Modern Marketing with Seth Godin
4.6 (792 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,479 students enrolled

Modern Marketing with Seth Godin

Highlights from The Marketing Seminar
4.6 (792 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
2,479 students enrolled
Created by Seth Godin
Last updated 4/2020
English [Auto], Indonesian [Auto], 6 more
  • Italian [Auto]
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Price: $199.99
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 6 hours on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • 2 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • You'll be able to understand modern marketing, spread your ideas and gain empathy for those you seek to serve.
  • You'll understand that marketing is not the same as advertising.
  • You'll be able to focus on changing your product or service so that "marketing" it feels easy.
  • Do you care about the change you seek to make?
  • If you're trying to grow a business, change minds or impact our culture, marketing is what you do. And that's all you need for this course... the desire to make something happen.

Serve your customers, grow your business, make a difference.

This is a course about getting the word to spread, engaging with the market and most of all, understanding how modern marketing can transform your project for the better.

Seth Godin writes the most popular marketing blog in the world, is the author of the bestselling marketing books of our generation, and is known for his live talks and online teaching. For the first time ever, highlights from his four months' long group Seminar are now available as a self-paced solo course.

There are plenty of people who can teach you shortcuts and fast tactics. This is a course for people who are truly willing to understand instead. A course for people who would rather do it right than hustle and hassle people. Once you work your way through the more than 45 lessons, your strategy will become more clear, your empathy will deepen and you'll begin to see the market as it is, instead of merely wishing it to be what you want. This video-highlights course includes all the lessons, but not the case studies or discussions.

More than 5,000 people have worked together learning from Godin's Marketing Seminar, but you might prefer the solitude and adjustable pace of a solo course. If that's what you're looking for, this is a great place to begin.

Here's what marketing legend Jay Levinson had to say about Seth:

Take Leo Burnett, David Ogilvy, Bill Bernbach and Mark Twain. Combine their brains and shave their heads. What's left? Seth Godin.

Isn't it time you did it right the first time?

Who this course is for:
  • Freelancers
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Change agents
  • Organizers
  • Brand managers
  • CEOs
  • Anyone who wants to make an impact
Course content
Expand all 48 lectures 06:13:31
+ Introduction
3 lectures 15:36

Marketing makes change happen. If there is no change, the marketing didn't work.

So, what change are you seeking to make?

[Note! In this video and many others, Seth refers to elements of the Seminar. This course doesn't include the discussion boards and other elements--it's simply the video highlights from that original Seminar. Feel free to do the work on your own or form a study group if that's helpful.]

Preview 05:22

Getting really clear about WHO changes everything.

Demographics describe what people look on the outside. But it’s way more interesting (and effective for your marketing plan) to think about the psychographics of the people we seek to change.

The more clearly you understand the desires, frustrations and personalities of the people you seek to change, the more effective your marketing will be. Consider the worldviews of the groups of people you hope to reach. Start with empathy.

Preview 05:23

At the heart of marketing, every time, is the promise.

Built into marketing is a promise: a promise that you’ll deliver something desirable. And your customers often pay with their attention, trust, or credit cards before they know for sure if your product or service is what they need or want.

Think about the promises your product or service might offer to a customer. Are these promises explicit or implicit? Are they emotional or intellectual? Do you need a bigger promise or a more specific promise (or more likely, a less specific one)?

(Slow down! Your quick answer probably isn’t the useful answer. What’s the promise of a Big Four accounting firm? Of Chanel No. 5? It’s rarely as specific or verbal or features-based as you might initially guess. The promise of Uber to the early adopters: There’s a magic button on your phone. If you push it, a car will appear and take you wherever you want to go. If the promise is bigger than the trust—and perceived risk—that’s present, people will ignore you.)

Preview 04:51
+ Empathy and positioning
5 lectures 43:50

Great marketers have empathy — people don't know what you know, don't need what you need, don't want what you want.

Empathy is hard. It’s hard because it involves trying to feel the way others feel. It’s hard because it challenges you to set aside your comfortable, familiar worldview in exchange for a perspective that may feel awkwardly foreign. It’s hard because it requires you to imagine what you do not know.

But this effort — imagining — is essential to creating the change you seek to make.

The perspectives of the people you wish to change will shape how they digest the marketing you present to them. What these people believe in, what worries them, what excites them, and what they desire will influence their decisions far more than any stack of statistics you pitch at them.

Once you start to understand how these people think, you’ll know how to talk with them, rather than market at them. By showing that you understand their needs and hopes, you are much likelier to earn their attention and trust in your ability to fulfill your promises.

Identify a specific customer that you seek to change. Then answer this: What does this person believe that you don’t believe? What do they see that you don’t see? What do they want that you don’t want? What do they care about that you don’t care about?

Empathy is at the heart of marketing

When we bring empathy to the table, we don’t worry about differentiation.

It’s really difficult for the human brain to make space for a new idea. It’s much easier to compare something new to something familiar.

Positioning provides a shorthand way to do this for the people you seek to change. We make an assertion about something they already know or care about, and then we build a true story — a product — that fills a slot in their needs and desires.

This is not about trying to change someone else’s mind by force or manipulation. It’s about helping someone see how you can fill a hole in their lives, and relating this to things they already understand. It’s about connecting the dots for someone, using the dots they know.

Think about a brand you like and care about. Then, answer this here: How is this brand positioned by you? Why do choose it instead of other brands? Why do you recommend it to your friends instead of other brands? What story do you tell yourself when you choose this brand?

Postioning (pat 1)

Here’s the rest of the lesson about empathy and positioning.

What problems are you solving when you buy something other than the cheapest generic? How would it do in a blind test? (It’s worth noting that we’re not in a blind test, that our choices involve more of a simple x/y comparison.)

The best way to answer these questions is to NOT mention product attributes like “fresher” or “faster.” Instead, talk about you and your emotions, your desires for status or safety or achievement…

Why don’t you drive a Honda Civic? Why do you buy bottled water? How do you advise a teenager on what college to choose? Is every system you use at work optimized for efficiency—and if not, why do you stick with the ones you have? 

We’re in search of universals here, not specifics. Emotions and desires that existed BEFORE the product was even invented.

Bonus note from Seth:

Positioning is not the same as differentiation. 

Differentiation is selfish--You’re only doing it to get more business. 

Positioning is service. What do people need that they’re not getting? Let’s offer that

Positioning (part 2)

Go away from the crowd on purpose, on axes that have been not yet explored.

There are two traps when positioning yourself with your customers: selfishly highlighting all the ways you are better than the competition, and repeating a glib summary of your service, based on a point of differentiation.

Positioning (part 3)

Is all chocolate the same? Not if we believe it's not.

Positioning example (chocolate)
+ Using a bigger canvas
4 lectures 32:29
What do people want?

What can you test? Your pricing, your copy, your positioning, your website, your words, your colors, your name, your target group, your promises…

How can you build an ongoing funnel of people to put your best ideas next to? It can range from Craigslist to public speaking…

What are the most common reasons (hmm, excuses?) you tell yourself about why your business ideas aren’t ready to be tested?

Now that you recognize those limiting thought patterns, what can you do about them when they occur again?

You cannot test yourself to greatness. Most people, as we will see, will never like something new. But not testing is also a great way to avoid doing great work, because you will seek perfection instead. What we’re hunting for is a balance. The confidence to leap, to stand for something, to ignore the common wisdom when it matters. But also the knowledge that testing isn’t fatal, a ‘no’ isn’t the end of the road, and engaging with the market is the best (only) way to truly understand the market.

The goal of our work, in the end, is customer traction. Once you have it, you’ve succeeded.

Who will you engage with now?

Always Be Testing
If you had to charge 10x

The art of being a marketer is to imagine what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes. And we do not learn that with statistics.

Market Research and its perils
+ Smallest Viable Market
3 lectures 24:21
Worldviews and personas

Why don’t people choose you and what you have to offer them?

Until we can be honest about why, we’re going to waste time and money (our time and their time, our money and their money).

Here are the basic reasons. Which ones affect you? What’s missing from this list?

  • I don’t know you exist
  • I am not aware of the offering you have for me
  • I don’t trust you
  • I don’t believe the promise you’re making is going to come true
  • I worry about what my peers will think
  • I am afraid of change and I worry that your promise might come true
  • I’m not in the right emotional, physical or social state right now*
  • I have different goals than you think I do
  • I have a different risk profile than you think I do
  • I have a different problem than you think I do
  • I tell myself a different story about money than you think I do
  • I’m not the decision maker, or at least I don’t think I am
  • I can wait, and there doesn’t feel like any benefit for acting soon that’s sufficient to overcome my inertia
  • I actually don’t have the resources, can’t find the resources, won’t pay the price to get the resources

*This is why selling popcorn at the movies is smarter than selling it anywhere else

Why don't people choose you?

If you wish, you can intentionally create a culture.

People like us (do things like this)
+ Tension, trust and forward motion
4 lectures 28:54
Trust and tension

Most things that get marketed aren’t about life or death. So where does the rest of it come from? Status.

Status roles

If you're not a lifeguard or a surgeon, if you're not saving lives... then what is the work for?

Dreams and desires
What we want (and how we get it)
+ Plans, words and some tactics
2 lectures 10:26

You need a marketing plan, but most of them are lousy

The Modern Marketing Plan

A brand is a promise. It's our expectation of what we're going to receive if we choose to buy from you.

What's a brand? A logo?
+ Pricing and awareness
3 lectures 29:57

We can proudly use price as a signal to tell people what we think about what we sell.

Pricing as a marketing tool

Generosity and free aren’t necessarily related.

And what about 'free'?

Great marketing is free because it pays for itself.

Don't worry so much about getting the word out. That's not the focus of great marketing.

(Good) marketing doesn't cost anything
+ Reciprocity and stories
5 lectures 32:17

Give before you get. Not so that you'll get more, but merely because you can.


Pavlov! Ring a bell?

Storytelling (part 1) A shorthand

Symbols and semiotics are the shorthands all humans use to make decisions.

Storytelling (part 2) Symbols

We are telling a story that fits in a spot in the brain. It’s a cache that we get to fill. And it is our opportunity and obligation to do it honestly, generously and with intent.

Storytelling (part 3) Reminders

We rarely talk about things that are 'very good.'

The Purple Cow
+ MASTER CLASS: A host of tactics and insights
15 lectures 01:58:20

Public relations is not the same as publicity.

PR vs. Publicity

Anticipated, personal and relevant marketing always does better

Permission Marketing

Who do you connect? What culture do you build?


"And the first rule is that we always talk about it."

Inverting the first rule of Fight Club

Ideas that spread win. Because ideas generate awareness and trust and trial and make it more likely that you’ll find the students you seek. What idea will you spread?

Unleashing the Ideavirus

Different people want different things. What happens when you seek to serve the neophiliacs first?

Rogers' Curve of Adoption

The chasm is there and ready to swallow you whole if you're not careful...

Crossing the chasm (the flaw in Rogers' curve)

A hit is nice. But so is a collection of niche essentials.

The Long Tail

Online, we're all direct marketers

Understanding the funnel

Begin again. Learn from what happened. Seek insight. Disengage from defensiveness and embrace the market instead....

Mindfulness in marketing

This is an essential fork in the road, a distinction that will open the door to smart decisions and investments.

Brand or direct marketing?

One takes a ruler, the other takes guts

Spending money on direct or brand

If this is so obvious, why is it so difficult?


No one ever bought anything on an elevator

Your elevator pitch

In a busy world, shorthand is all people will hear from you

Naming and semiotics
+ Wrapping up
3 lectures 18:20

What could you create that will disappear in a way that people will miss it when it’s gone (and hope it comes back soon)?

What could you create that would give me a real incentive to tell my friends?

That makes news?

How can you organize resources so that the sum is greater than the parts?

Who can get the word out in exchange for a share of the total pie of attention?

What would happen if your promotion didn’t work?

What would happen if it did?

Forward motion and impresarios, part 1

Make something happen.

Forward motion part 2

Bring the future to the present

Behavioral Economics