This or That is Marketing

Marketing, refers to all advertising done through both paid and owned marketing channels. It’s about creating messaging that drives a targeted action, and it’s key to “hitting plan”. At least that’s how most people think of marketing, as tactical work by an organization trying to sell something.

Marketing, however, is so much more and so much deeper than that. Those who understand this are at an advantage, so I’m always looking for ways to reframe it.

David Perell’s That Is Marketing is like Seth Godin’s This Is Marketing.

David and Seth both eloquently and quickly strip marketing down so as to build it back up into something stronger. They’re not just worth a read, they’re worth truly thinking through.

Finding Motivation in Meaning – Daniel Pink & a Holocaust Survivor’s Search for Meaning

In his book Drive (and his immensely popular TED talk), Daniel Pink argues that motivation is largely intrinsic and that it’s roots can be found in the rich soils autonomy, mastery and purpose. We might summarize his point: “one choses to do what they do because they find meaning in it.”

While written with a focus on organizational leadership, this goes much deeper. Pink’s theory of motivation is like the “Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy”, Logotherapy.

In his moving work, Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl introduces us to Logotherapy. Through his experiences in Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust, Frankl developed a belief that the fundamental motivator of individuals at any point of time is their search for meaning (as opposed, for example, to Freud’s focus on pleasure).

Neither Frankl nor Pink are able to predict what will motivate us or others, but if you’re trying to find meaning for either they’re a good place to begin.

Seth’s shortcut through your personal Odyssey

Odysseus and Polyphemus (1896) by Arnold Böcklin

Despite his timeless fame relatively little is know about the Greek Homer, yet even less is known about the true origin of his legendary poems The Iliad and The Odyssey (such as who actually wrote them). While their genesis may not be known, Robert Fagles’ translation of Homer’s The Odyssey is a poetic masterpiece that likely brings us closer to how the story was first told in all it’s glory.

Even with his unique gifts and great success (and my favoritism for his works), it’d be a bit too bold to claim that Seth Godin is today’s Homer. While Seth Godin’s writings may not match the scale and scope of those famous epics, his wisdom is right on par.

In You Go First*, Seth Godin reminds us that to achieve anything we must be willing to act; written thousands of years later his message sounds a lot like Homer’s Odyssey proverb:

“Bashfulness, for a man in need, is no great friend.”

Homer, “Book 17: Stranger At The Gates,” in The Odyssey (Robert Fagles translation), 365: line 381.

Don’t wait for someone else to do it, it begins with you.

*Thanks to Krishaan Khubchand for the timely tweet as I read that proverb in The Odyssey