Who'd ever think a purple cow could light a spark?
This year I was given the opportunity to attend Advertising Week in New York City thanks to the Inovāt team. Advertising Week, for those unfamiliar with it, is a weeklong event consisting of seminars, workshops, discussion panels, and networking parties. It spanned across about six or so different buildings and venues mostly in the midtown Manhattan area. Speakers and attendees from across the world were present either giving speeches or taking notes on the masters of the advertisement industry; I was one of the note takers. I soaked up every ounce of information my brain could sponge and by far my favorite presentation was given by the linchpin himself, Seth Godin.
When I first found out I was going to be in the same room with the marketing legend, Seth Godin, I admit I lost some air in my lungs. Seth Godin is an author of 18 bestselling books, maintains an incredibly popular blog, was inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame in 2013, and successfully funded a four-book series on Kickstarter in just three hours. His book, Linchpin, revolutionized the way I look at the term employee and I owe him a personal "thank you" as I believe he has had at least a little bit of an influence in my ability to acquire this very position at Inovāt. So, one can now imagine the reasons for a slight change in breathing patterns after figuring out I would be in the same room as this man.
Seth gives one heck of a presentation. His skillful performance blew the other presenters at other events right out of the water. Curious to get my hands on a copy, I was recently told he wrote a whole book on PowerPoint presentations. He used an epic amount of slides. He mostly stuck to images, the slides barely contained words, and his storytelling and audience nurturing was untouchable. He had some quote gems thrown in sporadically that I made sure to take note of. Some of most notable ones were:
"As marketers, our job is to dance with fear."
"The person who invented the ship also invented the shipwreck."
“It is always too soon; When the printing press was invented 93% of the population was illiterate."
He crushed it, plain and simple.
My favorite story of his was "The Legend of the Purple Cow". Only later did I actually find out he wrote a book titled Purple Cow; Might need to get my hands on that one. The story begins with him in his car with his family driving through the countryside. His daughter is in the back seat staring out the window. The scenery consists of green pastures and cow fields. Suddenly, his daughter yells out to him, “Daddy, Daddy, look! It’s a purple cow!” Her remark sparked his curiosity so much that he had to pull over to the side of the road, get out of his car, take some pictures of the cow, and call some of his friends to tell them about the incredible discovery! Seth Godin then alluded to how the purple cow represents remarkable content or content that creates a remark and stirs up some serious discussion.
Seth Godin was definitely the highlight of the week. His shine was captivating and role modelesque, more so than I thought going into the event. His insights are extremely useful for any marketing team or business in general. I cannot stress enough how much his work has influenced the entire industry itself. An absolute legend this gentlemen is. After reviewing his personal website, I found he has some free materials if you are interested in trying out some of his recommended readings.