Permission Marketing by Seth Godin
One Line Summary
The new strategy for marketing
It’s a cliché to say that business is changing fast these days. But Permission Marketing, written by Seth Godin, still remains essentially for the modern marketer.
Hell, I’d even say it’s even more important now than when Godin wrote it in 1999.
In a world of too much noise, too much social media, getting people’s permission in order to sell them has never been so relevant.
And that’s what Permission Marketing is all about. How do you not only cut through the noise, but use that obstacle to launch you into success?
Would that information be valuable to you?
Why it’s Awesome
This book is not overly complicated or technical. It’s short, to the point and still flips most of what people think about marketing on its head.
Godin explains that marketing used to be about interrupting people. He aptly calls it interruption marketing.
Essentially, a business would create an ad and then do what they could to interrupt people to get their attention. The best advertising decided who would be the victors in the business world. More and more money poured into marketing budgets.
But along the way, interruption marketing has started to become far less effective. People’s attention is too short and there’s too much noise. You can’t sell effectively anymore just by interrupting people.
The solution? Godin argues for a new paradigm called permission marketing.
In permission marketing, you get the customer’s permission in order to market to them. When they see an ad from you, it’s because they wanted to see it.
A simple example of permission marketing is signing up for someone’s newsletter. When a customer voluntarily signs up for your newsletter, they’re saying “I want to hear from you”. And if they don’t, they can always unsubscribe.
Another example of permission could be following your personal blog. They want to know what you’re doing. They want you to see what you have to offer and if it can help them.
Help is the key word there. Ultimately, the only reason this person wants to hear from you is that they believe your product or services will fulfill a need of theirs. The minute you no longer do that, you no longer have their permission and you no longer have a customer.
So permission marketing is not about getting people’s permission and then giving them garbage. It’s about getting their permission to offer them value.
Of course, you’ll still have to interrupt them in order to get their permission. But after that, the game changes.
Permission marketing is also not about abandoning hard closing. Yes, there’s something special about cold calling for building a thick skin. But no one would ever say cold calling is the most effective form of selling.
That’s what you’re doing with interruption marketing. You’re cold calling.
Every serious sales person knows that a person who makes a choice or investment in you is far more likely to close than one who was crowbarred into it. Interruption marketing is the crowbar.
Look, I help run a select personal development group in Miami. There is not a single employee, yet the people who run the group are more motivated than 90% of people I see who receive a pay check.
Why? Because a paycheck is the crowbar. The employees often resent the fact that they have to go to place in order to make a living. There’s no investment. There’s no permission.
The people who run our group run it because we made a choice. No one said we had to do this. We saw the potential, saw how it could help us and came to our own conclusion that this was the right option.
THAT’S sales. That’s influence. Not “do this or you’re fired”.
So do not underestimate the power of getting permission from the customer. If you have a business and you only advertise via interruption, you’ve got to get with the times.
Who Will Love It
-Modern age marketers
Why Does It Suck
This is a really short book. I ripped through it in just two or three hours. So don’t think you’re getting a really in depth analysis here.
Also, it’s not very technical. If you’re looking for “how-to” type stuff, you’re not going to find it here. So there’s a lot still to be said about permission marketing and how to go about achieving it.
Who Will Hate It
-Old school Marketers
The Wrap Up
Great short little book about the power of permission marketing. This will give you a whole new perspective about getting customers if you’re still coming from the old paradigm of “compete on advertising”. It could just save your entire business.