Seth Godin : quelques citations sur le storytelling et ses implications marketing

Dans son ouvrage All marketers are liars, qui malheureusement ne porte pas bien son titre, Seth Godin fait preuve d’un génie pédagogique et pratique remarquable.

Il vulgarise avec une virtuosité impressionnante des concepts que l’on retrouve chez d’autres auteurs comme Erving Goffman (cf. Les cadres de l’expérience), Paul Watzlawick et ses acolytes de l’école de Palo Alto (cf. La réalité de la réalité), Edward T. Hall (cf. La dimension cachée), voire Kapferer (cf. Rumeurs, la rumeur étant finalement un type de storytelling particulier).

I/ Une remodélisation des consommateurs : les individus sont des êtres de croyances (VS homo oeconomicus), et le storytelling est inscrit au plus profond des structures sociales

« Stories make it easier to understand the world […] Consumers are used to telling stories to themselves and telling stories to each other, and it’s just natural to buy stuff from someone who’s telling us a story. People can’t handle the truth ». (P2)

« Each person has a different set of biases and values and assumptions, and those worldviews are influenced by their parents, their schools, the places they live and the experiences they’ve had to date. Their worldview is the lens they use to determine whether or not they’re going to believe a story […] Different people, different worldviews. People can see the same data and make a totally different decision ». (P31)

« There is a complete disconnect between observable reality and the lies we tell ourselves. There is almost no connection between what is actually there and what we believe – whether you’re talking about cribs, soup, computers, people cars, or just about any product or service we buy at word or at home ». (P21)

II/ Une redéfinition originale du marketing : le rôle du marketing est de diffuser des idées qui ont vocation à satisfaire les désirs d’un public. En ce sens, nous sommes tous, à notre échelle, des marketeurs

«Plenty of people can make something cheaper than you can, and offering a product or service that is measurably better for the same money is a hard edge to sustain. Marketers profit because consumers buy what they want, not what they need. Needs are practical and objective, wants are irrational and subjective. And no matter what you sell – and whether you sell it to businesses or consumers – the path to profitable growth is in satisfying wants, not needs. » (p7)

« Marketing is about spreading ideas, and spreading ideas is the single most important output of our civilization. Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese have died because of bad marketing. Religions thrive or fade away because of the marketing choices they make. Children are educated, companies are built, jobs are gained or lost – all because of what we know (and don’t know) about spreading ideas ». (P17)

« Marketing matters because whether or not you’re in a position to buy a commercial, if you’ve got an idea to spread, you’re a marketer. » (P18)

« Marketing starts before the factory is involved. If you choose the wrong story or frame it the wrong way, you lose. » (P154 )

III/ Remporter l’adhésion : préférer une histoire engageante à une argumentation fastidieuse

« Talented marketers understand that the prospect is ultimately telling himself the lie, so allowing him (and the rest of the target audience) to draw his own conclusions is far more effective than just announcing the punch line. » (P9)

« This is a hard lesson for a lot of marketers to learn. It’s easy to tout your features, focus on the benefits, give proof that you are, in fact the best solution to a problem. But proof doesn’t make the sale. Of course, you believe the proof, but your audience doesn’t. The very fact that you presented the proof makes it suspect. If a consumer figures something out or discovers it on her own, she’s a thousand times more likely to believe it than if it’s just something you claim.

This is where the art of marketing occurs. For most products and services, skywriting, billboards and telemarketing are precisely the wrong ways to spread a message. Not because they won’t be noticed – they probably will. But because they won’t be believed.

In order to believe, you must present enough of a change that the consumer chooses to notice it. But then you have to tell a story, not give a lecture. You have to hint at the facts, not announce them. You cannot prove your way into a sale – you gain a customer when the customer proves to herself that you’re good choice.

The process of discovery is more powerful than being told the right answer – because of course there is no right answer, and because even if there were, the consumer wouldn’t believe you! ». (P89)

IV/ Le permission marketing comme solution au problème de l’hyperchoix et de la saturation de l’espace publicitaire

« For fifty years, advertising (and the prepackaged, one-way stories that make good advertising) drove our economy. Then media exploded. We went from three channels to five hundred, from no web pages to a billion. At the same time, the number of choices mushroomed. There are more than one hundred brands of nationally advertised water. There are dozens of car companies, selling thousands of combinations. Starbucks offers nineteen million different ways to order a beverage, and Oreo cookies come in more than nineteen flavors.

In the face of all this choice and clutter, consumers realized they have a quite bit of power. So advertising stopped working.

One insight is that marketing with permission works better than spam. In other words, delivering anticipated, personal and relevant ads to the people who want to get them is always more effective than yelling loudly at strangers ». (P166)

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