Disadvantages of Truthful Marketing and Hypnosis

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No lying marketing

Daydreaming with Seth Godin – All Marketers Are Liars, part 10

The table of contents for the whole series is here.

This is the tenth part of discussions about Seth Godin‘s bestseller book “All marketers are liars”. And we’ll talk below about hypnosis and disadvantages of truthful marketing.

You may want to have a look at the previous session where we touched the problems that lying marketers cause on a big scale.

Disclaimer: Everything written is this post is not true, or better to say, it is a story. Please believe it or not on your own risk.

Ideas from Seth Godin's book "All Marketer Are liars", part 10

Take these secrets


Me: I still can not accept the position of Seth Godin who repeats time after time that marketers are not responsible for the lie they say to consumers. By saying this he justifies lying and simply says kind of to make money by lying until consumers realize that it was not as good as you told them.

Raah: Is it exactly what Seth says?

Me: His exact quote from the book is “The authenticity of the story determines whether it will survive scrutiny long enough for the consumer to tell the story to other people”.


Raah: But Seth says not about lying, it is about spreading a story.

Me: He says about lying not directly here. If a product is great, people will tell the story long after the all the hype calms down. But if you have a mediocre product or even a bad one, then you really need to use the hype to sell your product as soon as possible while people don’t get that you sell fluff.

Raah: I believe you are too rational. Most people change their minds fast and they don’t behave like you. And in the world of irrationality and emotions Seth’s idea of telling the stories that will spread as soon as possible regardless of its truthfulness is more profitable for marketers.


Me: Unfortunately I have to agree with you. However, if choosing between big money with lie and smaller money with sincerity I choose the latter.

Raah: Hehe, if I were a CEO I would not hire you as a marketer in my firm.

Me: Thanks. I would not go there anyway. That’s why I am sitting in this small blog and not in the big corporation.

Raah: Gees. You don’t know what you are loosing.

Me: Quite the opposite, I do know. Also, I know what I am getting and what I can get in the future. And besides, I just feel or maybe want to feel that the course is changing and former methods of lying marketing are dying. People need more authenticity, more truthfulness.


Raah: I guess people just need new stories and it is just you who need more truthfulness. Many other people, I would say even most people, sill live in telling themselves sweet stories that they want to believe in. Moreover, look at yourself, I guess you are also telling yourself a story as if a better world of truthfulness is coming.

Me: Hmm. I will think about it. Anyway, I just can not accept the idea of lying to people. Even if I needed to believe in this lie myself first. I want marketers to tell stories that they really believe and can bring people long-term benefits. Not a shot of morphine that Seth Godin offers. Not the stories that people made themselves to believe.

Raah: Oh, let’s get over it now. A better truthful world is not here yet, face it. Let’s move on for now.


Me: Yes. By the way, Seth Godin says that marketing is the game with continuously changing rules. If something worked yesterday does not mean that it will work today.

Raah: Hahah, then you have a chance that your approach of truthful marketing will work much better that Seth Godin’s lying marketing.

Me: That’s what I’d like to happen. I think that on a big scale it will save the world economy from detrimental outcome that is is going to.

Raah: It will destroy the consumption first of all. Anyway, let’s keep ourselves within discussing Seth Godin’s ideas and not go too far from our main topic.


Truthful Marketing from Michael Bely – All marketers are liars, part 10

…or better take these secrets

Me: Okay. So Seth Godin says that marketers are not in charge of anything. Consumers believe in their own stories. Marketers just need to voice out the stories so that they could be consumed in the way that consumers want. And then the consumers will spread the stories further.

Raah: You know, I attended hypnosis courses some time ago. And I’ve learned that if you want to hypnotize a person, you need to make the person feel as you completely understand him or her, like you feel the same way. So you just need to tell him or her something nice, not specific, something that he or she will use to make their own picture in his or her mind. You don’t need to control his or her picture. You just need to help him or her build it from the nice uncertainty you gave him or her.

Me: Yes, that is very close to what marketers do. The marketers hypnotize consumers. The marketers let consumers live in their mirages. The marketers benefit from hypnotized consumers. Well, on this interesting point let’s end our talk. Thanks Raah.


Raah: Hey, and what about the Seth Godin’s quotes for today?

Me: Ah, sure, here are they. But wait, on one hand, I agree that Seth Godin in his book describes the things that really work. But on the other hand, I don’t think all the things that Seth says or emphasizes are good or will work in future on a long-term basis. So as long as I don’t agree with Seth Godin with everything, I decided to add my counterarguments.

Raah: You are bold, man.

Me: I don’t care. (Both smiling.)
So here it is:

Seth: We’d like to believe that people are rational and informed. They are neither.
Me: Right, but good marketers should not abuse it. Right the opposite – they should educate people.

Seth: Tell stories that will survive the scrutiny long enough for the consumer to tell the story to other people.
Me: Tell stories that will be both truthful, useful and engaging for the consumer. And your story will spread.

Seth: Marketing is the game with continuously changing rules. What worked yesterday is unlikely to work today.
Me: Right, if your marketing is a tactical story (or lie) telling. Don’t use marketing as A thin story-telling but make it a real decent and truthful help to people – it will work much longer.


Raah: I think it is not fair because you leave your arguments as a final word. Seth does not have an option to answer you.

Me: I try to be gentle and I hope Seth will not be insulted in any way. My idea is to apply Seth Godin’s precious ideas to service decent and truthful purposes. And of course, he is welcome to join our discussion.

Truthful vs. Lying Marketing – All marketers are liars – 10

…or better take both


And what do you think about it? What was your most disappointing buying when you felt that the actual value of the product you bought was incredibly less than what had been promised?

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  1. Lyn Thompson says

    Basing your marketing on lying is a slash and burn gimmick, it has great returns in the short run but after a while people clue in and it comes back and tarnishes your brand. The turtle and the hare would be a good comparison, you will have longer brand longevity and loyalty if you treat your customers with respect and sincerity.

    • I agree with you, Lyn.

      However, in real world much more people can’t tell (or what is worse, don’t want to tell) lie from truth. That’s a BIG psychological problem of our society.

      When I look around I see that so many businesses thrive only because they lie. But they lie very carefully (consistently as Seth Godin says) so that people love this lie and want this lie.

      Another point is that many people are not smart enough (or better to say, businesses are smarter) and it takes too long for people to realize they have been sort of fooled. By the time they realize that their pockets are already pretty well emptied and there are tens times more victims are in the queue.

      Another problem is that many of these future victims will not even understand if you talk to them about how they can be fooled. It’s just not in their world view unfortunately.

      Moreover, many of these people can’t learn well by the mistakes. Next time they will be fooled again.

      This is so, partly because people don’t understand themselves well. And partly because marketing simply outsmarts people.

      Anyway, I try to do my input regarding this in order to make people smarter and help them avoid marketing pitfalls as much as I can.

  2. Being truthful will give you loyal customers! And if you always claim false things, you might earn well in start but in the end, you will lose all the customers and no one will be going to trust you anymore!

    Great tips shared from Seth!

    Keep sharing Michael 🙂

    • Thanks, Dhruv, for stopping by!
      I agree with Seth that you need to have a story, but I think the story needs to be more truthful than simply consistent.

      In other words, it is easy to lie and get quick money. But soon you will loose all your customers (like you say).

      Next level is to make a consistent story. It is hard, but very advantageous for marketer from a longer-term perspective (Seth’s approach).

      My idea is to make a truthful and consistent story – it is even harder, but speaking in Seth’s language, it is even more consistent.

      The difference between my and Seth’s approaches is that he takes people’s weaknesses (irrationality) as is and uses them. It is a common approach in marketing.

      My approach is that I try to move people to a more rational way of thinking (being too emotional and irrational is a weakness in my opinion) and educate them. I want to change people (and let them benefit more) with a new marketing approach. And Seth stands just on a marketing positions (“make people buy and make them seemingly happy through it”) . My position is to “Educate people, let them buy what they really need”.

      My position is more idealistic, but it is more responsible. In my opinion it is more useful both for people (they become smarter, more self-conscious), and marketers (they become useful teachers, not just talented salesmen, it is a big financial win in a longer run) and the whole world (it becomes more conscious, does not sink deeper in illusions).

It's important for me to know what you think