Book Review: Meatball Sundae by Seth Godin

With our first video blog post of the year, I wanted to review one of the marketing books I read in 2010. Seth Godin’s ‘Meatball Sundae’ was an informative read about new internet marketing strategies and how these tactics should be applied to a modern, growing business model. Employing case studies from 37 Signals, the creators of Basecamp, and, Seth explains why reaching the correct audience through these new marketing strategies trumps outdated means of traditional marketing.

I hope you enjoy my video blog, stay tuned for upcoming book reviews in our upcoming blog posts!

-Eric McGehearty: CEO

Eric McGehearty: Hi. It’s Eric with Globe Runner SEO, and I wanted to take some time today to do a few book reviews. I’m just going to do one right now, but over the next few weeks I’ll be doing some of my favorite books from 2010. And I love to read books. I particularly love audio books, so I usually get them on audio format. And I’ve read some great marketing books this last year that mostly deal with online marketing, but a few that also are just general business books. And I wanted to just bring your attention to a few of them.

So the one that I’m going to talk about today is “Meatball Sundae,” by Seth Godin. And I’m also reading “Tribes,” also written by Seth Godin, and both good books. They have some upsides and some downsides. “Meatball Sundae” talks about how to really match your marketing strategy with your company. And what he brings to light is some of the companies that are coming out today that literally their entire company is built around their marketing strategy.

And they’ve come to market using almost entirely pull marketing through social media, search engine optimization, and maximizing their web presence. And developing an incredible business from the ground up, and aligning it strategically with their marketing objectives.

So some of the examples he brings up is 37signals, which came up with Basecamp. Basecamp is a project management software that’s been incredibly successful. And they haven’t done any traditional media at all.

And traditional media has really… Has a dying place today in today’s marketing world. We can get a lot more accomplished with search engine optimization and social media marketing, and Seth does a great job pointing that out.

Another company that he brings up is Spreadshirt. And Spreadshirt is a shirt company. And you can upload your own designs, they take ownership of the designs, and then will reprint them, and actually cut you a check back once the design sells. So it’s great. It’s interactive. It draws attention. And a very successful company from the ground up using strictly online marketing.
And this is not banner ads across the web, this is pull marketing. So those examples are great, but here’s the thing I thought was a down side about the book, I felt like, how could I apply this to a more traditional business?

A company that maybe had already started, already in the game, and now is faced with this new reality, I didn’t really get a lot of great information for that. So from a more traditional company point of view, how do I now play in this new space? I don’t think Seth really covered that particularly well.

He just really mostly focused on new companies that were doing amazing things because they had built the company with the new marketing in mind. But how to get an established business to utilize new marketing effectively, I didn’t quite get.
The other down side of it was, and I’d say this is probably true of “Tribes” as well, that I’m reading right now, is Seth can be a little preachy. Sometimes I feel like he’s kind of preaching at me, and telling me what I need to be doing all the time. And that gets a little bit old. But overall I’d say I had a positive read here on “Meatball Sundae.” It’s worth picking up. It’s not my top book of the year, but it’s a good one.

So thanks so much. This was Eric with Globe Runner SEO, I’ll be talking to you soon.