Attention, stories and a good product

“Interesting & Interested … it helps to be both. These are the two ways you earn attention.”
Seth Godin

Hi folks,

Whether you are managing a small business as an entrepreneur, working on a project for a bigger company or growing online communities for brands, there has always been a lot to learn from Seth Godin, the marketing expert and author of influential books such as Purple Cow, Permission Marketing and Linchpin.

In an interview to American Express Forum, Seth Godin speaks on how small business entrepreneurs should market their companies. In my experience managing social media platforms for organizations and companies active in innovation, three valuable learnings stand out: attention, stories and good product. Let’s review these points:

No one owes you their attention

No one owes you their attention. No one does at the beginning. This is a basic principle that people easily forget in marketing and business. Attention must be earned. The question of course is how? Seth Godin has a good answer: “Interesting & Interested … it helps to be both. These are the two ways you earn attention”.

Based on my own experience managing social media timelines and blogs for Alp ICT and Swiss Marketing, if you show no interest for your community members, chances are you’ll have difficulties sharing interesting and valuable content for them.

Earning attention requires humility as you start often from scratch and have a lot to learn from a community. It will also require curiosity and generosity as you will have to take the initiative and launch conversations first to get attention in return.

When it comes to assessing your brand’s digital communication, two important questions come to mind: What are you doing to earn the attention of your community? How are you showing your interest?

People want stories, not slogans

People want stories, not slogans or plain facts about your brand or project. This is a fact as Seth Godin puts it in his interview. So what is your story? What are you telling your consumers about your product or solution?  Why should they care about it? What does Your brand stand for?

Stories define the context of social media communication and give a meaning to your tweets, posts and pins. When the storytelling is relevant and the context is set, every new element of your timeline starts making sense and strengthens your message.

If you want to earn the attention of your readers or your audience, make your stories as interesting and meaningful for them as possible.

The product becomes the marketing

If you want to succeed on today’s market you need a remarkable product, a product that stands out, a product that people will talk about. Good marketing isn’t enough anymore. If you have that product, social media will help you spread the word, keep the conversations going and making a difference.

Whenever you think about successful ventures such as Google, BMW or Nespresso you realize that it all started with a product remarkable enough to make people talk about it. As an entrepreneur in startup or a small medium business you should definitely ask yourself if you are offering a product that your audience will talk about. If it’s not yet case, you might want to continue working on what you offer, to make your product special enough.

Attention, stories and good products. These three points seem particularly relevant for entrepreneurs. They also make sense when it comes to online community management. Don’t hesitate to check regularly this blog for more posts coming soon. Should you have any comments, do not hesitate to post them. I look forward to read them and join the discussion. See you soon 🙂

2 Comments on “Attention, stories and a good product

    • Seth Godin thinks that remarkable products won’t need as much marketing to succeed in the Connection Economy. My guess is that he is referring particularly to advertising. Organizations will still need to market their products in the future but they will use the other media available.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: