In Part 1, I discussed how traditional marketing is no longer
working the way it used to. This is happening for a variety of
reasons -- people have too many mass media choices,
they're bombarded with way too many marketing messages,
the Internet is adding accountability to advertising, etc.
So if traditional marketing is no longer effective, then how
will you get the word out about your products or services?
What Internet Marketer Seth Godin, author of the book
Permission Marketing, calls permission marketing.
Permission marketing is when your customers give you
permission to market to them. This is opposite from
traditional marketing, also known as interruption marketing
(another term coined by Godin).
Interruption marketing works by interrupting you. Nobody
watches television for the commercials. Nobody flips
through a magazine for the ads. But that's how interruption
marketing gets you to buy something.
Permission marketing is completely different. With
permission marketing, customers look forward to hearing
from you. They LIKE receiving information about your
products and services. That's because they've agreed to
enter into a relationship with you. And if permission
marketing is done correctly, you'll eventually develop a
stronger relationship with your customers than you ever
would have with interruption marketing. (But that doesn't
mean interruption marketing doesn't have its place. More on
Permission marketing isn't new. In fact, it's older than
interruption marketing. Back before there was mass media,
business owners routinely developed long-term
relationships with their customers. And customers expected
to be involved with the selling process from the beginning.
Now, of course, we no longer need to be dependent on
building relationships face-to-face. With the Internet, we
have a whole host of low-cost options available to us, which
makes permission marketing easier now than it was
Here's how it works. You start by developing something that
your customers find valuable enough to give you permission
to contact them on a regular basis. E-newsletters or e-zines,
which are e-mail newsletters, are popular and so are Web
blogs. Web blogs are like online journals. For a fun sample,
check out http://www.boingboing.net Or Seth Godin has his
own blog -- http://www.sethgodin.com
But e-zines and Web blogs aren't the only things of value
people sign up for -- you can offer them classes delivered
via e-mail or tips or contests or points programs or special
offers or whatever your creativity can come up with.
While it is possible to develop a relationship with customers
using only offline techniques (for instance, a printed
newsletter you mail to your customers) it's less expensive
and more effective to use the Internet. It's quick and easy for
your customers to sign up via your Web site and it's cheap
for you to send it out via e-mail.
However, in order to get people to sign up, you first need to
tell them about it. That's where interruption marketing
comes in. You still need to get the word out about what
you're offering. Then once they sign up, you can start
building the relationship.
Is this a lot of work? Yes. Is it more work than interruption
marketing? Yes again. But is it more effective than
interruption marketing? It can be. Especially since
interruption marketing isn't working the way it used to.
I feel that permission marketing favors small business
owners. That's because permission marketing only works
when customers and businesses form a relationship, and
customers prefer forming relationships with people rather
than entities. Customers want to know the person behind
the business, not just the business itself.
But that doesn't mean big corporations can't employ
permission marketing techniques. They just need to get
creative about it. Perhaps developing a spokesperson or a
business "personality" or a forum or group of people.
The important thing is to start thinking about how marketing
is changing and what you can do about it.
(Resource for article: Seth Godin, Permission Marketing)
Michele Pariza Wacek owns Creative Concepts and
Copywriting, a writing, marketing and creativity agency. She
offers two free e-newsletters that help subscribers combine
their creativity with hard-hitting marketing and copywriting
principles to become more successful at attracting new
clients, selling products and services and boosting
business. She can be reached at http://www.writingusa.com