What’s the best way to do effective marketing?

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Instant yes

The instant yes is precious. It’s earned, it doesn’t last forever, it’s easily abused.
Not the yes of, “I’ll look it over and if it makes sense or fits in my calendar or is profitable then of course, I’ll do it,” but the yes of, “yes.”

Do you want to try our daily special, it’s really good? Do you want to see my new project proposal? Will you come to this event I’m holding? Will you contribute to this discussion? Can I borrow $500?

How man… (read more)

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Obvious or elegant?

A friend used to eat a food, out of a white generic can, that had one word on the label: MEAT.
On the other hand, Vogue magazine isn’t called, “That magazine with expensive dresses and skinny sad models”. It’s really tempting to believe that the answer to your marketing problem (what to name it, how to describe it, what to write about it…) is to be obvious, brutal, direct, hyper-clear.
And that can certainly work. It works for fire alarms. I… (read more)

Jeff Bezos (Founder & CEO of Amazon)
The Institutional Yes

Another thing that we believe is pretty fundamental is that the world is getting increasingly transparent—that information perfection is on the rise. If you believe that, it becomes strategically smart to align yourself with the customer. You think about marketing differently. If in the old world you devoted 30% of your attention to building a great service and 70% of your attention to shouting about it, in the new world that inverts.

Bill Gurley (General Partner at Benchmark Capital)
The Dangerous Seduction of the Lifetime Value (LTV) Formula | Above the Crowd | By Bill Gurley

Marketing executives like big budgets, as big budgets make it easier to grow the top line. The LTV formula “relaxes” the need for near term profitability and “justifies” the ability to play it forward – to spend today for benefits that are postponed into the future. Consider that most companies limit any “affiliate fee” they would be willing to spend to 5-10% of sales. Yet when they are marketing, they use different math. They use LTV math, and a… (read more)

Belle Beth Cooper (Co-founders of Hello Code)
People Don’t Buy Products, They Buy Better Versions of Themselves – The Buffer Blog

Here’s how our friends at User Onboarding explained features vs. benefits: “People don’t buy products; they buy better versions of themselves. When you’re trying to win customers, are you listing the attributes of the flower or describing how awesome it is to throw fireballs?”

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Focus on the job, not the customer type | A Founder’s Notebook

Focus on the job, not the customer type

Allison Johnson (Founder west, Former Head of Marketing at Apple)
Allison Johnson: We Have Enough Companies Like Apple on Vimeo

Marketing is when you have to sell to somebody. If you aren’t providing value, if you’re not educating them about the product, if you’re not helping them get the most out of the product, you’re selling. And you shouldn’t be in that mode.

Allison Johnson (Founder west, Former Head of Marketing at Apple)
Allison Johnson: We Have Enough Companies Like Apple on Vimeo

The marketing team was right next to the product development and engineering teams. So we understood deeply what was important about the product, what the team’s motivations were in the product, what they hoped that product would achieve, what role they wanted it to have in people’s lives.

Fred Wilson (Co-Founder and Partner at Union Square Ventures)
Content Marketing Simplified – AVC

There is a growing market out there for content marketing. In many ways I see this as the future of online marketing. Instead of paying tens of millions of dollars a year (or more) creating banner ads and paying to run them on pages filled with someone else’s content, marketers can create their own web and mobile presences and use the most efficient form of advertising, pay per click advertising, to drive traffic to these pages and then engage in… (read more)

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Hot: A theory of propulsion

Today, we’re getting virtual punches, from every direction, all self-propelled, many of them amplified. The ideas that propel themselves on the tailwinds of culture will dominate, opposed only by the people who care enough to propel ideas that matter instead. Maybe you.

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Self awareness in the face of marketing

Mostly, marketing is what we call it when someone else is influenced by a marketer. When we’re influenced, though, it’s not marketing, it’s a smart choice. Do you use that toothpaste because they ran ads that resonated with you, or because you think it actually makes your teeth whiter? It doesn’t have to be this way… The thing is, placebos work even if you’re smart enough to know that they’re placebos. We can create better decisions and more am… (read more)

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: 3-D printers, the blockchain and drones

On the other hand, it took a long time for the story of the mobile phone to be deeply understood. For years, it was seen as a phone without wires, not a supercomputer that would change the way a billion people interact. Most of the stories of Bitcoin haven’t been about the blockchain. They’ve been about speculators, winning and losing fortunes. And most of the stories of 3-D printers have been about printing small, useless toys, including little … (read more)

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: The mythical 10x marketer

Beyond that, the 10x marketer embraces two apparently contradictory paths: Persistence in the face of apathy. Important marketing ideas are nearly always met with skepticism or hostility, from co-workers, from critics and from the market. Showing up, again and again, with confidence and generosity, is the best response. The willingness to quit what isn’t working. Sometimes the marketer faces a dip that must be survived, but the 10x marketer is a… (read more)

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: Hacking reciprocity

“Helping other people” is not what they’re doing. What they’re doing is hacking reciprocity as a tool to help them get what they want. They’re trading favors. Some people have had success with this, but please don’t denigrate the very human activity of actually helping others by conflating it with trading favors. If you want to help other people, go help them. Without regard for credit or for what you get in return.

David Jackson (Founder, Seeking Alpha)
Overcoming the biggest barrier with a first-time buyer | A Founder’s Notebook

How can you earn a potential customer’s trust? Prove you’re acting in their best interest by truly understanding their needs. To do that, ask the right questions and get inside their head. Then, once they know you understand their needs, avoid hype about your product.

Seth Godin (Founder at Yoyodyne Entertainment)
Seth’s Blog: The most important question

The most important question in marketing something to someone who hasn’t purchased it before is, “Do they trust me enough to believe my promises?” Without that, you have nothing.

Intercom (A fundamentally new way to communicate with your customers)
Price is what you pay, Value is what you get – Inside Intercom

Tip: Customers who have bought your product recently will describe it far better than you can

Reid Hoffman (Partner & Co-Founder at Greylock Partners)
LinkedIn’s Series B Pitch to Greylock: Pitch Advice for Entrepreneurs

Be wary of adjectives and especially adverbs. Anytime you use qualifiers like “very”, you’re overstating your point, which shows that you’re nervous about it.

Andy Raskin (CMO for hire, Director of Product Marketing at Mashery)
What I Learned Crafting Messaging for 15 Startups — Firm Narrative — Medium

1. Conversations about messaging are really about strategy. 2. The hardest thing about messaging is leaving things out. 3. Strategic messaging matters for recruiting. 4. Differentiation can become a distraction. Prospects have to understand what you do before they’re ready to learn how you do it differently

Slava Akhmechet (Founder at RethinkDB)
57 startup lessons

Don’t guess. Measure.