“Permission Marketing” in life and business

In 1999, Seth Godin popularized the concept of Permission Marketing. It was a very common sensical approach to something we – as consumers and business people – had been feeling for several years or perhaps several decades!

The “feeling” was that we don’t want to be bombarded by advertisements that are irrelevant, boring or aggressive. The idea with permission marketing is to “hit a chord” with specific people – people that are interested in our product/service – by grabbing their attention and using it well – do develop a brand, a following, a community, a fan base, a business…

In the connection economy, businesses can get closer to their customers (or potential customers) and really understand what they want and how they want to be communicated to. The potential for permission marketing has exploded with social media and engagement – listening to customers and interacting with them as a business and a brand. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) can also support organizations in permission marketing.

In Seth Godin’s own words:

Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.

So my thoughts on permission marketing are these:

1) humility is key to business – if you have a huge ego, you may not have the time/sense/ability to listen to what people are saying about you or telling you how you can serve them better;

2) attention counts- you may want to think about a teacher analogy here – if you don’t have their attention they will not respond and if you abuse their attention you are at risk at creating a negative response in the future;

3) know thyself – you must know your product or service and the “why” behind your business in order to be able to sell it to customers. You must know what solution you provide and be able to articulate who will benefit from it – present and future.

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