Laying the foundation for success with permission
By Lisa Ciangiulli, Optism Team, Jun 30, 2010
When we were young, we were taught to ask for permission before doing something – especially if it affected another person. It’s just common courtesy. Two years ago, in Permission Marketing, Seth Godin reminded us that when you apply the concept of permission to marketing it is “the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” Then he went on to set a few ground rules, including “Permission doesn’t have to be formal but it has to be obvious.” Getting permission requires special effort. It’s based on a value exchange and treating people with respect.
Fast forward to spring 2010, and it’s clear, permission marketing has found a champion in the mobile marketing world. At Optism, permission is at the core of what we do. And we’re not alone. Other key stakeholders in mobile marketing are playing close attention to the role of permission with good reason.
Mobile is always referred to as the most personal medium and it is. Many other forms of communication can be based on a “opt out” principle (allowing the consumer to request that he or she not be contacted, after initial contact has been made). With mobile, the customer needs to opt in before you even begin the conversation. There’s no room for error here. You can’t beg consumers for forgiveness later or you run the risk of alienating your audience. In many jurisdictions, there can even be serious legal ramifications (see Overcoming legal hurdles of mobile marketing in last month’s Mobile Marketer).
Permission is critical, but it’s also just the first step. It needs to be combined with an understanding of consumer preferences. That’s when you really beginning to create value. Using the power of mobile as an interactive medium is essential and messaging can be key in unleashing this power. Messaging can be used to trigger a relevant conversation between consumers and the brands they want to hear from. Not just a one-off message, but an actual exchange that provides brands, agencies, operators and consumers a foundation on which to build real engagement.
We said it before and we’ll say it again: getting permission and building trust with consumers takes effort, but when it’s done right it delivers tangible rewards. Getting the consumer’s permission elevates your message from SPAM to information. With that foundation in place, you’re ready to start building a mutually beneficial relationship.
Stay tuned. Next week, we’re going to look at what permission actually means to different stakeholders in mobile marketing.