Seth Godin Likes Bob Marley and Kalahari Red Tea. I’m Gettin’ Me Some of Them!

September 28, 2006

Seth Godin wrote a post yesterday about trust, and although it rambled a bit, or at least didn’t go where I thought it was going, this line is absolutely true:

We are almost always in search of recommendations, especially from people who don’t seem to have an ulterior motive.

He mentions that it doesn’t make much sense for us to take his recommendation on music or good tea just because we read his blog, but that we might take those recommendations anyway.

Why? Because Godin seems intelligent and probably doesn’t love crap. So, if I like tea and want to try something new, why not go for the Kalahari red tea that he suggests versus shooting in the dark? He may be wrong, or at least his preference may be wrong for me, but chances are better I’m going to be satisfied than if I pick completely randomly.

This is the very reason that smart marketers, especially those with little money but a good product/service/idea, work so hard to get journalists (or bloggers) to write about them. Who do you believe more–the journalist you’ve never met and know nothing about who says she’s happy with her new Mobi1Kenobi mobile phone, or the ad right next to that story that says “The C3PEOPod Mobile Phone Will Change Your Life”?

As Godin says, you assume the person writing without an ulterior motive is telling the truth, at least as he/she sees it, and it’s better to buy based on someone’s real truth than based on someone’s real lies (or, more graciously, their unconfirmed promises).



  1. That is an excellent point and ties in perfectly to the way a lot of marketing is going nowadays. Let a great blogger mention it and it will fly out the door!

    And Seth Godin seems pretty cool himself..

  2. But – will all the advertising and affiliate marketing links that bloggers have on their sites eventually change the trust level?

  3. I think you may be right, Brian. With advertisers willing to pay to be mentioned in a blog and bloggers trying to pick off a few dollars any way they can, it could make people start to wonder.

    On the other hand, you build trust as a blogger just the way you do as any other sort of writer. People can spot a fake plug versus a real recommendation.

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