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Permission Marketing, the soft and affordable version


Interruption and Permission - a view from this side of the water

May I introduce my new solar panel? - is a risky opener. Just what your sales coach said you should not do. Because the answer is Yes or No, mostly No and there goes your pitch.

You're at Harrods, your eyes are scanning the store: Now where were those men's socks again? And someone taps your shoulder and says: "Look, I've got something for you". Yes, I can see, but they're not socks. Then what about after shave? A fineliner? Waffles? Cheese, the real Cheddar?

Customers have had enough of interruptions, says Seth Godin in "Permission Marketing". It is more practical to request the customer's permission.

First of all it is cheaper, secondly he'll tell us exactly what he wants. Thirdly we may just begin to notice the customer, who's been right behind us all the time, wondering why we keep shouting.

Sounds fine, but how do we find the customer:
  1. If my product is of any use to anybody, it will be sought after (e.g. solar panels)
  2. Those looking for it, are there already
  3. They are searching - not for me, but for a solution to their problem
  4. They are talking to others, who would have the same (sustainable energy supply)
  5. They are also looking for related products (full-grain wheat)
  6. They make up milieus, they gossip: "Talk to Anton Anteater Inc., They deliver custom-built"
  7. You need to find ONE only. He is the key to all others
Too simple? It looks simple and that is, according to Bertolt Brecht, the most difficult to realise. But yes, there is a risk. It hurts to change your habits.

"I did no marketing," said Davidoff, "I loved my customers." That is where Community Marketing starts: In nurturing the environment where we get permission to offer our service.

Fair enough, that's just the beginning. It's how you get up in the morning, that will make your day.

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