BRANDED Solutions’ Take on Permission Marketing

It has always bothered me that advertising is deemed as a necessary evil in business. I can only imagine that it has come from years of advertising salespeople selling advertising space that produces little or no results. They sell ads in publications highlighting that it is distributed to XXXXX amount of people. I honestly can’t remember the last time an ad has motivated me to do anything be it on TV, print, billboard, radio, and etcetera. Seth Godin calls the old methods of advertising “interruption marketing.” Marketing that demands I pay attention to it is doomed to fail because I have 500 other channels, limitless internet options, entire forests of publications, and hundreds of radio stations available for my listening pleasure.

The solution to these failed advertising techniques is nothing new. It’s not an innovative or unique practice but it seems to be disappearing. The owner of Branded Solutions and I meet every morning to discuss life, marketing and everything in-between; it is an A.M. debate of old versus new. I talk about the power of social media and creating an online presence. I am a junky of facebook, myspace, twitter, squidoo, forums, skype, blogs, and any other way I can share my knowledge in an effort to build relationships and gain clients. I spend hours writing and posting to these sites and my entire career is based on an internet foundation. I can’t however, generate business as quickly as my boss. He has a secret up his sleeve that so many internet networkers and SEO specialists ignore.

The secret is face-to-face interactions; a meeting and sharing of information outside of the ever more competitive internet. When my boss finds a company that he would like to have as a client he picks up a phone and asks permission to market to them. They can respond by allowing him to schedule a visit, explain his capabilities over the phone or choose not to allow him to proceed. He doesn’t use high pressure sales technique, he doesn’t want to talk about himself; he wants to learn about the company and its needs. He wants a relationship. Direct mail campaigns are the other tool he utilizes. We send out dozens in a year. Each campaign is unique and tailored to the market we want to reach. Because we take the time to research what drives our prospects, our response rates are untouched by any other advertising medium. The campaign introduces our company; it explains the benefits we offer and most importantly gives the prospect time to decide if they would like to do business with us. Again, he has asked permission.

The new name for this old practice is called Permission Marketing, a term introduced by Seth Godin. So, save your flashy gimmicks and “your look at me” advertising techniques for Super Bowl commercials. They aren’t practical for most businesses. I challenge all of you to step away from internet marketing, high priced advertisements and build a real life relationship with your clients and prospects.

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~ by BRANDED Solutions on August 21, 2009.

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