All marketers are liars

All marketers are liars – Seth Godin

The power of telling authentic stories in a low-trust world

The first known work of Seth Godin’s books, “All marketers are liars” delivers the essential rule of marketing: storytelling. Thus, by reading this book, you will discover 5 essential marketing ideas:

  • If the marketer is a liar, he is far from being the only one;
  • If the marketer is a liar, he keeps a sense of responsibility;
  • It would be unwise to try to convince everyone;
  • There’s nothing like a story that comes from the heart, authentic;
  • Wanting to beat your competitor at his own game is doomed to failure.

Storytelling or the art of telling stories

Men have always told stories to each other. It allows them to explain the world they don’t understand, it reassures them. That’s what marketing is all about, it’s much more than advertising. If marketers tell stories, it’s because that’s what the consumer wants. So the marketer is a liar only in that he tells stories.

Seth Godin gives us the example of Riedel’s glasses. Riedel is a glassblower who creates wine glasses of different kinds. Then he promotes them by saying that his glasses improve the taste of the wine. And this story works because he has persuaded an eminent oenologist that this is true!

Seven rules to tell a good story

In order for a story to be effective, i.e. to hit your target, you have to respect the following seven rules:

  • Be authentic and consistent;
  • Make a promise and keep it;
  • Be reliable;
  • Be subtle;
  • Captivate your audience from the beginning;
  • Use your senses;
  • Don’t try to please everyone.
Readers of this article also read : The Power of Now – Eckhart Tolle

As you build your story, think about :

  • Responding to the desires of the consumer;
  • Valuing his ego;
  • Play on his sense of belonging.

The purchase is rarely rational, it is rather impulsive and responds to a desire, a desire much more than a real need. It is therefore not the product itself that is important but the story around the product. It is therefore important to give people what they want and therefore to tell them the story they want to hear.

So the first thing to do is to know your target audience. Never try to change people’s minds, it doesn’t work. Adapt to the vision your target has. Use the right language: “safe carrying” is close to “banning guns”, yet depending on your target’s worldview, they will be more sensitive to either of these terms.

Knowing how the human brain works

Our brain sorts the information it receives through 4 mechanisms. It :

  • Tracks the differences;
  • Seeks an explanation for everything;
  • Likes to guess the right answer;
  • Seeks to reinforce its own convictions.

It is important to know how the human brain works in order to tell an effective story.

A good marketer is authentic

All marketers lie. Yes, but that doesn’t stop them from being authentic:

  • Tell a story, but don’t cheat your customers; stay authentic and don’t cheat or the audience will turn away.
  • Don’t confuse “bluff” with “fraud”: “bluff” is focusing your story on a particular point of view; “fraud” is lying without worrying about the consequences.
  • To stand out from your competitors, tell a different story. Be bold, don’t be afraid of not pleasing everyone: take responsibility for your story and your vision.


In “All marketers are liars”, Seth Godin shares with us a very interesting and very fashionable concept: storytelling. However, the book would have benefited from being shortened. Indeed, Seth Godin dilutes enormously its purpose. The content is poorly organized and does not really give any method or actions to implement (it is more of a theoretical treatise than a practical work) but it delivers many interesting ideas that you can identify and exploit for a concrete use in your marketing strategy.

My strong points :

The concept of storytelling, which represents a relevant marketing strategy ;
The many key ideas to be identified and explored for an interesting implementation.

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After reading the book what are your the Strong points and Negative points???

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