Marketing guru Seth Godin on branding and new media caught up with Seth Godin, business marketing guru and blogger ( and author of nine bestselling books. Seth writes about marketing, the spread of ideas, and managing both customers and employees.

In our discussion, Seth talks about company marketing departments and blogs, ways companies can leverage current technology to help with branding and marketing objectives, and more.

Transcripts from that discussion follow. Many companies recognize the value they get from online branding. As a result, some companies turn to blogging to enhance their marketing and branding strategies. For companies interested in this marketing medium, what do you feel are the top five (5) characteristics companies should focus on to design and develop an effective blog?

Godin: Candor, urgency, timeliness, pithiness, and controversy. The problem, of course, is that most companies have no clue how to do this. What are your thoughts on a company’s marketing department, or marketing executive, being the exclusive company contributor / writer posting to the company blog?

Godin: I think the company’s marketing department should spend its time running the entire company, the way products are designed, deals are done, customers are treated, etc. Contributing the blog is way down the list. For a blog to work, it has to be real and written by a human being, not a flak.


Seth Godin Seth Godin
Bestselling author Electronics contract manufacturing companies like Foxconn; Flextronics, or Jabil Circuit design and manufacture products for other companies such as Cisco Systems, Motorola, or Nokia. In most cases, the names of the companies that provide these outsourced services is unknown to the end-consumer or customer. Other than writing a company blog, can you please discuss three (3) ways contract manufacturing companies, in particular, might be able to further penetrate existing markets, or enter new markets, through marketing tools and techniques they might not yet be taking advantage of?

Godin: Well, it seems to me that you need to decide if you’re selling to people who know you or people who don’t. Totally different approaches.

There are also a number of places to plant a stake in the ground on the Web. In addition to a blog, you can build a page at my company,, or at You can also contribute to online forums and make it easy for people to find you on Facebook and other social networks as well.

The best advice I can give you for really reaching the people who know you is to become a hub, to figure out how to introduce competitors and colleagues to each other. What you make is not nearly as important as the relationships you help build. In your recent book, Meatball Sundae, you talk about 14 trends marketers and businesses should pay attention to. On your list is trend #5, The Long Tail. How can companies better understand and leverage the strength of The Long Tail? What happens to your company, and the competition, when your industry’s cost structure is reduced significantly due to outsourcing?

Godin: The Long Tail points out that when inventory management becomes a non-issue, as it does on the web, and when you can present people with just what they were hoping for, you win. It seems obvious, but it’s not. Amazon gets significant sales because they have the book. They have it. The local store doesn’t.

So, the challenge for you is to partner with companies that would like that ability and then offer it to them. If you could hold a long dinner conversation with any one person (living, dead, or fictional) who would you choose and what would you want to discuss?

Godin: I’d like to have dinner with my mom. She died eight years ago and I miss her.

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