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Permission marketing: you need to know who before you ask

From Seth Godin’s recent blog post: “For the individual or small organization, all the social networks provide you with a fork in the road. Either you can work around the edges, spamming your way to more followers and more noise, figuring out how to make some sort of make-believe metric increase as a result of your efforts. Or, you can use these networks as a new form of 1:1 interaction, making promises and keeping them. This second path means that your followers are actually followers and that your friends are closer than ever to becoming friends.” (Q&A: The resiliency of Permission Marketing.)

Of course we agree. Permission comes from knowing who to contact.

Knowing what interests them.

Knowing the identities of all the individuals active on the social web, so you know from whom to seek permission, and why you should reach out to those individuals in the first place.

And knowing why what you have to offer might be of the remotest interest and relevance to them.

This is of course social CRM, the notion of systematically mapping and connecting the individuals in a market to the databases you already have. The social web provides large numbers of people at the front end, those choosing to engage (on their terms) on the social web.

Most companies have databases. Many of sophisticated CRM systems. Many too listen to the chatter on the social web.

Now it’s time to go one step further: connect everything, seek permission, and talk (and then sell).

Alan Smith: is Head of Customer Engagement at DIGIVIZER.