All Marketers Are Liars – Mindmap

This is a fantastic book by Seth Godin. Mindmap is above, and my notes are below.

Do yourself a favour and check it out – Amazon link.


The basic premise is that as consumers, we lie to ourselves. Successful marketers are just the providers of stories that consumers choose to believe.

How good marketing works:

  1. Frame the story in the customer’s worldview
  2. People notice something only when it changes
  3. First impressions matter!
  4. Tell a believable story
  5. Be authentic

On point 5, you must completely dedicate and believe your own story.

There are only two paths to success in marketing:

  1. Invent stuff worth talking about
  2. Tell stories about what you’ve invented

Worldview -> frame story to leverage existing worldview.
Don’t try to change someone’s worldview.
Success = Find neglected worldview, frame story to fit.

Frames are the words and images that reinforce a bias someone is already feeling.

Worldviews are clumpy. Not individual, many.

Worldview != Community. Just because people have the same bias doesn’t mean they talk. But the best marketing happens when they do.

People want to be like others. Make your story easy to share, and something they want to talk about.

People don’t believe what you tell them – precisely because it’s you telling them that, and they are far too smart to fall for that. Instead you have to hint at the facts, and let the customer prove to themselves that you’re a good choice.

The process of discovery is more powerful than being told the “right answer”, because of course there is no right answer. The customer tells their own story.

Honest marketing, two questions:

  1. If the customer knew what you know, would they still choose to buy your product?
  2. After the customer has used and experienced it, will they still believe the story or feel ripped off?

Some senses matter more than others, but all five senses matter.

The best place to start is to copy someone in a different industry who’s telling a similar story. Discover the cues and signals they use. Copy them all, not just a few. Your story is a symphony, not a note.

Ask yourself: what classic story can I tell?

All successful stories are the same. They promise to fulfill the wishes of a consumer’s worldview. They may offer:

  • A shortcut
  • A miracle
  • Money
  • Social success
  • Safety
  • Ego
  • Fun
  • Pleasure
  • Belonging

They can also play on fear by promising to avoid the opposite of above. This list is actually quite similar to Tony Robbins’ list of values.

Successful stories never offer the standard things marketers talk about – cheap price, good quality, convenience, a warranty. They’re not story-worthy, they won’t share it with their friends.

Be uncompromising in my stories. Don’t try to please everyone.

Make my story bigger and bigger until it’s important enough to believe. A movement. Something BIG! and worth listening to.


Definitely a great book and well worth reading!

Check out All Marketers Are Liars on Amazon

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