9 Tips That May Change The Way You Do Marketing: Asking For “Permission” Never Has Been So Important

Valeria Maltoni, the marketing expert and subject of my last post, has a fascinating list of tips that may very well change the way you do marketing. Her tips are based on permission marketing a strategy where you ask permission before sending advertisements to prospective customers.

Permission marketing is used by some Internet marketers, email marketers, and telephone marketers. It requires that people first “opt-in”, rather than allowing people to “opt-out” only after the advertisements have been sent.

9 Tips To Consider

1. Newsletter Subscriptions: ask for permission to add people to your newsletter list. You may see a dip in the growth rate of your newsletter list but your new subscribers will be of higher quality to your business

2. Subscribe to email: Give people the chance to subscribe to your email whenever possible

3. What others purchased: Let your readers see what other people have bought, testimonials of your service, and even a poor review. By including a poor review you are demonstrating you are transparent

4. Comments: make commenting available as much as possible as often as possible on your site. If you have forum capabilities that is even better as it allows commenters to communicate directly

5. Give First: Make sure the first time a potential client hears something from you it is not a sales pitch of any kind. Add value and give something first before asking for something in return

6. Ranking Content: Create a method of allowing your readers to rank your content and vote for their favorite or most “useful” articles

7. Encourage Critiquing: encourage and foster an atmosphere where readers, peers, and clients can critique your work or present alternative ideas

8. Follow a Plan: Take everything in steps, follow a plan, and take your time building trust through permission in your marketing mission

9. Ask,Ask,Ask: One answer does not satisfy all inquiring minds. Continually ask questions so as to understand your clients. Show that you value their concerns by illustrating how your services or products can help them in their lives

“Word-Of-Mouth” Expert Valeria Maltoni: Power Of Viral Marketing

Reuters.com news agency published this deansguide article July 14, 2008

Valeria Maltoni a University of Bologna (Italy) and Villanova University graduate, is one of the most influential marketing experts in the country. Her bio reads like a who’s who of Web 2.0 and marketing.

Her blog ConversationAgent.com is recognized among the world’s top online marketing blogs. Valeria is a FastCompany.com Expert blogger and a contributor to The Blog Herald, Marketing Profs Daily Fix, and Marketing 2.0.

She is an active member of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the American Marketing Association (AMA), the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia (WACA), and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

In her article “Permission Marketing Revisited” Valeria points out 3 interesting studies, dating back to 1955, about the power and validity of “word of mouth” aka viral marketing.

Realtor’s Gold

1. Real estate is a transaction business and a Realtor’s opportunity to shine, like gold, is a direct cause of word of mouth aka viral marketing. If you do a great job your clients will tell 5 or more friends–nothing new here.

2. But if you do less than advertised in your transaction, your less than enthused customer (according to studies performed by Nordstrom Dept store while I was an employee) will tell 10 friends not to use your services

Thought Provoking Studies: Valeria’s Research

1. “Columbia sociologists Lazarsfeld and Katz estimated that word of mouth was seven times more powerful that newspaper or magazine ads in motivating brand-switching as early as 1955.

2. “In 1975, the Roper Organization showed that word of mouth was mentioned as the best source of information about new products and services 67% better than advertising at 53% or editorial content at 47%.

Note: That flys in the face of conventional wisdom for people who believe that “media relations” should be the more powerful “component” in an integrated marketing plan

3. A 2003 Cap Gemini study into the influences on car purchases showed that 71% of the 700 respondents pointed to word of mouth compared to only 15% for television ads.

4. Renouned consulting firm McKinsey estimated that word of mouth drives two thirds of the US economy.

Final Analysis

Viral Marketing aka word of mouth marketing is much more powerful than most people expect. It is under estimated and often overlooked as a major component in a marketing plan–more so now in the globally communicating Web 2.0 World