Independent Thinking Blog

Insights from Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki

As some of you may know, I joined MarketingProfs last fall. There are two great values about the company/online resource: (1) community and (2) professional development. As a pro member, I have access to a vast store of case studies, reports, how-to articles, and live (and playback on-demand) Webinars. Which brings me to the point of this post.

One of my goals for this year is to participate in more Webinars–and then to pass on what I learn to you, my readers. Yesterday’s Webinar featured a conversation with Seth Godin and Guy Kawasaki about doing business in 2010. Here are a few takeaways:

1. Everything Is Not Free–Godin pointed out that lots of things (including personal connections) aren’t free. What is free: ideas, because the ¬†middlemen are dying out.

2. Marketing–Kawasaki pointed out that the days of marketing to that one influential voice (think New York Times reviewer) are over. Instead, he stressed the importance of seeding your products as far and wide as possible to “build a critical mass of nobodies.” Godin added that companies must “initiate or die.”

3. Portable Tribes–Godin noted that people are increasingly living their lives in public, and that true communities “will follow us in our digital world.”¬†Kawasaki countered that he really wasn’t that interested or influenced by what his friends were buying or liked. (I tend to agree with Kawasaki, but one participant raised a good point, as a marketer, about the value of that awareness.)

4. Customer Service–Godin called customer service “a form of marketing far more powerful than advertising.” He added that, if you can delight someone, they’ll tell others. Referring to Comcast and Best Buy‘s Twitter strategies, Kawasaki suggested that “customer service is a weapon, and the social aspect of customer service is the leading edge of the weapon.”

5. Passion–Godin pointed out that people are now both workers and owners (i.e., we can create and build), and he suggested that this would be the dividing line between what was and what will be. Kawasaki added that “the time to start innovating is before the recession ends.”

As a labor relations specialist before I was a business owner and communications strategist, I’m fascinated by this concept that we are both workers and owners. Chris Anderson used a similar analogy in remarks a few months ago, and I’m still trying to figure out how I can apply this concept better in my business.

Godin and Kawasaki offered some really good food for thought. Anything here inspire you?

Photo by billjacobus1 (Flickr).

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