Permission Marketing by Seth Godin – Summary

Permission Marketing by Seth Godin - Summary
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The book starts off with a philosophical approach. Life at the end of the day comes down to two things: time and energy, and we only have so much time and energy to spend. So Permission Marketing is the need of the hour.

Our attention is a valuable scarce resource, and it is bombarded daily with thousands of interruptions, most of which we didn’t ask for. This book claims to market to people only if you have their consent first, else you’re wasting everybody’s time instead try Permission Marketing.

Interruption Marketing

This book came out in 1999, and the principles hold true to this day. So what is Permission Marketing?

Permission Marketing is just that: marketing with permission. The world is moving fast, and it’s hard to keep up to speed. Nobody is paying attention.

A couple of decades ago, Marketing and Advertising meant the same thing. You got a hold of TV ads and you got your word out. Now, however, the landscape has changed. It’s not as easy as it used to be as there are so many channels.

Everyone saw the same commercials, everyone brought the same thing, and everyone discussed what they saw and brought. Interruption Marketing worked well because there was very little clutter.

Interruption Marketing
Which Ad catches your attention?

Interruption Marketing was the traditional approach to get customer’s attention. An ad ran and interrupted your train of thought and asked you to take a different course of action, and it worked until people got desensitized with the information and learned to tune it out.

It’s estimated that the average consumer sees about one million marketing messages a year—about 3,000 a day. Does even 3 of those come to mind? The Answer would most probably be No.

As clutter has now increased, ads are just background noise. It’s hardly noticeable. As soon as a tactic is proven to work and becomes common knowledge, then it is abused. The Interruption formula no longer works, so what does?

Permission Marketing

Permission Marketing is marketing with consent to the consumer, who wants to be marketed to it’s a symbiotic exchange. Permission marketing is anticipated, personal, relevant.

The Marketing has to be personalized, they look forward to hearing from you, and the messages have to be relevant to their field of interest.

Permission Marketing is like dating. A Permission Marketing campaign is targeted towards turning strangers into friends and friends into lifelong customers.

Once permission is granted, it becomes an important asset to the marketer. The marketer should be careful to not violate that trust. Once trust is established, you can then get their attention.

Offer an incentive and foster a relationship and teach them about your product or service. Promote but don’t sell because people don’t like being sold to. Give more incentives and over time you get more permission, and then you can leverage that permission for profits.

Permission Marketing cuts through the clutter and allows the marketer to have a one-on-one connection with the customer. You can’t build this relationship unless the customer agrees.

The short-term effect of this approach is that the permission is leveraged into
Greater response rates. With Permission Marketing, you build loyalty, frequency, and patronage.

Examples of Permission Marketing

  1. Emails are a powerful tool for permission marketing. It doesn’t stop from the marketer’s end and allows communication to happen from both sides.
  2. Joe Girard is listed as the greatest car salesman in the world in the Guinness book of world records. He achieved this career through Permission Marketing to build word of mouth.
  3. Disney, for example, has top-level executives who do nothing but keep in touch with the talent. They don’t buy; they don’t sell. They just keep the permission channels open.
  4. Many small-scale businesses have loyalty cards to build trust and lifelong customer relationships.
  5. Credit card companies make it easy for marketers to get a significant amount of permission with automatic billing.

Permission Marketing is remarkable, unique preferred, and the way to go.


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