about using your network effectively!
If you haven’t read the Purple Cow, you should! It’s
a great book and will teach you how to recognize the importance
of your marketing strategy.
The author talks about recognizing the difference between Interruption
Marketing and Permission Marketing. He uses the analogy of getting
married. The message teaches us that it is better to send out
multiple individualized messages over time, than a single message,
no matter how impressive that single message is.
There are Two Ways To Get Married
The Interruption Marketer buys an
extremely expensive suit, new shoes, fashionable accessories.
Then, working with the best databases and marketing strategists,
selects the demographically ideal singles bar, marches up to
the nearest person and proposes marriage. If turned down, the
Marketer repeats this process on every person in the bar.
If the Marketer comes up empty-handed after spending the entire
evening proposing, it is obvious that the blame should be placed
on the suit and the shoes. The tailor is fired. The strategy
expert who picked the bar is fired. And the Interruption Marketer
tries again at a different singles bar.
If this sounds familiar, it should. It's the way most large
marketers look at the world. They hire an agency. They build
fancy ads. They "research" the ideal place to run
the ads. They interrupt people and hope that one in a hundred
will go ahead and buy something. And then, when they fail, they
fire their agency!
The other way to get married is a lot more fun, a lot more
rational, and a lot more successful. It's called dating.
The Permission Marketer goes on a date. If
it goes well, the two of them go on another date, and then another
date. Until, after ten or twelve dates, both sides can really
communicate with each other about their needs and desires. After
twenty dates, they meet each other's families. And finally,
after three or four months of dating, the Permission Marketer
Permission Marketing is just like dating. It turns strangers
into friends and friends into lifetime customers. Many of the
rules of dating apply, and so do many of the benefits.
And according to the author, finding the right partner, whether
it’s for marriage or in business, is all about networking……finding
out what you have in common, getting to know each other and
if the decision is mutual….getting in bed together to
finalize the union.
THE FIVE STEPS TO DATING YOUR CUSTOMER
Every marketer must offer the prospective customer an incentive.
In the vernacular of dating, this means you have to offer something
that makes it interesting enough to go out on a first date.
A first date, after all, represents a big investment in time,
money and ego. So there better be reason enough to want to participate.
Without a selfish reason to continue dating, your new potential
customer (and your new potential date) will refuse you a second
chance. If you don't provide a benefit to the consumer for paying
attention, your offer will suffer the same fate as every other
ad campaign that's vying for their attention. It will be ignored.
First, the incentive you offer to the customer
can range from information, to entertainment, to a sweepstakes,
to outright payment for the prospect's attention. But the incentive
must be overt, obvious and clearly delivered. This is the most
obvious difference between Permission Marketing and Interruption
Interruption Marketers spend all of their time interrupting
strangers, in an almost pitiful attempt to bolster popularity
and capture attention. Permission Marketers spend as little
time and money talking to strangers as they can. Instead, they
move as quickly as they can to turn strangers into prospects
who choose to "opt-in" to a series of get to know
Second, using the attention offered by the
consumer, the marketer offers a curriculum over time, teaching
the consumer about the product or service he has to offer. The
Permission Marketer knows that the first date is an opportunity
to sell the other person on a second date. Every step along
the way has to be interesting, useful and relevant. Since the
prospect has agreed to pay attention, it's much easier to teach
them about your product. Instead of filling each ensuing message
with entertainment designed to attract attention, or with sizzle
designed to attract the attention of strangers, the Permission
Marketer is able to focus on product benefits -- on specific,
focused ways this product will help that prospect. Without question,
this ability to talk freely over time is the most powerful element
of this marketing approach.
The third step involves reinforcing the incentive.
Over time, any incentive wears out. Just as your date may tire
of even the finest restaurant, the prospective customer may
show fatigue with the same repeated incentive. The Permission
Marketer must work to reinforce the incentive, to be sure that
the attention continues. This is surprisingly easy. Because
this is a two-way dialogue, not a narcissistic monologue, the
marketer can adjust the incentives being offered and fine tune
them for each prospect.
Along with reinforcing the incentive, the fourth
step is to increase the level of permission the marketer receives
from the potential customer. Now I won't go into detail on what
step of the dating process this corresponds to, but in marketing
terms, the goal is to motivate the consumer to give more and
more permission over time.
• Permission to gather more data about the customer's
personal life, or hobbies, or interests.
• Permission to offer a new category of product for the
• Permission to provide a product sample.
The range of permission you can obtain from a customer is very
wide, and limited only by its relevance to the customer.
Over time, the marketer uses the permission he's obtained to
change consumer behavior, that is, get them to say, "I
do." That's how you turn permission into profits.
After permission is granted, that's how it becomes a truly
significant asset for the marketer. Now you can live happily
ever after by repeating the aforementioned process while selling
your customer more and more products.
In other words, the fifth and final step is
to leverage your permission into a profitable situation for
both of you. Remember, you have access to the most valuable
thing a customer can offer - attention.
If you listen carefully, and act on what you hear, you
can keep your network up to date, provide relevant information
in a timely manner – and keep your marriage happy. Marriage
isn’t the end of the relationship, it’s the beginning
of an interactive lifelong dance – matching steps, listening
to the music and agreeing to learn new steps when the old ones