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permission marketing


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A school of marketing thinking popularized at the time of the e-commerce explosion in 2000–02, the central idea of which is that marketing can only thrive by obtaining customer consent for direct marketing, by discovering their natural affinities rather than pushing and hard selling. Coined and popularized by Seth Godin in a book of the same name in 1999, permission marketing is the opposite of traditional ‘interruption marketing’, which is based on snatching the time and attention of customers who have not given their consent. Permission marketing is about building an ongoing relationship of increasing depth with customers or, to use Godin's own phrase, ‘turning strangers into friends, and friends into customers.’ Permission marketing has been hailed as a way for marketers to succeed in a world increasingly cluttered with marketing messages and the declining effectiveness of mass advertising. See also relationship marketing; viral marketing.

Subjects: Marketing.


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