To make money online as an affiliate you need to understand marketing principles, at least basic ones, as being affiliate involves selling stuff at the percentage of a sale. And even if you know successful affiliate marketers with no Degree in Marketing, this doesn’t mean they are clue less when it comes to marketing the products they sell.

If I were to recommend you one single book to read on marketing, just like I recommended you one book on becoming a better person (which was The Success Principles) than it would be All Marketers Are Liars Tell Stories by Seth Godin.

What the book is about

The book touches the concept of selling I mentioned in my series on The Value which suggests that any product is worthless unless there is a subjective meaning added to it. If my words were difficult to understand that Seth’s book will surely provides enough information for you to grasp the concept. And once you do, your perception of the world around will not be the same.

The Content

The idea of the All Marketers Are Liars book is that our worldviews are based on lies. I said it in plural on purpose, because according to Seth a person can have different worldviews that change over the lifetime. The trick is to understand those worldviews and tailor your product or service specifically to them. The good thing is people can have common worldviews thus belong to a certain community where those worldviews are shared.

Once you discovered a community of people with the same view you can sell them your product or service by telling them a story about it. The story should match their perspective in order for them to hear, more importantly, listen and believe it.

The book than elaborates how consumers base their buying decision on their worldviews. A worldview becomes synonymous to a lie. For instance, people lie to themselves that the recycling program is good for the environment, while in reality the cost of the recycling far more outweighs the benefits of it. However, some countries still run recycling programs because they make people feel good about the environment.

I’d recommend this book even to those who are away from the marketing as it provides an amazing insight into how human psychology works. Nothing is for real in this world.

My Notes

As usual, here’s a list of notes I normally make for myself when reading a new book. They contain important points and things I would like to look closely after.

Step 1

We don’t want the same thing.
Worldview consists of rules, values, beliefs, biases. (furniture sale)
Frame is a story painted to leverage the worldview of the consumer.

Don’t try to change worldviews.

Identify population with a certain worldview than frame a story to that view.

Taste is an example of a person’s worldview.

“Opportunity lies in a neglected worldview”.

1. Attention.
2. Bias (grudges, wishes).
3. Vernacular (how, what is said).

Each group wants to hear stories, to be catered to.
Example: ‘Baby Einstein’ from Disney is useless for babies but satisfies parents.

There are people with complimentary worldviews.
Example: Premium tea targeting former coffee drinkers.

Frame embraces worldview not fights it.
‘File sharing’ = stealing, but carries different meaning.

Frames are images and words that reinforce bias.

When engaged audience might ignore a range of facts.

Moving story from small passionate segment to general is hard.

Candidate appealed to those who wanted to ‘make a point’ not ‘elect’.

The niche should be ready for influence. and

People want their worldviews to be reinforced.
Example: Tom from Tom’s of Maine toothpaste
- found a shared worldview;
- framed a story around that;
- made it easy for the story to spread;
- created a new market, which he now owns.

Story should be easy and worth spreading.
“Buying is not Art but Process”.

Good stories don’t tell anything new, they just confirm worldviews.

Marketers teach consumers:
- why the product is worth the premium;
- why new formula is a break-through;
- why consumers should abandon what they use.

Customers listen to different messages:
- message;
- logo;
- price.

Fuzzy not crisp.

People are NOT rational or informed.

Competitors change the field.

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

Remarkable product with great story grabs attention.

Check the book ‘Positioning’ by Jack Trout.

Step 2

Facts transmitted with packaging, advertising, words which need to be simple, understandable and easy to spread.

Be less rational.

A marketer is an artist NOT scientist.
Emotional want NOT simple need.

Humans insist on finding theories. Brain invents a plot, a story and an explanation because random is not accepted.

Guess is influenced by worldview.

It’s hard to hold contradictory ideas.

People use stories to support the view formed initially (US presidents).

Coke and Pepsi.
Can NOT Beverage.

Check Union Square Cafe, Manhattan, New York

“People only notice stuff that’s new and different (frogs). The moment they do they start making guesses about what to expect next”.

Step 3

Almost every buying decision is done instantaneously.

Check the book ‘Blink’ by Malcolm Gladwell.

Swap judgments to survive the onslaught of choices.

Story is in packaging, pricing, uniforms, lighting, location, music. It addresses fear of power or acceptance.

First impression NOT contact counts.

Authenticity matters because inputs are unknown.

Personal interaction in retail outlets matters (not Amazon).

Step 4

100s of experiences have got nothing to do with firsthand experience.

Fictious/Factuous (MPG) stories.

Many dimensions of media cultures compliment each other.

Marketing = storytelling.

To be able to tell a coherent story you need to be living that story.

Consumers hate to admit they are wrong.
Example: bottled water provides peace of mind, satisfaction.

“If consumers have everything they NEED, there’s nothing left to buy except the stuff they WANT”. The reason to do it: the way they make them feel.

Buying justification (Siebel), peer approval, provenance and circumstance.

Subtlety matters, so does discovery.

Step 5

Interactions with customers (IM).

To figure remarkable craft story someone enjoys telling to himself.

“Some senses count for more than others but every sense matters”. (Ice Cream)

Stories offer:
- shortcut;
- miracle;
- money;
- social success;
- safety;
- ego boost;
- fun;
- pleasure;
- sense of belonging
OR counteract fear.

Tell a different story than a competitor, persuade it is more important. Fast, cheap, healthy, convenient.

We like sushi (convenient, great, good value). Masa adds deluxe experience.

Bonus Part 1

Irrational beliefs are part of the quality of the product.

Storytelling should make a product seem better (wine glasses).

Jackson Dinner (story matters not the quality of food).

Organic Soap - a souvenir, a reminder of the way you felt.
Hand Soap - jewellery (another example is an engagement ring).

Fox News satisfies:
- the desire for consistent story;
- point of view that emphasizes personal responsibility;
- the appearance of fairness.

Subtlety works.

Howard Stern fans tell story about Sirius Satellite Radio.

Coconut scent used in travel agencies.
“Tiffany for the next generation”. However, it is not about cheap.
“You learn to appreciate diamonds, their story”. Story is in quality, being smarter.
“The right diamond at the right price”.

Bonus part 2

There are different kinds of markets.
College and nursery home.

Worldview changes with age.

Hook up New Idea to Old story. (cotton)

1. Nobody noticed.
2. Noticed but didn’t try it.
3. Tried but didn’t keep it.
4. Liked but didn’t tell friends.
Reason is choosing the wrong story, frame.

Remarkable or exceptional gets noticed.

Early adopters (camera lens). The strategy works only when they tell friends.

Stories in some categories are more likely to be shared than in others.

Oxymoron is used for those who want both.
Example: “Socially Conscious Investing”.

Fear is irrational.