Seth Godin: Why Small Businesses Fail
A few months ago, I traded emails with best-selling author Seth Godin on the subject of marketing inside small businesses. The more I read over the interview, the more I realize that his advice is priceless. Here's the interview:
What marketing mistake do most small businesses make?
They believe in the mass market instead of obsessing about a micro market. They seek the mass market because it feels harder to fail--there's always one more stranger left to bother. It's the small, the weird, and the eager that will make or break you.
What's the right mix for social networking?
Comment less, contribute more, retweet none. We need you to be generous, not Dan Rather.
Why are most marketing messages so dreadful?
Because marketing is an artifact of the industrial age, and the industrial age is about mass and volume and average stuff for average people, produced in bulk. Of course, once you have an assembly line in the works, you're going to play it safe...
How can marketing and sales work more effectively together?
The Gordian knot disappears the moment marketing commits to making remarkable products that sales finds easy to sell.
Why are your responses so brief?
If I had worked less diligently on them, they would have been longer.
Note: Seth's final response actually contains (in a hidden form) some of the best business advice on the planet: that it takes time and effort to create a pithy message.
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Geoffrey James, a contributing editor for Inc.com, is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed more than a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for the free weekly Sales Source newsletter.