We are in an age of "permission marketing." This was the topic I had the pleasure to hear Seth Godin speak about at the Integrated Marketing Week Conference last month. One of his main points: All media is optional. If people don’t want to talk to you or listen to you, they don't have to. We're past the time when marketers can just cram messages down people's throats. Everyone skips the commercials on DVR. In the subject line of an email, you essentially are asking them to open your email. In the opt-in form on your website, you have to ask them to sign up for your newsletter. You can’t just say attack the audience with your product; you have to build a connection first.
The Connection Economy
This significantly reduces the value of the mass market, according to Godin. The real value for your marketing dollar is on the edges – the places where specialized info will be most valued. The edge is more receptive to specific messaging. Think politics and religion if you want more vivid examples – the edge craves content on their subject and consumes it at much deeper and higher rates because there’s more passion there. That's where you’re making your connection, and that’s what drives Godin’s notion that we are living in a "Connection Economy."