Explore our Digital Marketing Strategy and Planning Toolkit

The Marketing Paradox [infographic]

Author's avatar By Danyl Bosomworth 07 Aug, 2012
Essential Essential topic

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.

Author's avatar

By Danyl Bosomworth

Dan helped to co-found Smart Insights in 2010 and acted as Marketing Director until leaving in November 2014 to focus on his other role as Managing Director of First 10 Digital. His experience spans brand development and digital marketing, with roles both agency and client side for nearly 20 years. Creative, passionate and focussed, his goal is on commercial success whilst increasing brand equity through effective integration and remembering that marketing is about real people. Dan's interests and recent experience span digital strategy, social media, and eCRM. You can learn more about Dan's background here Linked In.

Recommended Blog Posts