These days – “Forgiveness, not Permission” – no longer applies in Marketing. We have evolved marketing to the primary focus of creating a conversation with our target market. The days of mass marketing or spraying and praying are all but gone.
We know today that relationships only grow in value if they are built on a foundation of consumer permission and attention that we earn by delivering quality products and services and through engagement.
In order to engage our target market, it is necessary to get permission from them to communicate with them and eventually sell to them. Seth Godin, the master of marketing, defines permission marketing as anticipated, personal and relevant.
- Anticipated – because you have created a relationship where people are looking forward to hearing from you
- Personal – because you have gathered insights and information about your customer that you are able to tailor the messages so that they are directly related to the individual
- Relevant – because the marketing and messages are specifically about something the prospect has overtly or covertly expressed an interest in
So that may be easy to say, but harder to do. Here a few tips that will move you closer in that direction:
- Know your database. Segment your database to be able to talk to the different needs and different points of view. The conversation you have with casual acquaintances should be different from those who have invested in getting information or how you communicate with potential referral partners will be different than those who will directly use your products or services.
- Give value first. Find ways to give first, whether it be great information, analysis, or sample products. It doesn’t matter, but give, give, give and look for signs of engagement before selling anything.
- Honor the Permission. Recognize that you have been granted permission, yet at any time that permission could be revoked. Similar to the fable of Scheherazade (I leave you to look that one up), you need to always give them a reason to stay connected.
: Take a look at your database and find ways to keep them entertained, educated and engaged.
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