“The marketer is not in control, the consumer is. And the consumer is selfish. Consumers care very little about you, your company, your products, your career, or your family. They’re not likely to spend time trying to discover how you can help them solve their problems. The heart of Permission Marketing is giving the stranger a reason to pay attention.”
This quote sums up Seth Godin’s main argument in his groundbreaking marketing book, Permission Marketing. Published in 1999, Godin was at the forefront of how the internet has changed the Marketing Industry and this book describes how marketing needed a new strategy to reach consumers.
The consumer’s attention is the most valuable commodity for businesses these days. And before the internet, businesses rely on Interruption Marketing to reach consumers. TV ads, Magazine ads, and Junk Mail are techniques that companies used to get the consumer’s attention.
Godin proposes (and expands on an idea first written by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers in their book One on One Future) a new marketing strategy for the Internet Age. A marketing strategy that develops relationships with consumers, paying attention to what the consumer wants, and creating a genuine dialogue between business and consumers. Permission Marketing is the proper marketing strategy to gain consumers’ attention in an ever-distracted world.
“Most marketers practice Interruption Marketing, The difference is simple. An Interruption marketer is a hunter. A Permission Marketer is a farmer.” Godin writes near the end of the book. This analogy is shown throughout each chapter of the book and highlights the differences between the two marketing strategies effectively.
Even though, Godin uses examples from companies like MCI, AOL, and Palm Pilot for his argument on behalf of Permission Marketing, the concepts and techniques of the marketing strategy are still sound twenty years after the book was published. I recommend Permission Marketing for entrepreneurs, corporations, and readers who want a basic guide on how to market in the Internet age. Permission Marketing will be one of my favorite reads of the year and remain on my bookshelf to be re-read.