If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might have come across several signs that over time I have absorbed a lot of my terminology, ascribe to many of the ideas, and go for the pure inspiration that Seth Godin provides.
I spotted Seth at the beginning of his notoriety as published author on Fast Company magazine, where he used to have a regular column. It was my first read article every month. We met briefly at Fast Company Real Time Philadelphia in 2001. He was wearing a red fez and strolling around with Alan Webber, another one of my favorite people. He 'mood' my copy of The Purple Cow at Real Time Miami in 2003. Last time I saw him was this past week at his seminar in the fabulous Helen Mills Theatre.
You have to spend a day with Seth. You owe it to yourself, to your business, and to your boss, believe it or not. I brought mine with me after cleverly posting Seth's materials everywhere in my office, including the door. He makes it easy to spread his ideas. And bringing your boss is the fastest way to make something happen.
I had a whole campaign started before attending, as I described in my recent post. The strategy was to have a platform already arranged by the time The Big Moo would be distributed. It worked.
In his foreword to More Space, Seth writes:
For a culture that spends so much time writing and talking and spouting and yelling, we don't say very much. Nine times out of ten, it's stuff you've heard before. Stuff you already agree with, or have decided to disagree with, or want to ignore. Too much noise, not enough signal.
This was my challenge: to break through the 'decided to disagree' and 'want to ignore'. If the large scale overhaul I had in mind wasn't going to work internally, it had not prayer of working in the marketplace. Mission accomplished.
The message was delivered by a masterful teacher and reinforced by a room full of smart and accomplished professionals. I even explained the whole blogosphere medium to my boss and my other colleague.
If you're planning on going, I recommend you read at least some of Seth's books. It will give you an advantage in framing the conversation in your mind. It will also help if you have some specific lines of inquiry. Something like:
- Who is your audience/customer?
- Does your technology match their worldview?
- What is that relationship worth to you?
- Are you selling or are your customers buying?
- What are they buying?
- How do you earn the right to have that transaction?
Marketing is storytelling, and if you read All Marketers are Liars, you will learn a lot more about that. Stories are the bread and butter of humankind. We respond to stories, we love to tuck into a good story, we should be experts at telling them. All the best teachers are master storytellers, they pull you right in -- think about it.
The insights you will gain by attending this seminar will go beyond the content. I agree with Liz Strauss, who attended last June. Your experience will morph those insights into very timely ideas and implementations specific to *your* business. Ann Michael also attended last June. I agree with Ann, Seth provided the best food ever -- at a seminar, a hotel, any place away from home anywhere I have been, except for my mom's in Modena.
A note to Seth: "Made in Italy" *is* the banana.