I'm reading "This Is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn to See" by Seth Godin. I had the privilege to do a private workshop with Seth with an organization called Social Venture Partners Dallas where I was on the Board. We brought Seth in for a public session, a non-profit session, and a private 3-hour workshop.
Seth started by defining marketing. “Marketing is the art of making change happen. Making is insufficient. You haven’t made an impact until you’ve changed someone. … Sharing your path to better is called marketing, and you can do it. We all can.” He tells this story to begin the book:
"Case Study: Penguin Magic Hocus has left the building.
“Penguin Magic is the sort of company that they invented the internet for. You may have grown up near a magic shop. There’s still one in my little town. Dimly lit, with fake wood paneling, almost certainly with the owner manning the counter. While he may have loved the work, he certainly wasn’t very successful. Today, if you care about magic, you know about Penguin Magic. It’s not the Amazon of magic tricks (because being the Amazon of anything is difficult indeed). Instead, it has grown to significant size by being very different from Amazon and by understanding precisely what its audience wants, knows, and believes.
“First, every trick for sale on the site is demonstrated with a video. That video, of course, doesn’t reveal how the trick is done, so tension is created. If you want to know the secret, you’ll need to buy the trick. To date, their videos, on the site and on YouTube, have been seen more than a billion times. A billion views with no cost of distribution.
“Second, the people who run the site realized that professional magicians rarely buy tricks, because they only need ten or twenty regular tricks in their bag. Since the audience changes every night, they don’t worry about repeating themselves. An amateur, on the other hand, always has the same audience (friends and family) and so he’s hooked on constantly changing the routine.
“Third, every trick is reviewed in detail. Not reviewed by the knuckleheads who hang out on Yelp or Amazon, but reviewed by other magicians. It’s a tough crowd, but one that appreciates good work. There are more than eighty-two thousand product reviews on the site. As a result, the quality of stock on Penguin cycles very rapidly. Creators see their competitors’ work immediately, giving them an impetus to make something even better. Instead of a production cycle measured in years, it might take only a month for an idea to go from notion to product on Penguin. To date, they’ve carried more than sixteen thousand different items on their site. Going forward, Penguin continues to invest in building connections not just with the community (they have an email list of tens of thousands of customers) but across it as well. They’ve hosted three hundred lectures, which have become the TED Talks of magic, as well as going into the field and running nearly a hundred live conventions. The more magicians learn from each other, the more likely that Penguin will do well."
Now isn’t that brilliant?