I adore Seth Godin. He has the brevity a haiku poet and the mind of a marketing-focused George Carlin. With a few words he can reveal wonder within the most mundane.

Earlier today he tackled the topic of advertising, or more specifically how your advertising is free when marketing does its job:

If the local bank were offering a sale on dollar bills, ninety cents each, how many would you buy?

Most rational people would say, “I’ll take them all please.” Especially if you had thirty days to pay for them.

So, why, precisely, do you have an ad budget?

If your ads work, if you can measure them and they return more profit than they cost, why not keep buying them until they stop working?

And if they don’t work, why are you running them?

The time-tested response is that you’re not sure, that ads are risky, that you can’t tell. And for some sorts of products and some sorts of ads, you’ll get no argument from me.

Digital ads are different (or they should be). You should know cost per click and revenue per click and be able to make a smart guess about lifetime value of a click. And if that’s positive, buy, buy, buy.

Makes sense! For more Seth Godin goodness take at look at our favorites The Big Red Fez, Purple Cow: Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable, Free Prize Inside!: The Next Big Marketing Idea, and his latest Tribes. Each book is filled with page after page of delicious mind candy.

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