Why it’s worth devouring Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin

I know: This book has been out a while. But a short flight from Miami three weeks ago and a long flight to Los Angeles today gave me some much-needed time to catch up on my reading. I’m glad I used it to finish Meatball Sundae and, if you’re a social media geek like me, you should grab this book.

There are only a few books I’d put on my must-read list for marketers. The Origin of Brands by Al & Laura Reis is at the top of that list. Positioning is another old school classic. Naked Conversations is the one that really nailed the power of blogging for me.Jim Tobin says buy Meatball Sundae

Add Meatball Sundae to that short list. It’s not a particularly long book, but it does a remarkable job of compartmentalizing the pieces that make up the radical shift in marketing that is occurring around us, and what that means for business success in a Web 2.0 world.

Seth Godin is a good writer. He’s a purple cow. Insightful, energetic and clear. In this book, he outlines the fourteen trends that together build the foundation for what he calls new marketing (which is social media marketing and some other stuff):

  1. Direct communication and commerce between producers and consumers;
  2. Amplification of the voice of the consumer and independent authorities;
  3. The need for an authentic story as the number of sources increases;
  4. Extremely short attention spans due to clutter;
  5. The Long Tail;
  6. Outsourcing;
  7. Google and the dicing of everything;
  8. Infinite channels of communication;
  9. Direct communication and commerce between consumers and consumers;
  10. The shifts in scarcity and abundance;
  11. The triumph of big ideas;
  12. The shift from “how many” to “who”
  13. The wealthy are like us; and
  14. New gatekeepers, no gatekeepers.

That’s an excellent summary of the trends that are driving social media marketing. Sharing some of my favorite quotes from the book may provide some insights into what it all means:

CPM is a fiction:

Seth tackles the myth of comparing new marketing to traditional advertising with a “cost per thousand” model, by comparing buying an ad in Car & Driver to reach 1,000,000 car enthusiasts in the hopes that you might sell some Shelby Cobra replicas to what new marketers might do:

The New Marketer, on the other hand, happily pays a hundred dollars (two dollars a person) for those clicks from Google. It’s a lot fewer people, of course. In fact, it’s about .005 percent as many. But the power of this medium isn’t “how many,” it’s who. And the “who” are people who have already demonstrated that right now, right this minute, they are focused on this car.

On Marketers Trying to Use Social Media to Interrupt:

At Ignite Social Media, we here a lot from folks who think we’re a cheaper way to blast out messages. We’re not. That’s known as spam, and you can do it yourself on email. But lots of people still want to interrupt the masses with their messages. That’s not what social media marketing is about.

You look at New Marketing in search of cheap ways to interrupt the disinterested. But just because the medium is new doesn’t mean it’s cheap or efficient at doing the old kind of marketing.

Let’s be really clear: The Web is the single worst medium ever devised for interrupting people who don’t want to be interrupted. It costs too much, it takes too long, and it doesn’t work.

On Why (You Believe) Social Media Won’t Work for Your Brand:

When you run a social media agency, you also hear from the skeptics who say, “That won’t work for us.” Or “We’re B2B.” Or “This sounds hard.” Then don’t do it. Certainly someone in your industry will, and they’ll eat your lunch.

It doesn’t particularly matter whether or not you sell records or do recordkeeping, whether you surf the Web or sell surfboards. It’s still the same math. Consumers are in charge. They’re bored. They’re narcissistic. And they certainly don’t have the patience for your meetings or your strategy decks or your clueless CEO.

First one in, doing it right, wins. C’mon in, the water’s fine.

Meatball Sundae’s water is fine too. Give it a read.

And a quick thanks to MyVenturePad for sending me the book. Much appreciated.

Ignite Social Media