This book is a must-read. Seth Godin explains why the effectiveness of mass marketing, i.e. interruption marketing, is in such decline. More importantly, he explains how to market your products and services by taking advantage of the fact that consumers with too little time are increasingly intolerant of interruptions. Permission Marketing provides insights into the importance of building long-term relationships based upon earned trust, and presents the Internet as an effective tool helping to gain it.
Granted, the book does redundantly make its points, and is a bit self contradictory (something later acknowledged by Godin in his book Unleashing the Ideavirus). But nonetheless this is an important book. If you appreciate the importance of branding, but don't have Coca Cola's or Nike's dominant position or deep pockets to pound home your message; if you are frustrated with the expense of mass media and the apparent lack of meaningful measurement; if you want to know how to more effectively market your products and services while positioning yourself for the long term, you will want to read this book.
Another book by Godin, Purple Cow strikes to the essence of what it takes to succeed in business. Godin contends that it is no longer good enough to be good, or even very good. To survive, a company needs amazing products and services--ones that will stand out in a field of boring, brown cows. Go for the purple!
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing
The authors acknowledge the "common sense" feel of these 22 immutable laws of marketing. But they also contend that the reason why nobody else has declared these laws is that nobody in marketing wants to concede that there are laws of marketing at all, much less immutable. Published in 1993, these marketing truths are still powerfully insightful. And as you read the book, you wonder why some of the largest companies in the world still don't seem to have gotten it, and are suffering today as a result. For the small business owner, this little book is critical to understanding how to compete. For the mid-sized business marketing manager, it gives the secrets to getting bigger. And the for the large corporate executive, this book could indeed save your bacon--if you are willing to go against the flow, and embrace some these laws
Unleashing the Idea Virus
Virtually the sequel to Permission Marketing, this book by Godin attempts to answer the question of "Okay, but how do we get the prospect to give permission in the first place." Even Godin acknowledges that Permission Marketing left the question unanswered, or worse yet, contradicted itself by confessing that the very mass marketing/interruption marketing that is supposed to be dead is alive and well if only to gain initial permission.
But Idea Virus does, indeed, set about trying to answer the question. The answer, Godin contends, is to identify a target market segment, called a "hive" and infect the hive with your "idea virus" (i.e. your product, service, philosophy, idea, etc.) The most effective way to "dominate a hive" is to identify the "sneezers" that are the influencers and power players within that hive, says Godin.
A thoughtful idea virus itself, this book makes the case that if you empower the sneezers within a hive, i.e. give them the tools by which they can easily spread the virus, you empower others to win-over others to your way of thinking. Once again, the Internet play a central role, when the right tools are applied. If you are tired of paying huge money on shotgun ads hoping the right people wander into the line of fire (or gave up on it a long time ago), you will want to give this idea virus time to infect you. It is a new way of approaching (and talking about) targeting the right audience and making the most of your marketing dollar.