like Nathan Chan did for his entrepreneurship magazine Foundr.

The biggest growing demographic on Instagram right now is 40-50 year old women, showing not only kids use it, but older generations catch on to it as well.

Yours truly just joined the game 3 days ago and already counts 153 followers – what are you waiting for?

My personal take-aways

You could watch Gary Vee talk for hours and hours – and that’s great. But picking up this book will give you a lot of his great information on social media in a very structured form with tons of examples.

Buy this bookhttps://amzn.to/2SFvQpP

Influence Summary

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 Influence has been the go-to book for marketers since its release in 1984, which delivers six key principles behind human influence and explains them with countless practical examples.

Another modern business classic, just like The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, though published even earlier. It’s hard to believe that this book is over 30 years old, but yes, that’s how long its been since Dr. Robert Cialdini published it.

The book outlines 6 powerful principles, which influence the way we make decisions. Cialdini calls them shortcuts, which, if triggered, make us jump to conclusions faster.

Therefore, our brains like to use them, even when they’re used against us, for example to trick us into buying something.

Here are my favorite 3 of the 6:

  • You can use the reciprocity bias to build up a massive good karma account.
  • The scarcity bias works, because we hate to miss opportunities.
  • Make a small commitment to trigger your consistency bias and reach your goal.

Let’s take a closer look!

Lesson 1: You can use the reciprocity bias to build up a massive good karma account.

Imagine caveman Grok would have constantly been worried about his tasty beets. He’d never have shared any with Jane, the friendly cavewoman next door, because he didn’t see anything in it for him.

Subsequently, she would have never returned the favor with a late-night cave dinner and neither you, nor I, nor any of us would be here.

So why did Grok share his beets with Jane?


He knew that if he gave her food, she would owe him one.

Even though the reciprocity bias is one of the foundational reasons why we’re alive, today it’s often used against us.

We always feel compelled to return a favor, and marketers know this.

Not only that, we’ll usually return a much bigger favor than was made to us.

Consider this study from Cornell University in 1971, where researcher Joe brought some of the participants a 10 cent bottle of Coke (good times).

When asked to buy raffle tickets from Joe shortly afterwards, the people who “owed Joe one” bought 50 cents worth of tickets.

This is not only 5 times as much as the price of the Coke, but also twice as much money spent on tickets as in the scenarios where Joe didn’t bring people the Coke beforehand.

It’s the same trick the Hare Krishna’s have been using for decades by giving people flowers, and marketers often abuse it.

However, you can also flip this around.

Instead of trying to guilt people into reciprocity, why not just do good things without being asked to either way?

Go out of your way to help other people and you’ll naturally build up a massive good karma account. No tricks needed.

Lesson 2: Because we hate to miss opportunities, scarcity makes us act.

Don’t you hate missing out on a good deal? I know I’ve beaten myself up over a few Appsumo deals because I didn’t act fast enough.

The fact that you get so angry at yourself for not buying those jeans last week when they were on sale, or got that delicious pizza before they ran out for the day, is the reason why the scarcity bias works.

We beat ourselves up a lot for missing opportunities, regret is a powerful feeling.

People who were told of a limited time meat sale bought 3 times as much, even more when they learned that only they knew about the sale.

It makes me sad to see all this fake scarcity around the web now, where marketers peddle digital products with countdowns, limited edition labels and deadlines, as if they’re rare metals or oil.

So pay attention the next time you sign up for an email list and are offered a “2-day only” deal shortly afterwards. Unsubscribe and re-subscribe, and the loop starts all over again.

The scarcity bias is one of the most widely abused ones, so try to spot it wherever you can.

Lesson 3: When you make a small commitment, it triggers your consistency bias and helps you reach your goal.

Imagine you’re chilling on your towel at the beach, when suddenly, someone steals the radio of the person next to you, while they’re away.

What would you do?

If you’re honest, probably nothing, like 4 out of 5 people do.

Now imagine for a second that before leaving, your towel neighbor had asked you to watch her things.

Would you just let the thief get away? Most likely, you would at the very least say something.

In a study that tested this exact scenario, 95% of the people who committed to watching another person’s things even got up and chased down the thief.

A small commitment sure goes a long way, because it triggers your consistency bias.

This bias is very useful, because you can use it in your favor. For example, if you make a small commitment of not hitting the snooze button in the morning, you’ll really want to follow through.

Once you’re up, you can then use the extra time to develop an awesome morning routine.

Use mini commitments to jumpstart reaching your goals and then let the consistency bias take you the rest of the way.

My personal take-aways

Whether you’re trying to avoid being influenced, looking for ways to trick yourself into building better habits or have a good message to spread across the world, this book will help you get there.

Thanks to this summary alone, I’ve avoided many stupid purchases and built better relationships. It lists all the biases with examples, and is more than enough to get started.

I suggest you also watch this speed drawing video, which gives even more context.

I haven’t read the book myself, but it’s on the list, as I expect many more good examples, which will help remember all the biases.

Buy this bookhttps://amzn.to/2X82Buz

Duct Tape Marketing Summary

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Duct Tape Marketing introduces small businesses to the nuts and bolts of marketing in the 21st century by taking them all the way from character profiles and strategy through specific marketing tactics to building a great referral system.

Duct Tape Marketing is one of those books where you know the title before knowing it’s a book. I’d heard the phrase before and it stuck (I guess the title does its job). After having talked briefly via email with John Jantsch‘s daughter about their podcast, I added the book summary to my library.

Here are my 3 learnings from one of the top marketing books for small businesses:

Have a mission.

Build a base of champions.

Be online.

Alright, let’s take ’em for a spin!

Lesson 1: Have a mission.

The summary talks about objectives, missions, goals and a marketing strategy. Out of all of these, the mission seems to be the one you mustn’t screw up.

I’ve mentioned Walmart’s mission before, to bring people retail products at the lowest price with the greatest service. That’s a mission I can support.

Your mission should always be somewhat idealistic and focus on the greater good. A mission example from a window cleaning company was along the lines of “We treat the homes we enter as if they were our own.”

My mission over at my blog is to bring people step-by-step instructions to build better habits, so they can start improving their lives 1% at a time.

It’s what keeps you going when you want to quit. It’s not your drive to become the market leader or your goal to double your revenue that will push you when you need it the most.

When you hit a roadblock, and you don’t have a mission, you will quit. So make sure you have one before your first, inevitable, big crash.

Lesson 2: Build a base of champions.

This part I really like. The book puts your customers into different groups, or rather stages of the customer’s journey.

There are suspects, who are a good fit, but don’t know you yet and prospects who you’ve been in touch with and that want to know more about you.

Clients are first-time buyers and repeat clients keep coming back. Lastly, there are champions. These are not only repeat customers, but they love you and your products so much, that they keep telling all of their friends about you.

Champions remind me a lot of Kevin Kelly’s 1000 true fans, as it seems that when you hit a certain number of those, your business really starts to prosper and grow.

That’s why your best new customers are your old customers. Once you have a few clients, focus on giving them the best possible experience and service, so that they’ll eventually become champions and do your marketing for you.

Lesson 3: Be online.

I’m not sure if this statement was directly quoted from the book, but I’m glad it popped up in the summary either way: If you’re not online, you don’t exist.

As someone who works with a web design agency, it almost hurts me to see so many small to medium sized businesses with either no website, or one that was made in 1997 and never touched again.

In some industries offline marketing and referrals will still work for a long time, but considering my own consumption behavior, it’s only a matter of time before everything will take place online.

People are already blind to banner ads, email open rates drop, and Facebook and Twitter engagement is ridiculously low.

Marketers have to become smarter and smarter in this cat-and-mouse-game, but the only way to win is to start playing.

Trying to become successful online is a crazy mess as it is (I would know), so don’t seal your own fate by thinking you don’t need it.

So pick a channel, whether that’s a website, Instagram account, Facebook page, or podcast, but pick one, and start creating.

My personal take-aways

It’s just too much information, too many terms thrown around – which is probably a sign that the book is really good. 

Nevertheless, It covers all the basics you need to know, if your small organization is still fairly new and doesn’t know too much about marketing.

I loved the idea of building a base of champions and the different stages of the customer journey and will remember it for my own marketing.

Crushing It Summary

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 Crushing It is Gary Vaynerchuk’s follow-up to his personal branding manifesto Crush It, in which he reiterates the importance of a personal brand and shows you the endless possibilities that come with building one today.

Last January, Gary Vaynerchuk launched the 2017 Flip Challenge. It was an effort to get people to stop complaining and start taking their lives into their own hands by starting the simplest business in the world: picking out cheap and rare items from their home or garage sales and selling them on eBay. Thousands of people jumped on the opportunity, having been unaware of the potential behind selling their unused stuff.

As the challenge went on and success stories piled up, he started showcasing some of them on Medium, which ended up influencing his next book. Crushing It is a case study collection of people, who’ve taken up Gary on his advice from Crush It back in 2009 to build a personal brand, mixed with his latest take on how to achieve exactly that today.

Here’s are 3 lessons that are both practical and philosophical at once:

  • You don’t need a product to monetize a personal brand.
  • A solid social media presence is built on seven principles.
  • Don’t overthink creating content, just document yourjourney.

Gary was right in 2009, yet most of us still haven’t started putting our lives online. Do you really want to risk waking up to him being right again ten years from now, not having done anything? Didn’t think so. Let’s do this!

Lesson 1: Personal brands can be monetized in lots of ways, so you don’t need to create your own product.

When you have a restaurant or brick and mortar store, a personal brand seems like an obvious move. After all, you can use your social media clout to fill the seats or make more sales. But what if you have neither a service, nor something to sell? Well, ask Brittany Xavier from Thrifts and Threads.

Initially, she just documented her life as a young mom for fun on Instagram. Eventually, she noticed similar accounts tagging brands in their posts, so she started doing the same. Soon, those brands began reaching out and once she hit 10,000 followers, she began to charge for advertising them in her posts. Now, Thrifts and Threads is a full-fledged family lifestyle brand, focusing on cheap, yet stylish outfits, decor and more.

Like a startup, a personal brand doesn’t need a business model right from the start. You can figure it out as you go. As long as your content is high quality, the money will inevitably follow.

Lesson 2: Gary has seven principles he thinks should mark the base of any social media presence.

Gary has a few themes, both in business and in life. They’ve changed little to nothing throughout the years, because they’re virtues of who he is as a person. As such, they’re a big part of how he’s grown his own businesses and personal brand to such massive levels. Here they are:

Intent. Good entrepreneurs make lots of money. Great entrepreneurs do it in altruistic ways. People can sense when we use them merely for our personal gains, which is why this approach rarely works in the long term.

Authenticity. Similar to intent, a 27-year-old like me posing as a life coach or leadership expert would just come across as cheesy. Be transparent about who you are and where you are in life. You don’t have to teach people how to play the guitar. You can just learn it alongside them.

Passion. More so than having to be excited about what you want to create or sell or promote, you have to be passionate about life. About giving. Who would you rather hear talk about knitting, video games, or the news: an optimist, or a complainer?

Patience. Good things always take time. Those who strike gold early will have to learn how to maintain it later, and those who don’t must slowly grind their way to the top of the mountain.

Speed. Just as important as patience in the macro is speed in the micro. Waiting for the results indicates having done something to get them.

Work. It’s hard to find someone who works harder than Gary. It’s the one big variable you control. Besides putting in the time, hard work is also about not being too fancy to do the dirty work yourself. Email people, pick up the phone, send your own tweets. Don’t outsource yourself when you are the brand.

Attention. What works in an online world changes twice a day. Some of the platforms who used to laugh at traditional media have already become traditional media themselves. Keep your eyes open.

Regardless of whether you start a brand or not, if you centered your life around these values, I think that’d make a pretty good life.

Lesson 3: Instead of worrying about what particular content to create, just document your journey.

The part where most people get hung up on, the main reason why they never start creating a personal brand, is that when they sit down to publish, they freeze. “What do I talk about? I don’t have anything to say!” That’s because we look at the process like it’s an artist’s work. But it’s not.

Originally, no social media platform, not Facebook, not Twitter, not even Instagram, was built to share a stylized highlight reel of your life. They were always meant to just live your life, but do it online. So instead of handcrafting each post, just start by documenting what you do anyway. Record yourself practicing soccer tricks, tweet your thoughts about a book, or post old family photos.

Gary, for example, runs a multimillion dollar business. As a CEO, he’s always in meetings or traveling around. That’s why he hired videographer DRock to follow him around all day and then has a team of people who use that video content to create Youtube videos, quote pictures, blog articles, podcasts and more.

Most of us can’t afford that, but we don’t need to, because we can just use our phones. Document, don’t create.

My personal take-aways

I love Gary. He’s one part inspiration, one part strategy, and one part tactics. So is this book. It’s easy to understand, showcases different social media platforms and how they work, as well as presents lots of examples of people Crushing It. If you want to check out some more of his books, I’ve written summaries of Crush It, The Thank You Economy, and Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, as well.

Buy this bookhttps://amzn.to/2S4V7oo

Crush It Summary

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Crush It is the blueprint you need to turn your passion into your profession and will give you the tools to turn yourself into a brand, leverage social media, produce great content and reap the financial benefits of it.

It’s hard not to love Gary Vaynerchuk. The guy wants to build an empire on being the nicest guy in town, and he’s well on his way to do so. Right now he runs VaynerMedia, a massive digital & social marketing agency in NYC, has a very popular Youtube show called #AskGaryVee and speaks regularly at social media conferences.

Before he turned into a social media maverick, Gary ran his family’s wine business, WineLibrary, in New Jersey.

Crush It was written in 2009, the year he also founded VaynerMedia, and is based on the lessons he learned growing that business, primarily through an incredibly early and eventually very popular wine show on Youtube.

He realized that thanks to the web and social media, anyone can now turn their passion into their profession. Here are 3 lessons to help you do just that:

In order to profit from your passion, you have to turn yourself into a brand.

Pick a medium that fits you to tell stories people want to hear.

Always be authentic in your content.

Ready to turn hobby into profession? Let’s go and get it!

Lesson 1: In order to profit from your passion, you have to turn yourself into a brand.

It was true in 2009 and it’s even more true in 2016. You can make money by being yourself. Thanks to the internet and social media, the cost of entry has been lowered in almost any industry.

You can publish your own books, create your own TV show and become a radio talkshow host (aka podcaster) for next to nothing and make it all available for the world to see.

If you’re not doing it yet, but want to eventually turn your passion into your paycheck, you have to start today.

Gary turned himself into a brand when he started talking about wine in everyday terms on Youtube. 1,000 episodes of sticking to his authentic self later, he’d established himself as “the nice, obnoxious guy who talks about wine”.

A brand is a public image, which shows the world what you’re passionate about and reflects who you are.

Without a brand you won’t be able to profit from your passion financially, but luckily, creating one has become simple. Not easy, but simple.

Lesson 2: Choose a medium that fits your personality to tell stories people want to hear.

You should start by looking at a bunch of different social media and online platforms. It’s important that the platform matches who you are.

For example, if you’re super long-winded, like me, then Twitter might not be a good fit for you, because you can never quite fit what you want to say into 140 characters.

But you might do great with a blog on Medium or long Facebook posts. Maybe you’re an extrovert, in that case video and audio are great media for you. Each platform has its own unique context and it’s important to honor that.

Once you’ve picked a platform, it’s time to start telling stories. Give your stories everything you’ve got. Make them interesting, fun to read, watch and listen to, and make sure they help your audience understand who you are.

Telling stories is one thing, but telling stories people actually want to hear requires you to research what your audience wants and put your own spin on it. That’s how you create great content.

Lesson 3: Even if it takes a while: always be authentic in your content.

One thing you should never do though, is try to fake it. Gary is loud and drops the f-bomb all the time. But what good would it be for him to try and tone that down every time he’s in public?

People would notice, he’d just come across as phony, so he just keeps being himself.

Being authentic always means you turn some people off, but you’ll do that either way, authentic or not. Wouldn’t you rather lose the people who don’t agree with you anyway, as opposed to someone who might actually like you, but resents your fake poser pics on Instagram (especially when you have so many great real things to show)?

It might take some time, energy, and a lot of effort, but once you’ve found your voice and the confidence to always use it, no matter what, you’ll start to build a base of loyal fans who’ll love to connect with you.

My personal take-aways

The summary of this book on Blinkist is okay, if you just want the technical details, but compared to watching a Gary Vaynerchuk video it feels utterly lifeless. That’s probably because video is just his medium. Gary’s very extroverted and most charming and convincing when he yells directly at you, not from a piece of (digital) paper.

The book on the other hand feels like one long episode of the #AskGaryVee show, which is great to read. I’d still recommend just going on a binge watch of Gary’s videos though.

Buy this bookhttps://amzn.to/2Egqp89

Confessions Of An Advertising Man Summary

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Confessions Of An Advertising Man is the marketing bible of the 60s, written by “the father of advertising,” David Ogilvy to inspire a philosophy of honesty, hard work and ethical behavior in his industry.

When I started getting more interested in marketing in late 2012, I began to pay more attention to the advertisements I saw on TV, billboards and around the web. As in the US, most ads run by big corporations are bad. They either lack creativity, miss the point or the target audience, are sloppily executed or downright confusing. But every once in a while, a really interesting spot pops up.

Like this speed-reading train ride video for Deutsche Bahn, or this moving story of a truck driver coming home for Christmas from Coca-Cola. I soon learned that these rare exemptions weren’t due to a sudden spark of genius in those companies’ PR departments, but because they hired advertising agencies.

In Germany (and across the globe) Ogilvy & Mather is one of the most famous ones, and it was founded by the author of this book, David Ogilvy, in 1948. Ogilvy is known as the “father of advertising” and had a huge impact on the industry during his lifetime, especially in the 60s, promoting honesty, ethics and hard work as a philosophy for marketers.

I love marketing, but I do believe there’s a lot to be done to bring these exact values back to it in 2016 and beyond, especially considering that today, every single one of us is a media company.

That’s why I’m excited to share 3 lessons from Confessions Of An Advertising Man with you:

Only market things you believe in.

Advertising is meant to sell, not to entertain.

Use facts, mystery and the latest research to create good advertisements.

Ready for a dose of ethic marketing? Here we go!

Lesson 1: Only sell stuff you believe in.

If all marketers lived by this mantra, and nothing else, I 100% believe we would not live in a world where marketing is considered as sleazy and has a negative connotation right from the get-go.

In marketing as in any other industry, the vast majority of players is looking for the quick fix, the sale today, instead of playing the long game, which results in a lot of ads for products, which probably shouldn’t be sold at all.

One of David’s most famous quotes is this:

“The customer is not a moron. She’s your wife.” ~ David Ogilvy

He believed in soft-spoken advertisements, delivering the facts, not the fiction and never ever lying to people in your advertisements. That, of course, means you have to stand 100% behind the product in question, whether it’s soap, a soft drink or an airline, so you can write ads without lying – ads that you’d be comfortable with, even if your own family read them.

This is also what led David to only accept accounts for which he truly believed he could outperform the previous agency. In marketing, it might be more important than anywhere else that your north star is integrity.

Lesson 2: In the end, ads are meant to sell, not to entertain. Focus on the basics.

Did that Coke video above move you? It moved me. I mean, how can you not feel for the lone, hard-working truck driver, who finally gets a break and is reunited with his family on Christmas?

As inspiring as that story is, however, you can bet that if it hadn’t increased Coca-Cola sales, Ogilvy would not have run this campaign.

The definition of an ad is that it’s made to sell something, which, while obvious, tends to be forgotten easily over all the creative work and energy good advertising agencies put into their campaigns. Sometimes I spot ads, which, while oozing with creativity, like clever puns and stunning images, completely forget selling the product.

Having to laugh, feeling inspired or being shocked are all side effects of great marketing, not the goal. So instead of trying to win a painting competition or a Pulitzer Prize with your copy, go simple. If your moisturizer makes women above 35 look younger, say “this is how women above 35 can look younger.”

Great ads are as simple as that.

Lesson 3: Use facts, intrigue and scientific research to create great advertisements.

As the world gets noisier and noisier, creating unique marketing campaigns that stand out gets harder and harder. David Ogilvy used a 3-pronged approach to get people’s attention and hold it, and it’s still as relevant in 2016 as it was in 1963 (when this book came out).

Give people the facts, even if they’re not special.

Use mysterious and intriguing images.

Integrate research findings into your ads.

Just because it’s a given that an airline implements comprehensive safety measures doesn’t mean that marketing it as a benefit won’t work. When Ogilvy worked with KLM, that’s exactly what they did – and since no other airline talked about safety, it worked well.

Images are a great way to open curiosity gaps, stop customers dead in their tracks and make them think and ponder. An image of a new, mysterious symbol with a hint how to find out more about it, is often a lot better than trying to explain the entire premise of The Hunger Games on one poster.

Lastly, if scientific research shows that color photos work better than black and white ones, and photos in general are a lot better than paintings, why ignore what researchers have put hard work into finding out? Staying up to date on the latest research in marketing will be well worth your time.

My personal take-aways

This made me feel proud and hopeful. Why? Because even in a time when bad, mass media marketing was just beginning, there were already people trying to reverse the trend. David Ogilvy was one of them. Can’t think of a better person to learn the basics of advertising from. Great read for marketers and anyone who’s really active on social media, even just privately.

Buy this bookhttps://amzn.to/2S9Lyop

All Marketers Are Liars Summary

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All Marketers Are Liars is based on the idea that we believe whatever we want to believe, and that it’s exactly this trait of ours, which marketers use (and sometimes abuse) to sell their products by infusing them with good stories – whether they’re true or not.

This will round out the 5-pack of Seth Godin books I managed to find on Blinkist. After completely inhaling The Dip last week and starting to change my entire life after it, All Marketers Are Liars was one of the next must-reads for me.

Speaking with the same breath that brought Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook to life, this book is all about storytelling. More so, it distinguishes between good stories which are just that – good stories – and those that are authentic.

Seth is obviously a fan of the latter, and here are 3 reasons why you should too:

  • Marketing is about telling stories that people want to believe in.
  • It’s important that we want to believe in a story, because of the way our brains work.
  • While fibs can make a story better, you should never cross the line to fraud.

Want to tell an authentic story in a fuzzy world? Here we go!

Lesson 1: Successful marketers tell stories people want to believe in.

George Riedel has been telling a powerful story about wine glasses for ages. His company has been in the business of glass-blowing for over 4 centuries. Leading the family business in the 10th generation, Riedel introduced a special series of wine glasses, where different glasses are meant to bring out the best qualities of different sorts of wine.

He says that every wine tells his own unique story and the glass is the interpreter, which translates the message for the person who drinks from it. Scientific tests have later proven that there’s no difference between his glasses and others, but still wine experts and connoisseurs from all over the world swear that wine tastes better from a Riedel glass.

That’s the power of storytelling. It goes to the point where it changes the customer experience, just because of what people believe.

We live in a world where people buy what they want, not what they necessarily need. Most of us have bought a designer piece of clothing, sportswear, device or even food from a certain brand, not because of the quality (which is something we keep telling ourselves), but because of the way it reflects our beliefs and view of the world.

Lesson 2: You have to want to believe in a story, because that’s how your brain works.

The reason you think a pair of Nike’s is high quality and justifies a steep $100 price tag in addition to making you look cool, when they really just cost $5 to manufacture (hint: Macklemore’s Wings tells a great story about those) is the way your brain reacts to new information.

Like a frog can spot a moving fly by ignoring all static parts of his environment, our brains never compare new things to old things by considering all features.

You don’t check whether your new iPhone can do the same things the old one could do, that’s a given, you only look for the features that are new, like the better camera, lighter weight or new exterior design. For each new feature you discover, your brain instantly starts to make up information that justifies it and leaps on to every bit of reasonable evidence it can find.

That’s because our brains don’t like chaos and randomness. They thrive on logic. Have you ever thought your iPod is really smart, because it seems to play the same few songs you like over and over again, even when it’s set to shuffle?

Well, it’s not, but a random order of songs does never guarantee an even distribution of the songs.

Stories help us make sense of the world, so whatever we want to believe in, we end up doing so, because our brains start to support our beliefs, and not the other way around.

Lesson 3: Fibs can improve the customer experience, while fraud always hurts your authenticity.

According to Seth, there’s a difference between fibs and frauds. A fib is when you tell your spouse you had a late meeting, when really you were out shopping for their birthday present. It’s an “honest lie”, because you tell it to improve their birthday experience, not with mean intent.

Even though we’d love to believe it, it’s become impossible to never buy a product that’s overpriced, because marketers have long caught on to the value of a good story. But actually, that’s okay.

Because these little fibs, like in Riedel’s story about the wine glasses, can actually make our experience better. If you believe those Nike’s to be the most comfortable shoes you’ve ever worn, well guess what, they become just that. Fibs are okay to use on occasion, as long as they genuinely improve the experience.

Frauds however, are a whole other topic.

For example, when VW lied about the amounts of CO2 their cars emitted, key people, including CEO Martin Winterkorn, lost their positions, their stock went down the tubes and they had to recall 500,000 cars. Consumers always catch fraud, it’s just a matter of time.

Instead, target the right people with an honest message from the get-go and build a long-lasting relationship instead. The short-term benefits never outweigh the long-term value of a true connection.

My personal take-aways

One of the most fun things to do with any Seth Godin book is look at the many many examples he provides and then try to come up with your own or more recent ones. The book is from 2005, so it’s easy to find new examples, like the VW one, for all of the scenarios he describes.

What can I say? Another set of valuable lessons learned from the master – don’t think about it, go check out this book!

Buy this bookhttps://amzn.to/2SHQ9TA

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