Unrest in the Marketing Tribe

  Tartan Chat 
  Originally uploaded by fergyboi

We consumers are fickle beasts. Even those of us involved in marketing are often wrong footed by other marketers. Jon Burg has a great post, and provokes an excellent discussion around Seth Godin’s new book, Tribes:

I’m part of a tribe – a Godin follower.  I generally enjoy his work.  I think he’s an overall brilliant marketer.  The early reviews of the book looked positive.  I was glad that I finally had the foresight to pre-order the book everyone would be talking about.

But Jon’s enthusiasm is tainted when, on the day that the new book arrives, he finds the audio book version is available for FREE.
Is this a mistake or a great marketing ploy? Does the availability of a free audio book stop you from purchasing a hardcopy book? Would you feel that your author (or brand) loyalty had been betrayed?
Take a look at Jon’s post and read through the comments and then let me know your point of view. Brilliant marketing or betrayal? You tell me.

6 thoughts on “Unrest in the Marketing Tribe

  1. Thanks for sharing. I’m taking quite a bit of heat for asking the question, glad to know I’m not insane!
    On that note, this is a great book. The content and the author speak for themselves, strong and provocative ideas that make you think and rethink everything you already know but somehow forgot to think about.

  2. For me, the free audio makes it easier for me to recommend the book to those new to it — they don’t have to risk much to give it a try, and when they really love it chances are they buy a copy if they feel strongly about it. That’s definitely been my experience.

  3. The audio version of a book is radically different than the tangible version. I don’t consider them the same at all. There’s no highlighting, scanning (for purely blogging reasons, I assure you) or bookmarking particularly moving passages.
    I think it’s a brilliant move, personally, and as Megan already said, I like that I can recommend the book to those who are too cheap to pick up a book from a marketing guru.

  4. I love the fact that when ever something comes up about Seth he’s always the first one to reply.
    I actually agree with his comment, and I don’t think he intended to “use” anyone. I will always prefer a physical book as opposed to an audio one, so I’ll still buy a hardcopy, even when I can get it for free.

  5. It’s Seth’s right and his publisher’s, to set the price for the different versions.
    But, I would have liked to have been told about the imminent release of the “free” audio when the book was offered to me.
    It could have been offered initially as a bonus with the purchase.
    Nobody’s mentioned the price of the “free” audio version is joining the Audio supplier’s mailing list?
    That’s a fairly common type of list-building gambit.
    I have done it myself and don’t see anything wrong with it, but I don’t regard the audio as free when there is that condition.
    I’ve always got great value from all of Seth Godin’s books the generous amount of useful and thought-provoking free material he makes available.
    John Williams

  6. I think this is also interesting in light of the controversial “members-only” access he gave to people who pre-purchased the book. Seth seems to have created a lot of talk before the launch and after the launch.

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