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Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers Hardcover – May 6, 1999
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Seth Godin, one of the world's foremost online promoters, offers his best advice for advertising in Permission Marketing. Godin argues that businesses can no longer rely solely on traditional forms of "interruption advertising" in magazines, mailings, or radio and television commercials. He writes that today consumers are bombarded by marketing messages almost everywhere they go. If you want to grab someone's attention, you first need to get his or her permission with some kind of bait--a free sample, a big discount, a contest, an 800 number, or even just an opinion survey. Once a customer volunteers his or her time, you're on your way to establishing a long-term relationship and making a sale. "By talking only to volunteers, Permission Marketing guarantees that consumers pay more attention to the marketing message," he writes. "It serves both customers and marketers in a symbiotic exchange."
Godin knows his stuff. He created Internet marketer Yoyodyne and sold it in 1998 to Yahoo!, where he is a vice president. Godin delves into the strategies of several companies that successfully practice permission marketing, including Amazon.com, American Airlines, Bell Atlantic, and American Express. Permission marketing works best on the Internet, he writes, because the medium eliminates costs such as envelopes, printing, and stamps. Instead of advertising with a plain banner ad on the Internet, you should focus on discovering the customer's problem and getting permission to follow up with e-mail, he writes. Permission Marketing is an important and valuable book for businesses seeking better results from their advertising. --Dan Ring
From Publishers Weekly
Godin, a business whiz kid who does direct marketing for Yahoo!, asks a provocative question: Does advertising work? He cites example after example of recent misguided campaigns, a "waste jamboree" of traditional ads aimed at consumers who no longer care. There's an "infoglut" out there, he says, of ads in myriad media whose only power is to "interrupt" people's lives. Godin's professional journey to his current status as a guru of online promotion began with his work for such industry bigs as Prodigy and AOL. Now, he specializes in direct-mail campaigns online, where he takes advantage of the interactive nature of the technology. Using traditional terms such as reach and frequency to define his efforts, he moves further, into the touchy-feely area of "permission marketing," his term for developing a personal relationship with consumers, where they actually enjoy receiving correspondence. On tape, Godin's message is winning because of his youthful attitude: self-assured, at times cocky, but always sensible. Based on the 1999 Simon & Schuster hardcover. (Aug.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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If you have a decent understanding of how internet marketing works currently, and what current tools are available, it won't be too difficult to translate this material into today's world.
What was in this book that I never happened to come across is the levels of permission. Even if you've been building an audience and marketing internally, You should get a copy of the book for what it says about the different permission levels.
Banners and pop-ups are still with us.
However the basic concept is still valid. I've read many reviews where people complain about Godin not writing anything "new", that the whole permission marketing idea is thousands years old - as he himself points out a few times in the book, it was the norm until about a 100 years ago -, and this is all intuitive, nothing new there.
But if it is intuitive and so well known, why don't people use it?
The concept is well explained - some would say, repetitive, but those who complain about it forget that he wrote a lot about frequency in his book -, there are 22 short case studies showing different aspects of the concept of permission marketing - including a fledgling amazon.com, just trying to be a successful online bookstore in the shadow of Barnes & Noble.
Yes, it contains a lot of self-evident ideas (short term profit kills off long term profit), but looking around I think self-evident ideas have to be pointed out, because people always forget them, and yes, it can be a bit repetitive at times - how many times did you solve very similar equations in calculus class until you learned how to do it? -, but this is not a novel. It is book that intends to get a message through.
Anyway, I say read it. It won't hurt. :)
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