Permission marketing is a term calling by Seth Godin (1999) in his successful book called Permission Marketing. (In fact there is a free of charge copy of the full audio book below). The concept of permission marketing is very simple; your visitors or customers agree to opt-in, or sign-up to participate in your organisation’s marketing conversation. In the past this would have been a simple agreement to receive an e-mail newsletter, and the permission element simply meant that the visitors agreed that he could use his or her e-mail address (the more unscrupulous would simply help themselves to your address).
Today’s marketing online is more about long-term customer relationships, communication, conversation and discussion. This is participation.
The argument in Godin’s book centres on the fact that as consumers were exposed to more than 3000 marketing communications messages everyday. Just think about it, every time you go to the store you see thousands of brands; each time you open your e-mail there is unsolicited communication from all sorts of organisations; each time you look at the website there will be banners and other marketing messages. Therefore to breakthrough the background noise, the permission marketer builds a relationship with his consumer via a dialogue. An excellent example of this is ASOS.
ASOS is a global fashion and beauty retailer; it was originally based upon the concept of As Seen On Screen, whereby you would see a movie and seek out similar products. However the brand has come a long way since then. ASOS uses permission marketing to engage customers on their website and uses social media. Products can be viewed in different colours and sizes, and there is information about the product itself and how to look after it; then consumers can tweet about it, pin it, Facebook like it or e-mail a friend. This is all part of the permission conversation.
Please take a listen to Seth Goden’s reading of his own book, Permission Marketing.