How Permission-Based Marketing Can Help Your Company’s Digital Efforts

Is your company interrupting potential clients with your digital marketing initiatives, or are you seeking their permission to share useful content with them? If you’re only doing the former and not including the latter, then you might want to reconsider your digital strategy.

Marketing guru Seth Godin was the first to coin the distinction between permission marketing and interruption marketing. Traditional media heavily relies upon interruption marketing, a method which involves purchasing the right to interrupt your target audience with advertising.

permission marketing

Billboards, TV commercials and radio ads are classic examples of interruption marketing. People aren’t asking for these messages, but are rather being interrupted with them. The content of interruption marketing is focused on one thing: selling a product. It doesn’t matter if the viewer finds it useful or not; the goal is just to showcase the product and get it in front of as many people as possible.

Interruption marketing is present online, too. Just think of those annoying popup ads that we’ve all gotten used to closing when we visit certain websites.

Permission-based marketing, on the other hand, relies on attention being earned from your target audience. In this form of marketing, consumers consent to being marketed. Permission marketing adds value to consumers’ lives, causing them to welcome and request certain messages.

Types of modern permission-based marketing include signing up for an email newsletter, liking a Facebook page (effectively giving permission for their future posts to show up in your news feed), signing up for text message alerts, or following a brand on Twitter.

digital marketingAlthough interruption marketing will always have certain advantages for companies, the bombardment of advertising in today’s society has caused consumers to tune out many ads. On the Web, we call it “banner blindness.” Internet users, and everyone else, are largely ignoring interruption marketing and mentally blocking obnoxious advertising.

Luckily permission-based marketing—in combination with a solid social media strategy—could be exactly what your company needs to cut through the interruption advertising clutter. Money alone is not enough to buy your way into permission-based marketing; great permission marketers earn the attention of consumers by telling stories and answering questions that people want to share.

By taking time to create compelling content that focuses on providing something valuable to your target audience (rather than simply screaming about your own products), you can earn the trust of consumers and be invited to market to them. In permission marketing, your budget is less important than your passion, your personality and your strategy.

If done correctly, permission marketing can have a huge ROI for your company, regardless of your industry. It might be time for your company to cut the cord from traditional interruption marketing … but remember: You must earn an invitation onto consumers’ social media channels. If you aren’t sharing something of real value to your audience—something that they find so useful or amusing that they want to save and share it—your efforts can backfire.

Phil Van Treuren

About Phil Van Treuren

Phil Van Treuren is a Senior Account Executive at Fathom, and has been with the company since 2009. He specializes in digital marketing strategy for the manufacturing and home improvement industries, and has worked for clients including Eaton Corporation and Owens Corning. He is a graduate of Southern Utah University, with Bachelor’s degree in English. He is also a graduate of U.S. Army Officer Candidate School.

One Comment

  • BrownEyedGirl says:

    Interruption marketing is the best way to get me to NOT to purchase a product. I can’t stand any in-your-face strategies whether it’s a product, a politician, or a social issue you’re trying to sell and I’m sure I’m typical of most buyers.

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