seth godin on duct tape marketingOkay, to be fair to Seth, let’s put the title of this post in context. I interviewed Seth on a recent live session for my coaching excellence series and we talked about the natural advantages of small business and how to take advantage in a down market.

At some point he said – “If people aren’t talking about you, there’s a reason. You’re boring – your products are boring, your services are boring, your message is boring, your marketing is boring . . .”

You get the point. And he’s right. There’s no excuse for being unremarkable – the bar is so dang low. Because most of your competition is even more boring.

Listen to the entire session below or – click to download it. – (it’s a big file about 50mgs and 50 minutes)

The twittersphere gets pretty active during these sessions and here are a few hightlights from folks tweeting during the call.

karenKarenLKay If people aren’t talking about you, there’s a reason. You’re boring. Seth Godin

ededunigan: a community is alot of work and inexpensive – worth investing in – it works and pays for itself. maintain balance – lead & connect

schscheky1068: Seth Godin just ripped us all a new one 🙂 #dtmseth At least he offered us our money back on the free seminar!

stevestevegasser: show me a way that I can save money,spend money to save money-show me how to make something that will pay for itself-It is smarter.

jennijenninaz: #dtmseth The market pays attention when you r the world’s best, make your world smaller. He just said he’s not on Twitter. Can’t be the best

alexgibsondm: “Deliver a product or service that is overwhelmingly better that there is no other choice.”- Seth Godin –

robertRobertHill: Find products for your customers instead of customers for your products by Seth Godin on the @ducttape interview. Great stuff

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • I agree totally. I think when you role out of bed each day, you should not say to yourself: “How can I be remarkable today, but how can I start my day by being remarkable!” Set you standards for the day before getting caught up in the mundane!

  • Was there a problem with the sound when the interview started? I wasn’t getting anything, but I will certainly download the session now.

  • John Jantsch

    @Chad – yes, we did have an issue with the Internet audio part – sorry about that – it’s worth a listen though.

  • Yep. Compared to Seth Going just about everyone is boring.

  • OUCH! Seth Godin of course. My bad 🙂

  • Ha ha It’s true. People have short attention spans so it is hard to stay interesting. Very nice though.

  • I know this isn’t directly related to the topic of the conversation, but I especially liked the comment about how facebook is a platform not a community. 150 million people use it in 150 million different ways.

  • Good content is king. You can have great content and not know how to get it in front of people. That is why sites like yours are great at letting people learn what they need to know. We just found your site, so we added it to our blog list so that we can come back often. Thanks again.
    Dan and Deanna “Marketing Unscrambled”

  • John Jantsch

    @Dan and Deanna – glad you found us – don’t be a stranger.

  • John Jantsch

    @Micah – not off topic at all – great comment – on my twitter home page I have a quote I use all of the time in my presentations – Social media is a tool, it’s not a religion. I catch some flack for that, but I think we need a dose of reality about some of this stuff so we don’t all get carried away, or worse yet, turned off on the awesome power of correctly employing all these new tools to reach our marketing objectives.

  • Nice Seth…but I think you’re really boring…..(i know…bad joke). Actually, I’d rather say: ‘thanks’….and…I knew there was something amazing about Jerry Garcia!

  • Thanks for taking the time to put this together John. A great reminder that different is almost always better (if the economy hasn’t already given you that kick-in-the-pants reminder that you need).


  • I love the title of this post, he probably does think most of us are boring. It inspired me to write a post today on the need for social media participation within a company, and the need for a person to fill the “social media manager” job role.

    Thanks guys. And thanks to Seth for his notorious “constructive criticism”.

  • Thanks for organizing this and making the recording available. Real motivating and inspiring. Nice summary of Seth’s big messages too.

  • John Jantsch

    @Joe – how’s your book coming? Happy to put this together and you are right, nothing like the silence of the phone to create some focus.

  • John Jantsch

    @Justin – yes the twitter bites add a nice touch I think and maybe demonstrates a little about how to utilize this kind of integration

  • Thanks for asking John. Hardcover sales are going great. Here’s the book site (

    McGraw-Hill is publishing the paperback, which will be released this June.

    Content marketing is a very timely subject – as you know.


  • If I understood Seth, he gave advice that businesses should be more like churches or synagogues. Let’s ponder that for a moment…In the christian church “niche” there are products such as tapes, books, church buildings, pews, etc. Churches have services such as sermons, bible study, choir ministry, drama ministry, health and wellness ministry, etc. However the ultimate long lasting attractiveness of the church really has nothing to do with those products and services. What people want from a church is a place where they can connect with God among others who want to connect with connect God in a more intimate way. The pastor is the one who leads the tribe of people to God and shows them how to connect using all of the above products and services as supporting tools. There is something special and remarkable about a congregation of people in one place that meet that criteria. That’s what people want from a church in the christian church “niche”. Why? Because people have a need and desire to fill an empty spot in their lives that can only be filled by the Lord God. So, with that…how can you restructure your business to fit that model for the desires of your customers and potential customers. Clearly, we have some “unlearning” to do.

  • It’s especially easy in service businesses to get stuck in the rut of being boring. I mean what’s exciting about lawn care or plumbing?

    In reality, NOTHING. That’s why it’s our job as marketers to find and create reasons to make things interesting and exciting.

    As always, Seth delivers the goods!

  • Perhaps they aren’t talking about you because your product is just not relevant to them. That does not by itself make your company or your product boring. If you don’t use makeup and don’t talk about it, that does not make any makeup product boring.

    Seth’s comment only relates to your market sector and those who are your potential clients.

  • This was great…appreciate the resource here! Guess I will go figure out how to be relevant and not boring! 🙂 Starting today!

  • sierratec

    Imagine… there’s no remarkable
    The other day I bumped into someone Seth Godin may call “boring” — a woman who approached me for money. Her “pitch” was not remarkable, her cause was not remarkable, nor her career. She was not in a remarkable location wearing remarkable clothes. She didn’t “wow” me with the results of her fundraising campaign or the return on my investment or how the marketplace was discussing her or her campaign.
    She didn’t have a blog, let alone internet access, and couldn’t have paid for it if it were available. She and the child she had with her didn’t strike me as remarkable, maybe just malnourished?
    Remarkable doesn’t imply value; it is just as likely to be on the right side of the bell curve as it is to be on the left. Would she have to choose more hungry, more poor, more underserved to be remarkable, to get the marketplace to care?
    Sprinkle some good value behind “remarkable un-boring” discussions and hopefully this will appropriately influence the marketplace.

  • John Jantsch

    @sierratec – I guess value and remarkable do go together but I fail to grasp your analogy – are you suggesting this woman would or would not need to do something different to beat out her competition, well, as long as we are being absurd, there are remarkable homeless folks who stand out at the objectives they have set, nobody said you need a blog to be remarkable.

  • sierratec

    Thanks for your comment John. With my analogy I would like to suggest that remarkable and value “should” go together.
    Since remarkable is the exception on both the yin and yang side of average, I hope we don’t encourage marketers to strive for it without more importantly striving for the underlying value of what being on that edge means. Could it be that unremarkable isn’t as boring as unworthiness? OK, I may be way too naïve with my analogy, but I would hope that an unremarkable small business woman campaigning for a real and worthy need would be less “boring” than a very remarkable, unworthy campaign (and a lot of folks could probably give me great examples of those). I would hope she wouldn’t need to be remarkable for her share of the pie.
    I feel that remarkable is not a choice — it could be a consequence and if so, let’s at least equally promote being very cognizant and respectful of the value our contribution makes along the way?

  • Is not the value (or for arguing sake the “perceived value”) what makes one remarkable?

  • sierratec

    An interesting question Sam C, and separate point to debate. What makes a U.S. Super Bowl commercial remarkable for example? Is it the amount of money spent on it, the number of eyeballs that view it or the impact it has on solving poverty? It could be any or ALL of the three. Thus the problem with remarkable and the need for a more worthy value goal. Especially for duct tape marketers who may not have the time, money, risk for a remarkable Super Bowl budget. So more than remarkable, I suggest to focus on worthy, and in fact, Seth Godin will also tell us how to do this…

  • Or is it something to do with Godin rhyming with borin? 😀

  • Enjoyable and thought provoking, thank you.

  • Awesome stuff!

    The best part: oh, they may rest in peace

    Brilliant! 🙂

  • So simple yet so profound. Very Seth Godin! This recording is highly recommended. Listened to it three times, and I’m still learning something new!

  • Like Sam C. noted in a realier post, it is the percieved value that makes one stand out. And how does one get that percieved value? It depends on what the reader/client wants and values…it is a matter of opinion. Of course I believe there are a smaller audience if you write/sell pure crap than when you’d sell.. umm, diamonds for example. If you know your reader/client then it is impossible to have borung marketing. So, ultimately it boils down to; WHO is YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE?

  • Sometimes something can be so simple (and brilliant at the same time) that people just don’t get it. Seth’s thoughts and ideas about marketing today are built on the same principals that the Obama presidential marketing campaign was built on. And, we know who won that race. Either you get that or you don’t. As far as I’m concerned, it speaks for itself.

  • Seth Godin has a way of cutting through the fluff, without causing offense. Straight from the hip…

    I have linked this interview on my blog on my speaker profile. Members check in with regularly as my profile is the most active on this site.

    I do hope a couple of people stop by, as this is a first class interview.