Purple Cow Book Review and How to Apply it’s Lessons

This is another not book review here, this time of Seth Godin’s Purple Cow. For a book that is over 10 years old, it’s crazy how relevant this is still today. It just proves that although interruption marketing has changed and is proven to be ineffective. Seth’s own permission marketing is still very relevant today. So this is my non purple cow book review, more of the same in what I did with my linchpin book review. My biggest takeaways, and how to apply it.

Purple Cow Book Review

So the first notable discussion point is terming the difference between marketing strategies.

Interruption marketing is useless, the books explains how in demand our attention is and a simple advertisement whether plastered on a billboard/underground/bus/whatever is just not going to sink in. Think of those useless google ads on the side of Facebook or cold sales calls.

So the new style of marketing is permission marketing, meaning if you already have someone’s attention then it’s worth your while to advertise something. If I were to use that day to day life example again, I would think low key coffee shop that would advertise a 2 for 1 on Coffee’s in the shop ONLY. The reason it would only be in the coffee shop is because you’ve already got the person’s permission to advertise because they’ve gone in with the intent to buy. It wouldn’t be worthwhile for the coffee shop to fork out a ton of cash to grab billboards or busses that circulate that street, because it’s just advertising to no one. I’d imagine that if attention could be measured like click through rates it’d probably be a similar 1% or less.

A good example of permission marketing online, is if someone was to log onto a site and look for more info. To use an example of someone I’m working with: If I were interested in learning more on becoming a leader I would check out James Scouller’s website, then I would like to read his views, so I go through to his blog. There I notice he’s giving away a free PDF that’s a summary and the best of his book, “Great!” I think “a product of value for FREE!”

Here I would use permission marketing via email. If someone was interested in this PDF then they would potentially be interested in a leadership seminar he was hosting or a follow up book he’s has coming out.




You may ask “So where does a purple cow come into it? This is a (non) purple cow book review isn’t it?” Well Seth Godin actually explains why the book is called that in the first few opening pages, so I won’t.

But what he means by a purple cow is a remarkable product. Not good, or very good or great. Remarkable. He gives a ton of examples in the book so that’s not my pitch to do here.

But what it means to me, is creating something worth talking about, you know – something so great you’d recommend it to a friend. It could be anything like “on Thursday mornings between 7am-9am all McDonalds staff dress as Ronald McDonald!” Before you know it, you could be buying your coffee on a Thursday morning in McDonald’s just to see that very thing. You may only go once, but the thing is if everyone went just once… that’s hell a of a profit. [Of course this example has no longevity, but not all marketing ploys ever do.] It’s also worth talking about.


So now I am faced with something. If I want to be a successful entrepreneur or marketer – I need to be, or create something worth talking about.

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