30 Things You Can Learn From Seth Godin’s “Small Is the New Big” Book [Marketing Book Review]

Why small companies? Because that is where the employees are the ones who make the decisions. Compared to Seth Godin’s book “Permission Marketing”, “Small Is the New Big” gives more insights into the author’s own business experience than digital marketing advice. Seth proves himself to be very daring in choosing certain companies as examples to criticize for their poor marketing attempts. As Seth himself warns, do not read the entire book at once. It’s full of information, and you need to find relevant examples of what Seth shares in your own experience with marketing as you’re reading the book. Here are 30 useful things you may want to remember after reading “Small Is the New Big”:

1.  Implement change when nothing else works and to refresh your marketing approach. The people you work with and your clients might find it difficult to accept change or to adapt to it. However, you can choose to target the segment that actually wants to change something.
2. Asking for a name instead of a username reduces your chances of getting users and leads to reveal anything else about themselves. Anonymity creates more discussions and buzz. This is not always good. Online auctions are fraudulent, spam is a daily business, while false information travels across the Internet all the time. Unverified and erroneous advice can be harmful to users who act based solely on what they read on forums and group chats.
3. It’s difficult and risky to make a decision when you have no data available. However, risk is not deadly!
4. Successful people do not have more time than you do, and they are not necessarily more intelligent. Fear of failure or rejection by itself is enough to keep that success away from you.
5. Offer something valuable at all times. Whatever you give should focus on the client and his needs, not on yourself or your brand.
6. Do not miss a chance. Explore and overcome your limits and your fears. Do everything right from the beginning.
7. Start small, but don’t refuse big chances.
8. Plan and improve.
9. Your employees are your marketing department. There is no better marketing strategy than that of the word of mouth your employees provide.
10. Competence is not always what you need to look for when hiring. People who have experience with a previous company might find it difficult to adapt to yours. This is why many of today’s successful companies are owned and developed by young people who don’t necessarily have the needed experience in business but they have a strong will and they can creatively make use of their innovative ideas and knowledge.
11. Work during weekends together with your team.
12. Want to know more about your customers? Offer small rewards after they complete a survey. You learn something about your customers, and they use the coupon to actually buy something from your e-shop.
13. Create something worthwhile, then talk about it.
14. Make your clients your amplifiers. Offer them easy ways to promote your brand. Remember that your best and most active clients deserve more than the others.
15. People don’t care about you. They only want to satisfy their own needs and desires with the help of what you sell. You are in no position to command what they will or should buy. You can only guide your buyers.
16. Our ideas about the future are still changing.
17. Design is free. It costs just as much to use a hard to read font or an appealing one.
18. Rarity adds value.
19. Choose simple, clear, and easy to remember brand names.
20. The best marketers don’t ask for anything. They earn the attention they want and their leads.
21. Don’t expect success from the beginning. Also, don’t give up when you’re close to boosting your business.
22. Everything has or should have a story. Show why your product/service has a better story than that of your competitors. Good marketers tell authentic stories before they sell. If you’re lacking creativity, use a basic story people already know and adapt it to your own brand.
23. Urgency is not an excuse for a mistake or a bad decision. Make a difficult decision before you decide on the easier aspects.
24. Being able to create discussion around your product is efficient marketing. Conversations with your desired segments of interest occur whether you look for them or not. Make use of all occasions to find out more about your buyers and their shopping behavior.
25. Marketing is an investment; when done right, it can bring back what you have spent on it.
26. People buy what they desire, and what they want the most are the emotions and feelings that particular product or experience can bring.
27. Start from the presumption that all people are egoists, lazy, uninformed, and impatient. Aim to fix these problems.
28. Smaller companies interact better with their customers/clients. Small companies are the new success makers because they are prepared for the future and they are open to change and innovation.
29. What worked in the past won’t always work now. TV shows, for example, were much more valuable years ago since there weren’t that many to see. The mainstream phenomenon led to a decrease in the quality of everything we produce and consume.
30. People react more often to verbs because they want to see the action that can solve their problems or fulfill their desires.

Overall book grade: 7/10

Read more of Seth Godin’s ideas on his Typepad blog or check out some of his other books.

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