A couple of weeks back, the partnership marketing manager for Audible.com reached out to me with an offer - the full audio book of Seth Godin's new book Tribes FREE for my readers. On condition that this would be posted the week of the book release, this week.
Knowing that this offer would probably go to lots of bloggers, and that I tend to like writing and sharing things that my readers will not find in too many other places (echo chamber and exclusivity wearing thin when the tribe is too big), I asked for something extra. Audible agreed to throw in a 14-day FREE trial (they promised 30 days, stay tuned for an update) with the option of getting an audio book of your choice, on top of this promotion. That is just for you here (I think).
As I expected, news and links to the free audio version were already circulating on Twitter as early as Friday - instant gratification at work. I confess it did not make me feel any special to belong to such a big tribe and to lose the news effect instantly. Customers want to feel special. For example, Jon Burg felt a bit "betrayed" for having pre-ordered a book he received on the same day the FREE audio was being broadcast. (hat tip to Gavin Heaton) I don't think that it's a price point issue, though.
My take is that it's an issue of exclusivity. For all the talk of collaboration and co-creation, we still need to be treated like we're the only one. We want to stand out - the bigger the crowd, the less we think we can do that. I have not read (or had a chance to listen to) Seth's new book yet and I am sure it's filled with good content.
I am more of a leader than a follower in the great scheme of things. In that sense, I consider Seth more a peer - a generous and thought provoking colleague - someone who helps inform my thinking on marketing. Someone I am thankful for and have exchanged ideas with over the years. Who knows, one day that could lead to a project together, or maybe not.
The most important reason why I admire his work is because he follows his on advice, consistently. If you've ever tried to do that, you know how hard it is to do. My other reason for being thankful to Seth is that at one point he sent me this massive quantity of books to give away. I had just been laid off and now had a way to thank the people in my network with a social object, the book, that was valuable - in my eyes and to them.
The book was Survival is Not Enough, probably one of the less popular among those he's authored, maybe because it's fairly long. That book helped me do change more than any other publication in the market. I zoom. Do you zoom? The reason to stretch and to adapt is never greater than it is in uncertain economic times. Here we are. Perhaps it's worth picking up a copy...
"I believe that there's a goal beyond survival, that we can actually thrive and find joy in working with all the chaos that surrounds us. That we can look forward to change and turbulence as an opportunity to increase our success." Indeed there is and we can. Maybe that means embracing Tribes and have the best of one world. As he says, people want to connect - my mantra is connecting ideas and people.