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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 the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
More signs of a good book; If you can take it's content and apply it to the current times and it will still produce profits. Want more? Although he might have been slightly off on a couple of things, a good chunk of this book is essentially Mr. Godin looking into a crystal ball and describing the future.
A great intersection of past knowledge, current trends(circa 1999 but still relevant) and a wonderful philosophy, compiled by a human being that repeatedly helps makes humanity better.
1- "As clutter has increased, advertisers have responded by increasing clutter. And as with pollution, because no one owns the problem, no one is working very hard to solve it."
2- "In addition to clutter, there's another problem facing marketers. Consumers don't need to care as much as they used to. The quality of products has increased dramatically It's increased so much, in fact, that it doesn't really matter which car you buy, which coffee maker you buy, or which shirt you buy They're all a great value, and they're all going to last a good long while."
3- "To summarize the problem that faces the Interruption Marketers: 1. Human beings have a finite amount of attention. 2. Human beings have a finite amount of money. The more products offered, the less money there is to go around. 4. In order to capture more attention and more money. Interruption Marketers must increase spending. 5. But this increase in marketing exposure costs b\ money. 6. But, as you've seen, spending more and more money in order to get bigger returns leads to ever more clutter. 7. Catch-22: The more they spend, the less it works. The less it works, the more they spend."
4- "Five Steps to Dating Your Customer: 1. Offer the prospect an incentive to volunteer 2. Using the attention offered by the prospect, offer a curriculum over time, teaching the consumer about your product or service. 3. Reinforce the incentive to guarantee that the prospect maintains the permission. 4. Offer additional incentives to get even more permission from the consumer. 5. Over time, leverage the permission to change consumer behavior toward profits."
5- "Permission Marketing Is Anticipated, Personal, Relevant: Anticipated—people look forward to hearing from you. Personal—the messages are directly related to the individual. Relevant—the marketing is about something the prospect is interested in."
6- "Permission Marketing is the tool that unlocks the power of the Internet. The leverage it bring to this new medium, combined with the pervasive clutter that infects the Internet and virtually every other medium, makes Permission Marketing the most powerful trend in marketing for the next decade."
7- "By focusing media on getting permission instead of making the ultimate sale, marketers are able to get far more out of their expenditures. The response rate to a free sample or c affinity program or a birthday club might be five or ten times the response rate of an ad asking for a sale."
8- "There are five levels of permission. The highest level of permission is called the "intravenous" level. The fifth and lowest is called the "situation" level. Here are the five levels in order of importance. 1. Intravenous (and "purchase-on-approval" model) 2. Points (liability model and chance model) 3. Personal relationships 4. Brand trust 5. Situation. There's a sixth level, but it's so low I won't even refer to it as a level at all. It's called spam (unsolicited advertising), and it's covered last."
9- "Once you have earned permission, you must keep it land attempt to expand it. These four rules go a long way to help marketers understand permission: 1. Permission is nontransferable. 2. Permission is selfish. 3. Permission is a process, not a moment. 4. Permission can be canceled at any time."
10- "Miss the opportunity to build a permission relationship directly with the consumer, and your company is likely to become a commodity supplier. If you acknowledge the coming power of the permission holder yet choose to avoid the battle to become one, you can still win. If you start now, you can optimize your company for the role of supplying the permission holder, making yourself more attractive to these gatekeepers and locking in the long-term relationships that can give you insulation moving forward. On the other hand, if you go for the opportunity to deal direct, you'll face the wrath of your existing intermediaries. It'll be expensive to build and maintain a permission base, and risky too. But if you succeed, you will have built an asset that can offset the demands of the gatekeepers. You'll be able to maintain fair pricing and generate better profits."
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.
Forget all you ever learned. Oh sure, you have to do the old interrupt marketing to get people to raise their hands and show interest. But after that, you have to have the consumer's permission to market to them.
This book is well written and highly understandable. It makes sense. It tells it like it is.
Anyone who has anything to sell must read this book. Anyone who expects to survive in the business world today, whether in a corporation or as an entrepreneur, must read this book.
There will be more books written on Permission Marketing. And hopefully they will go into more detail on exactly "how" to use this lively and exciting new marketing. But this is the mother of them all. This is the book that gives birth to Permission Marketing. And those who don't read it will be sorry they missed out of this important beginning.
--- Susanna K. Hutcheson, Advertising & Direct Mail Copywriter/Consultant
Seth spends a good amount of time evangelizing 'the Net' and how important it will be.
Good book. Happy I read it. Wish it was written more recently so that the advice offered was more actionable.