Permission Marketing- How Talking at People Doesn’t Help


Permission Marketing

We see over 3,000 adverts every day. Some argue if we were to include online activity that it’s more like 10,000. We are bombarded with information and spend time switching off. Switching off our emails, switching off the TV. Just switching off. Where £235,000 is spent on a 30 second commercial during the X Factor finals we can’t remember it an hour later. Have you noticed that we don’t like companies that talk at us and we dislike the invasion of privacy? Which leads us to the question, which would we rather: to be given a database of 10,000 companies and a 30 second radio commercial for an audience of 10,000 people or 100 companies who choose to sign up to our blog via our RSS feed, with 25 of these requesting information to be sent through to them about our services? I know which I’d prefer.

We need to be delivering products or services that are exceptional, causing people to recognise the value that we are to them, and giving them the desire to stay in touch. We need people to give us permission to market to them, because they can see our business solving a problem of theirs. So what are the motivations that help people give us permission to be ‘marketed’ to?

People like to be provided with good information that they might not be able to find easily elsewhere.
People like to be helped to become an expert in their field.
They like to be provided with discounts or opportunities to save money.
They want to save time by having us solve their problems.
People like to be entertained and in all areas many people like to be early adopters.

Permission marketing happens all around us though we may not even be aware of it.

The last time you responded to Amazon telling you that you might be interested in a similar product to the one you’re looking to buy; when you followed the restaurant on Twitter that’s based around your corner; when you subscribed through an RSS reader account to the business blog, when you got the email through for a restaurant with a 50% off deal; when you registered for a Groupon account to get notified of a discounted pampering session or even simply when you responded with a “yes” to your garage’s question asking you if you wanted them to tell you when your next service was due.

How would permission marketing work within your business? For a little more inspiration check out the book Seth Godin wrote back in 2007 with the same title: ‘Permission Marketing.’ 

Henry Ford, the founder of Ford said, “If there is any one secret of success it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own”.

How do you do that from positioning your organisation? Do you understand the points of view of your potential customers? Are you answering their questions? Are you meeting their needs? Are you giving them a reason to give you permission to market to them?

I’d love to hear of the examples that you’ve found that have been helpful and produced some great responses. Please add your comments below.


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