NOW THAT SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING has become the in-thing, it’s useful to revisit the concept of “Permission Marketing” probably first introduced by Seth Godin in his book, “Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends, and Friends Into Customers”.
As quoted by William Taylor in Fast Company:
The biggest problem with mass-market advertising, Godin says, is that it fights for people’s attention by interrupting them. A 30-second spot interrupts a “Seinfeld” episode. A telemarketing call interrupts a family dinner. A print ad interrupts this article. “The interruption model is extremely effective when there’s not an overflow of interruptions,” Godin says. “But there’s too much going on in our lives for us to enjoy being interrupted anymore.”
The new model, he argues, is built around permission. The challenge for marketers is to persuade consumers to volunteer attention – to “raise their hands” (one of Godin’s favorite phrases) – to agree to learn more about a company and its products. “Permission marketing turns strangers into friends and friends into loyal customers,” he says. “It’s not just about entertainment – it’s about education.”
Finally, as Seth Godin put it in his blog:
Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them… Permission is like dating. You don’t start by asking for the sale at first impression. You earn the right, over time, bit by bit…
In order to get permission, you make a promise. You say, “I will do x, y and z, I hope you will give me permission by listening.” And then, this is the hard part, that’s all you do. You don’t assume you can do more. You don’t sell the list or rent the list or demand more attention. You can promise a newsletter and talk to me for years, you can promise a daily RSS feed and talk to me every three minutes, you can promise a sales pitch every day (the way Woot does). But the promise is the promise until both sides agree to change it. You don’t assume that just because you’re running for President or coming to the end of the quarter or launching a new product that you have the right to break the deal. You don’t.