Created on Wednesday, 26 October 2011 00:00
Written by Winston Wong
The first test as to whether a marketing book is worth your time and money would be if it managed to catch your attention among the many other books on the shelves.
This was exactly what Seth Godin's latest marketing advice guide did for me. Unlike its fellow dusty counterparts, Free Prize Inside stands out with its bright yellow striped cover and an adorable caricature of a superhero.
Its famous author and marketing guru Seth Godin's common sense seems to be an insight to others. The book is peppered with observations and advice from the man that may or may not sound extreme to others. The central argument is that advertising is dead and innovation is the new key to getting the word out. This innovation is a free prize for consumers, even if he or she doesn't need it.
Other than answering the questions of what is a free prize and how to create it, Godin included a chapter on how to sell the idea as well. To do this, he fills his book with examples from the typical Apple to Chef Boyardee's dinosaur-shaped pasta.
Also, instead of brainstorming, try "edgecraft" says Godin. Adding something remarkable to your product instead of attempting to come up with something new altogether. And the marketing whiz takes the word "remarkable" literally as something that people would remark to their friends about.
Here is too a flaw of Godin's work. What most of us would term as "word-of-mouth", he repackages the same thing and gives it more fanciful name though I would say "remarkable" is a much clearer and more precise term. On top of this, he makes frequent references to his previous books – an evident form of self-marketing – as well as unnecessary jargon.
Nonetheless, the book inspires and includes an extensive list of citations and sources, both online and print, for further reading at the end of the book. And to illustrate his point, Godin sells the first printing of this book in a specially-made cereal box.