Humanity makes sense of the world through stories.
Marketing is the process of creating and telling stories.
The successful marketer must:
1. tell an authentic story
2. identify the people who want to hear the story
3. get permission from these people to tell them the story
4. and finally deliver the story.
As a result of hearing the story, people will tell other people the story, and perhaps do something the marketer wants them to do.
At least that's my (very rough) understanding of Seth Godin's book, All Marketers Are Liars.