The Marketing Crisis: No One’s Listening

In 2008, Google exceeded 1 trillion indexed web pages. Today, it processes around 24 petabytes of data per day – that’s 24 million gigabytes. Advertising comes directly to us through all our media: smart phones, tablet computers, Internet and TV.

Imagine being plagued by cold callers with the latest unmissable offer, not occasionally, but 24/7. Not a dystopian Hollywood nightmare, it’s how people increasingly feel: bombarded and overwhelmed by choice.

In his book Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers, Seth Godin defines advertising as something that interrupts the consumer then gets her or him to take some action.

Permission Marketing by Seth Godin

With so many businesses competing for attention, this interruption is less and less easy to achieve and, which is worse, it’s more and more resented by consumers.

Godin describes interruption marketing as trying to interrupt as many strangers as possible, in the hope of unearthing the few who might have a little attention to spare for the sales pitch. Permission marketing, on the other hand, deals with as few strangers as possible. Instead, strangers are quickly developed into prospects and potential customers, who are ready to “opt in” to the message because they can see some value in it for themselves.

Since a prospect has agreed to give you some of their valuable attention, in return for what they will gain in knowledge about the benefits the business can provide for them, there is no need for each message to be noisier, sparklier, and even more shouty than the last.

The process becomes a conversation between the prospect and the business, and one which will be pleasant and productive for each side. With greater value offered by the business, the prospect gains trust in the business, and grants more permission. The business is able to make the most of this trust to move the prospect towards making a purchase by demonstrating the specific and particular benefits which will accrue for him or her.

This can be Achieved with Compelling, Unique Content

Having a website that appears first or second in the search results for your preferred keywords is important. Search Engine Optimisation and having website content that appeals to both automated search engine web crawlers and human visitors is a necessary investment to gain maximum value from the site. However, the next competitors for the consumer’s attention are only a click away.

Permission marketing is not a quick fix. It takes time and application to provide information that will be of real and lasting value to the consumer. By analysing its customer base, the business can identify where it is really in a position to add value by solving real problems and pain points. The content which will have most value for the consumer will not be more information about the business, but information about how useful the business can be.

You are in the best position to identify what your customers or clients will find most useful. Give it to them, and be rewarded by their focused attention.