All Marketers Are Liars, Aren’t They? Better if they are not.

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All marketers are liars vs Truthful marketing

Lying marketing vs Truthful marketing

I and Raah from  review (or, better to say, discuss) Seth Godin’s book “All Marketers Are Liars. The Power of Telling Authentic Stories in a Low Trust World.”

But it’s not as simple as it sounds. It’s my attempt to make our world which is ruled my marketers of different kinds better.

As regards my attitude to the book, it’is not a praising review. It is a critical discussion that you will likely enjoy and find it useful, because:

  • You will understand how marketers manipulate you as a customer;
  • You will understand yourself better (not everyone is ready for it – it can be painful or even terrifying);
  • You will get an idea of what the world of consumerism is based on (hint: on your psychological weaknesses and desire to hear sweet lie and not bitter truth);
  • You will know the pieces of advice given by marketing guru Seth Godin and the arguments against them.
  • You will hear arguments about what is better for you as a marketer and business person – abuse people’s psychological weakness (lying marketing) or to push them gently forward in their development making thus the world better (truthful marketing).

So, if you are ready for our journey, let’s go then.

A lot of people think that Seth Godin‘s book “All Marketers Are Liars” is very cool. They think it opens a new page in practical marketing thinking. I partly agree. But at the same time, it is too dangerous for abusing if it gets in wrong hands and it may become a tool that can lead to a huge misleading of all of us (since all of us are consumers).

And moreover, this book can be seen as a unit that reveals a versatile crisis which has jumped into a deeper level of distrust from consumers’ side and more manipulative techniques from marketers’ side.

Why Seth Godin’s book “All Marketers Are Liars” is great

The book is great because it describes what works in marketing from psychological point of view (no rocket science here, just very approachable and easy reading!) The essence of it is to lie to them (tell them stories) that they want to hear. If you don’t do so, they will not listen. But by doing so you will make them happier.

Why this book is not good

And the book is awful, because it can empower the wrong people with mighty knowledge. And Seth Godin, in my opinion, does too little to prevent from such abusing.

Human weaknesses and making money on them

Also, the book “All Marketers Are Liars” is malicious, because it does not try to solve the human problems that marketing abuses but just teaches how to conform to the problems by pushing the problems even deeper. Not clear what it is all about? No worries. If you just want to boost sells of your stuff, just do what is written in this book.

But if you think on a deeper level, and you do care whether it makes the world better when consumers fall for marketing lie, then you will see that Seth Godin does very little to make this world better. In my opinion, he plays a devil’s advocate by provoking marketers to abuse human psychological weaknesses instead of trying to really help consumers.

And it is understandable why it is so. In many cases abusing people’s weaknesses brings money, whereas trying to help people brings problems. Seth Godin teaches how to go along the first path (using people’s weaknesses) and profit from it. And I in Raah in our discussion are looking for solution how to help people (and profit too).

So what is this book about?

First of all, this book is a very interesting, easy and empowering read.

However, if you look not between, but behind the lines, the problems beneath, inside, above and around the marketing secrets described in an easy way in the book “All Marketers Are Liars” are very difficult, it is not just about selling your stuff. It is about finding longer-lasting strategies and caring of consequences.

If you are marketer who does not care about moral, ethics, karma, future of our world etc, then read below

Too little clients? No buyers? No buzz about your product? Yes, I know, the old story. But the new solutions in the modern environment. The solutions that work. This book is not a step-by-step guide what to do to sell you stuff.

It is a guide which can be encapsulated in one phrase – If you want to sell your stuff, make up your authentic story about around your stuff and live it through.

Not sure what it means? In a nutshell, it is a lie that people want to believe in. Find this belief and abuse it gently and consistently. And you will profit enormously and for long.

And if you do care about whether you make the world better or not, then read this

Yes, people want sweet lie. Yes, people want to be deceived. Yes, people are irrational and can fall for almost any thing that has a great story told by marketers. Seth Godin gives his readers great simple examples why it is so.

The idea that I convey in the discussions is that it is much better from many perspectives to act a bit differently than Seth Godin preaches.

By lying to consumers (or telling them stories, whatever) you will generally benefit more than doing something really good. Because it is just much easier to lie to consumers than to make good stuff. That’s it.

Target audience for the book “All Marketers Are Liars” and the discussion on this website

I understand, that the target audience for Seth Godin’s book “All marketers are liars” are anyone who pushes any stuff (good or not so good) to sell. Seth teaches how to lie efficiently.

And my discussion with Raah is targeting those who care about the problems that contemporary marketing brings or/and those producers and marketers who deliver really good stuff and want to outrank liars. I don’t contradict Seth in many ways. But my point is to focus on helping people first and profit next, whereas Seth focuses on profiting first.

The trick is in balance between lie (stories) that brings money and real help to people (that can bring money too). And the art is to find this balance. I believe this art can not only make the world better, but also bring much more profit than Seth’s lying approach.

Below goes the table of contents for Seth Godin’s Book “All Marketers Are Liars” discussion

Daydreaming with Seth Godin – All marketers are liars – 1
Daydreaming with Seth Godin – All marketers are liars – 2
Can Be Marketing Lie Justified? Seth Godin Says Yes
How Marketing Lie Makes Wonders in Sales
New Definition of Truth by Seth Godin
Trust, Manipulation and Responsibility in Marketing with Seth Godin
How Lying Marketers Help Apocalypse
Why Marketers Don’t Lose Their Minds From Lying?
How Do You Use Your Marketing Power?
Hypnosis and Disadvantages of Truthful Marketing

Other materials about Seth Godin and lying marketers:

My question to Seth Godin that did not come thru
Seth Godin Lied in the Title of his Book “All Marketers are Liars” (someone found “All marketing are liars” too offensive and Seth Godin will change the title of his book)

And if you want to read the most essential posts on the topic…

…Then read this post about Truthful Marketing and my question to Seth Godin that did not appear for some reason in comments on

If you want to say anything, just go ahead to any of the posts above and leave your comment to it.

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