Marketing Lessons by Dr. Seuss

What if I told you the best book on marketing is a children’s book? Well, it is. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss has just about everything you need to know to understand how great marketing works. If you haven’t read it for reason, (perhaps you are an alien, or had a terrible childhood), then go grab yourself a copy. For those who had, let me review the amazing lessons you should learn from this book.

1. You can’t make people buy something they don’t already want… but you can get them to try it.

Sam-I-am, no relation to Will, makes the terrible mistake of thinking his friend might like something he has never tried before. This leads them on a wild chase of rhyming scenarios where the potential customer repeatedly insists he does not like green eggs and ham. Sam-I-am has to learn the valuable lesson to change his ask from “do you like it” to “will you try it.”

Too many businesses don’t provide people a “bridge” between not being a customer and being a customer. Sometimes, the answer is just to give people smaller steps.

2. Persistence is everything.

Studies have continually shown that people have to hear a message many times before they will respond. If everyone had Sam-I-am’s level of persistence - pitching to customer by train, car, and goat - they wouldn’t spend so much time wondering why they aren’t getting leads. Of course, you can’t be heavy handed about it either, but having systems in place to make sure you constantly reach out to potential customers makes a big difference.

3. Have a clear call-to-action.

Sam-I-am wins in the end by making a deal: try green eggs and ham and I will leave you alone. A great example of this applied is Geico’s “15 Minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.” In other words, “If you can’t get our message out of your head, 15 minutes is all it takes to settle this once and for all.”


4. If you have a great product, people will market for you.

Sam-I-am only had to sell one customer. Once that customer tried it, he loved it! Even better, he promised to share them with a goat, a fox, and a mouse. That is three more customers right there! It may seem like a waste of time to spend so much effort selling one person. That is why you have to a great product, because then every sale is actually many sales.