Get Permission to Advertise… If Not, You Will Most Likely Be Ignored

“According to Forrester Research, 48 percent of consumers today now believe they have the right to decide whether or not to receive advertising.” – Bob Gilbreath in The Next Evolution of Marketing

Consider just exactly what that means as you sit there with that remote in your hand, as you turn on the pop-up blocker in your browser, as you skip past the commercials with your Tivo and put your phone number on the no-call list.

Now, a business needs to develop and nurture meaningful relationships in order to make sales and these relationships must be authentic. The public has actually grown hostile towards old-school snake oil sales-techniques like green-washing. And once that door slams in your face, it is very unlikely that it will ever open again.

Providing a way of “opting out” of any e-mail list is now a legal mandate so your content has to be of genuine value. As a business communicator, your message is now continually under evaluation. And your only hope in this day and age is to be about something… real.

And know the laws.

Doing good makes for good business. I am often accused of being too political, always speaking out about issues that affect me. There are two ways to approach this “condition” from a business perspective. One way is to try to present a well-crafted neutral “business face.” The other is to be honest and open about your beliefs and trust that you will attract as many people as you might “offend” by being about something that is possibly controversial.

Gilbreath says, “There are lots of compelling reasons why doing good makes good business sense, starting with an increase in sales.” He cites one 2008 behavioral research study that shows, “a whopping 87%  of consumers will switch from one brand to another that’s comparable based on its association with a good cause.”

Despite the fact that permission-based marketing may be a new concept to many,  Gilbreath says it’s so 1990’s – based on the theories of Seth Godin. Now it’s about Marketing with Meaning. If you are having a positive impact on people’s lives then, of course you will continue to be granted permission to co-exist in their social network. My next post will dig deeper as I read this great new book: The Next Evolution of Marketing.

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