Seth Godin to Google

I don’t write much about marketing, because I usually regard myself as somebody who designs systems for people, not profit. But lately I’ve been re-examining this because it’s hard to ignore Seth Godin.

I watched Godin’s talk to Google this evening. In the past I’ve always regarded him as a bit of a marketing smoothie: how can the writer of Permission Marketing be anything else? But his talk has me thinking about that in a different way.

You probably won’t have the time to watch it. He’s an average speaker; par for the course in an age of lacklustre oratory, but he puts his points well.

Bearing in mind he’s talking about Google, the main thing that struck me was his propostion that Google’s morass of “beta” ideas can be knitted together by obtaining permission from users already familiar with the brand to seek out and market those ideas to others as long as they solve somebody’s problem. It’s not a new idea per se (and I note he makes no use of the word “viral”), but put it into the context of a large and creatively explosive corporation like Google and it takes on a different hue. Port that to Apple (yes, that works too…), then why not IBM, or even (gasp) Microsoft?

Certainly harder to work out off line, which makes me glad I’ve never been interested in DM…