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Permission marketing is a concept introduced in a book of the same name in 1999 by marketing guru Seth Godin. Permission marketing is a non-traditional marketing technique that sells goods and services when advance consent is given.
Traditional methods of marketing often revolve around the idea of interruption - whether it is a television advertisement that cuts into a TV show, or an internet pop-up that interferes with a website. According to Godin, such methods (often referred to as "interruption marketing"), have become less effective in the modern world, where consumers are overloaded with information.
Interruption marketing is essentially a competition to win people's attention. In today's world of mass-marketing, people are overloaded with advertisements that compete for their limited time and attention span. Yankelovich, Inc claims the average consumer comes into contact with 1 million advertisements per year - or nearly 3000 per day. When there is an overflow of interruptions, people's inevitable response is to disregard them, tune them out, and refuse to respond to them. Such traditional methods of marketing are more difficult and costly to attain the same outcome.
In 1999, Godin observed that successful campaigns were the ones that sought the customer's consent. From such observations, Godin believed that marketing strategies should be based on the following elements:
These elements were combined[how?] to define permission marketing, first publicized in Godin's book, "Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers", published on May 6, 1999.
After permission marketing was first introduced in 1999, it inspired a large number of firms and companies to establish permission-based marketing agencies, campaigns, and platforms. It has also influenced the development of the social media platforms, which heavily utilizes the methods of permission marketing; "friending," "liking," and "following," all closely associate with the idea of permission marketing.
Permission marketing allows consumers to choose whether or not to be subjected to marketing[dubious ]. This choice can result in better engagement. For example, consumers are more likely to open an email marketing message if they "double opt in" compared to a regular "single opt in". By targeting volunteers, permission marketing improves the odds that consumers pay more attention to the marketing message. Permission marketing thus encourages consumers to engage in a long-standing, cooperative marketing campaign.
Supporters of permission marketing claim that it is more effective than interruption marketing, however, this is paradoxical. Permission marketing is inevitably initiated with interruption marketing. To get the attention of a prospective consumer for a permission-based relationship, the first step requires interruption marketing.
There are 5 levels of permission in permission marketing. These "levels" measure the degree of permission a consumer has granted to a specific business. At each successive level of the permission framework, the business achieves a higher efficiency state, with a decrease in marketing cost. Thus, businesses usually aim to achieve the "intravenous permission" level. However, the 5 levels of permission should not be considered as a necessary sequential process, as more than one level could apply simultaneously depending on the nature of the business.
Opt-in email is an example of permission marketing, where Internet users request to receive information about a certain product or a service. Supporters of permission marketing claim it to be effective, as the potential client would be more interested in information that was requested in advance. It is also more cost-efficient in comparison to traditional marketing methods, as businesses only need to target consumers who have expressed an interest in their product.
Huffington Post is an American online news aggregator and blog which offers original content including the areas including politics, business, entertainment, environment, technology, etc. The Huffington Post has a clear permission marketing-based approach: the readers will be required to register on the site using their social media (such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.). The registration implies that readers have given the permission for Huffington Post to send them marketing information, such as newsletters.
YouTube is a video-sharing website which enables its users to upload, view, and share videos. Many firms utilize YouTube as part of their social media marketing strategy to promote their products and services. Firms specifically make use of the "subscribing" feature to establish a permission-based relationship with their customers. Subscription would imply that viewers have given permission for the business to market them with updated information, campaign, etc.
Sundance Vacations is a travel company that allows customers to buy vacations in bulk. The company employs a method of permission marketing by attending sporting events, shows and more and getting people to sign up to win their annual sweepstakes. The entry forms that are filled out contain an agreement that says the company is allowed to contact the person filling the form at the methods provided by the entrant. The potential client's signature is considered a form of consent to contact them, which allows the company to then email and phone market to entrants.
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