The Japanese word “otaku” is a critical piece to successfully marketing your new product or service, according to Seth Godin. It refers to the desire of someone who is obsessed – often referencing a group in society that, for example, is obsessed with technology. In our world, we’d typically refer to the otaku as innovators, social media influencers, technologists and early adopters – the type of people who will obsess over your idea and product, conduct an unboxing on Youtube or write a review on their Facebook page. Otaku is those who want to try everything first and tell the crowd they tried it first and liked or disliked it. They are the secret to your marketing success, according to Seth Godin.
Seth Godin has always been years ahead of the marketing curve. His ideas from last century are, literally, still being used today by the world’s biggest corporations. Godin is the most articulate, talented and seasoned marketer there is.
Seth Godin is a best selling author and was a successful dot-com executive. He founded a company called Yoyodyne in the 90s, then sold it to Yahoo a few years later for roughly $30 million. The company specialized in ‘permission marketing’; a concept brought to life by Seth. After the acquisition, Yahoo appointed Seth as its vice president of direct marketing. He’s a digital marketer/entrepreneur who sees the advertising landscape much differently than a typical ad executive. And, as mentioned, his ideas are progressive and way ahead of the pack, typically by a couple years or more.
I’ve subscribed to Godin’s newsletter for nearly a decade. It’s loaded with weekly gems (click here to subscribe). The video I’ve included today is the very first I saw of Seth’s, and the marketing lessons in it are timeless.
This speech is from 2007, at a Ted event long before they were mainstream and trendy. Every entrepreneur looking to launch a new product and attract a different customer base should pull out their notebook, grab a cup of joe, and pay close attention. If you’re like me, you’ll probably watch this a few times.
The definition of remarkable is critical to understand if you want your product/idea to spread. It means to do something or make something worth remarking about. With the domination of social media in all our lives, there has never been a more relevant period in our existence to market your product/service in a remarkable way. We all want people talking about our brand. And lucky for us, people want to share and talk about things online that are remarkable. It makes them attractive to their peers for knowing what’s new and noteworthy. It’s called social currency.
There are some fascinating (or remarkable, you might say) entrepreneurial case studies in this video. Particularly memorable were the ones about the inventor of sliced bread and the town near Lake Washington… love this story. I believe the ‘remarkable’ art piece would have attracted thousands, if not tens of thousands, of tourists every year to that sleepy town starving for an economic boost. Read about it here (unfortunately it was never built).
Figure out who cares about your product or service. Twenty years ago, companies and entrepreneurs would focus their marketing budgets and efforts on marketing to the masses – those in the middle. Reality is, which is perfectly explained by Seth Godin in this video, you need to market to the fringes – those that talk and care about new products and services. Find your Otaku.
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