New Ways to Make Permission Marketing Work For You

Feb 25, 2011

Google, Yahoo, and Bing have made great advances in targeted marketing, allowing brands to focus on their most prized demographics. But none of them can yet answer the most important question: does a particular person actually want to buy your product?

That’s where permission marketing comes in. Coined by best-selling marketing guru Seth Godin, it has included opting in for newsletters, requesting catalogs, or signing up for e-mail updates. Now, innovations such as Facebook Connect and Google Buzz have ushered in a new era of permission marketing. These and other emerging services can provide you with additional opportunities to connect with your chosen audience.

For example, look at how the Huffington Post has led the way. Readers give “permission” by registering for the site with their Facebook or Twitter IDs. The Post then customizes their user experience based on information in the reader’s profile, news feed, and Facebook Likes. In return, the reader can now easily share stories from the Post with their Facebook and Twitter friends, leading to true social marketing.

Bertelsmann, a multinational media company, allows candidates to sign into its career site using Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Three reasons to incorporate permission marketing into your next recruitment campaign:

  1. Permission marketing creates a group of self-selected candidates who want to learn more about the company. This stands in contrast to “interruption” marketing, in the form of e-mails, banners, or Facebook ads. No matter how relevant or well targeted, many candidates still see these unwanted messages as spam.
  2. It allows your brand to build a relationship with candidates over time. Candidates who have given permission have expressed their willingness to learn about a brand and don’t require aggressive, one-shot promotions to grab their attention. This lets you educate the candidates about the company’s employer brand, benefits and opportunities.
  3. It strengthens a sense of community and identity, and thus works especially well in company intranets. Since permission marketing specializes in non-anonymous volunteers, it can work especially well in building relationships with a company’s management, employees, and staff. In fact, every B2E (brand-to-employee) strategy should include at least one element of permission marketing.

Start using permission marketing in your current campaigns, whether through traditional opt-in communications or new services like Facebook Connect or Google Buzz. You’ll maximize your resources, greatly increasing your rate of return. You’ll also gain new information about your target demographics from their profiles. Most importantly, you’ll cut through the noise of interruption marketing and convey a personalized, anticipated message to a more receptive audience.

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