After three weeks away from my real job (it was great), I needed a quick way to grab some inspiration and get my head into the game again. So I was happy to sit in on a Marketing Profs seminar by one of my favorite marketing gurus, author Seth Godin. He was speaking about his latest book, Meatball Sundae. I’m never disappointed when I hear Seth speak. Even though he’s a B2C guy and I spend most of my time with B2B companies, he is engaging and thought provoking, and I always take away a few ideas that are entirely relevant.
The premise behind his latest book is that we cannot pile the new marketing ideas on top of an old business model and expect them to work. That’s the metaphor behind the Meatball Sundae title – businesses that have mastered the delivery and marketing of good, affordable, commodity products (think Walmart) are in the meatball business. The sundae toppings are the new ideas such as blogs, social networks and YouTube videos. His message – don’t put gooey sweet toppings onto meatballs. He’s got a good point.
Seth says that success with the new ideas is about much more than tactics, that companies need to have the right business model if they want to succeed in the new world. He also says that marketers need to be leading this strategic discussion and lays out, in detail, 14 areas of business strategy that need to be evaluated.
I haven’t read Seth’s book yet (I will), but based on the bits I heard in this seminar, I’d recommend it, plus David Meerman Scott’s acclaimed book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR. I figure that the guidelines from these two experts will let you decide whether your company has what it takes. If not, Seth’s book will give you the ammunition to fend off the meatball sundae disaster. Or you may see that you meet some of the requirements and you’ll have very specific recommendations for improvement (this where The New Rules of Marketing and PR will be especially helpful).
What’s clear for all of us is that a new world order is emerging — Seth compares its significance to the industrial revolution. It’s a good thing we had a few weeks rest. Marketers have a heap of work to do.