The Marketing Paradox [infographic]

Differentiation vs Amplification

We shared Seth Godin's Circles of Marketing blog post a couple of weeks ago, it captured our attention because of the simplicity of the message, the focus on the fundamentals, Seth's always good at that.

The marketing paradox

We believe that Seth has described something of a modern marketing paradox, and we wanted to illustrate it step further than he has. We believe that the marketing paradox that we face is Differentiation and Longevity vs Amplification and Speed. Does the marketer seek genuine differentiation or does he or she chase an opportunity to measurably amplify the brand? The latter is realistically faster, it's what's expected, and just maybe you get a bit of luck or already have a great product, in which case amplification can then work for sure. Yet the inner rings are defensible, considered, harder and longer lasting. They're also the base to upon which you can amplify and unfortunately they're increasingly out of the direct control of many marketers, driven by other stake-holders or business directors.

Inspired by Seth Godin

Seth recommends moving one circle inwards when your marketing isn't working, it seems obvious, so why do we see even experienced marketers stuck in the outer rings, we wondered? Seth reckons it's amateur marketers, maybe. We could deliberate for days on why, but we feel that it's quite simply fear. A fear of changing from "what's always worked"? Maybe there's a pressure from upstairs for marketers to deliver short-term results forcing short-term thinking to demonstrate some form of ROI sooner rather than later?

Our point is that at least know you have the choice. We hope that our interpretation adds to the original and helps prompts different thinking, please let us know in the comments.

Note: we tweaked the marketing circles slightly from Seth's, we felt strongly that 'Story' and 'Community' really warranted their own place.

Share your thoughts

  • I think many marketers stuck in the outer rings because they don’t know about the other sides that they can pursue? Anyway, I just want to say that even if our products/services are commodity item, we should still find a way to be different. For example, great customer service. Many commodity businesses just focus on pricing because they believe all other things are the same and price is the only thing customers will consider.

    Adam – Impatto

  • Love it – but ironically cannot Pin it? Strange… ;p

    • Thanks for picking us up on this – we find we get a fair bit of natural pinning from Pinners with the browser toolbar from

      Interesting that now I have implemented we had around 90 shares already.

      But you’re right, this should encourage more sharing…

      BTW Since you helped us Dan, your name goes to a Not found for /blog

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