Marketing is a contest for people's attention. Permission Marketing is a new perspective that embraces the power consumers have in selecting and frequenting the businesses that meet their needs. It also acknowledges the power of the consumer to affect others' choices via word-of-mouth marketing.
Traditional mass-marketing fights for people's attention by interrupting them. A 30-second commercial interrupts your favorite television program. A telemarketer interrupts your dinner. Today's paradigm shift does away with interruptions and meets consumers on their own turf. Permission marketing persuades consumers to volunteer their attention and learn more about a company based on a promise that the company values the consumer's attention and input.
The term "permission marketing" was coined by an East Coast marketing firm called Yoyodyne Entertainment which was purchased by Yahoo in 1998. Yoyodyne president Seth Godin's mission is to get companies to reinvent how they relate to their customers. "Permission marketing turns strangers into friends and friends into loyal customers," he says. "It's not just about entertainment - it's about education."
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