Review: Permission Marketing by Seth Godin


Down and Dirty: 4.5 out of 5

An excellent primer on how to create and run permission-based marketing as well as why it is the wave of the future.

One of Seth’s earlier books, Permission Marketing was on a long list of to-reads. It gives a compelling argument for how interruption-based marketing (banners, tv spots, web pop-ups, cold calling, etc) are dying by becoming so expected that they’re ignored as background noise. This book was written in 1999  and much of Seths’ wisdom has come true – right down to his prediction about how and where Amazon was truly going to make it’s money.

So perhaps now, more than ever, it’s advisable to read Permission Marketing because 1) He was right and 2) He explains how to go about getting permission.

The sad truth is permission marketing is hard, hard work and takes a good amount of coordination but if it’s one of the only ways to get and keep growing customers then you should really take the time and effort to do it right .

I love that Seth starts his book by talking about participating in huge wastes of money and resources, how he and fellow marketers spent tons of money of advertising with no way of knowing if/how/why any of it worked. It reminds us that we’re all starting from a place that is less than perfect and that we can still improve and become great at truly connecting with customers.

The only problem I had with this book was it’s audio format. Unlike in newer books, Seth sounded a bit like he was trying to mellow out his voice’s unmistakable accent and energetic characteristics. That might sound like a good thing but I was so used to Seth’s voice that it sounded like he was trying to lull me to sleep, which he sometimes did – and I would have to quickly rewind the audio to re-listen to the part I’d mentally blocked out.

A definite read for any business owner, runner or marketer. Heck a good read for everyone in your business from product development to customer service to accounting.

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