They Are Not Trying to be Creepy

In his podcast, Akimbo [], Seth Godin teaches us how to adopt a posture of possibility, change the culture, and choose to make a difference. Here are my takeaways from the episode.

  • Our cultures and our lives are inextricably linked with media, and someone has pay for the media we consume. We can pay for the media in three ways: 1) pay for the media, 2) pay for the thing that comes within the media, or 3) an advertiser can pay for the media.
  • When an advertiser pays for a piece of media we consume, we are kidding ourselves if we pretend what the advertiser wants does not matter.
  • There are two types of marketing: brand marketing and direct marketing. Either approach has its purposes and goals.
  • Brand advertising has been the primary vehicle for marketing for a long time. This approach tries to influence our perception of a brand subtly
  • Direct marketing is all about actions and measurements. Will someone click or buy after seeing the direct advertisement? Even a 1% response rate is a home run.
  • Advertisers would prefer to buy the mass and reach everyone. That is difficult to do because the interests are so divergent on the net. Companies are trying hard to collect data from individuals in an attempt to find the micro markets that exist. If those micro markets can be found, the data can be sold to the advertisers.
  • Once the data gathering started, companies apply the direct marketing approach to leverage the data, and everyone does it. A downward ratchet started.
  • With all these direct marketing efforts needing the eyeballs and clicks, consumers become the product. The free services exist to sell “you” to the advertisers. We should be aware of this and know what we are getting ourselves into.
  • As we turn the brand advertisers into the direct marketers, we should be acutely aware of the societal and cultural implications. It is up to us on what we would tolerate and set up the guard rails.
  • Our opportunity her is not to race faster to the bottom. We need to be careful with how we spend our attention and on whom every day.
  • “Our culture defines who we are, is what we got, and what we make it into.”