How many of you are fans of Seth Godin, raise your hand?

I’ve read a ton of his books, and love following his blog. I finally got a chance to read his newest book, Meatball Sundae.

If you haven’t heard of Godin, or his book, the name may throw you a bit. After all, what does a Meatball Sundae have to do with marketing?

First you have to think about what a meatball sundae actually is. It’s the result of combining two perfectly good items that don’t go together at all. You don’t end up with something new and fresh; you actually end up with a big, sloppy mess that has zero attraction to the general public.

In this case a meatball would be the basic staples – the things that traditional marketing could sell quite well. The topping would be the new marketing – MySpace, websites, blogs – all of the magic that makes the sundae irresistible.

Unfortunately, most businesses still live with the idea of producing the meatball. They produce a product and continue to market it in traditional ways, usually because they don’t understand New Marketing.

To succeed in today’s world, you have to break away from the traditional marketing, and learn to play in the brave, new marketplace.

Take for instance Godin’s Trend 14 – New Gatekeepers, No Gatekeepers. With old marketing, the only way to get “big” was to get in with the big guys. You did everything you could to be noticed by one of the biggest companies in the marketplace. Once you were found, your business was on easy street. Not so today. The big actually tend to struggle as they apply all of their big, corporate rules to the new marketplace. spagetti

Where else can a tiny company produce a short video with no ad budget, place it on YouTube, be found, and within  a few short months have the video viewed millions of times? Only in times of new marketing. Again, this is with zero ad budget – YouTube is free, and shooting an in-house video can cost next to nothing.

But with new marketing, you have to step outside of the traditional box, and be willing to try a few things. And if they don’t work, try a few more. Then keep what does work, and try some more.

New Marketing is changing all the time. The important thing is to learn what you can, give it a try, follow the advice of others, text, and start all over again.

If you’re looking for something to read on your next flight, or even to take to the beach (can you tell it’s almost spring break, and I’m ready for vacation?) give Meatball Sundae a try. It’s a quick read, and really can put some new ideas into place.