I love Seth's thinking and I love the whole concept but, it's misuse is crippling marketeers:
Permission marketing is the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.. (via seth blog)
Permission marketing should be seen as empowering the marketeers.
To often it's the status quo enhancing answer to innovation. Nobody asked for this or that. We gotta get permission from the market. Let's test it. The very word has taken a wrong turn. Is it because of a human need for security during chaotic times, laziness, or fear of the future? who knows. But permission now means safe, means boring means less profit.
It should be about giving customers permission to do business with you. You gotta lead. Not ask it, pretty please, with sugar on top. Method did not ask permission, it took it. the fruit company has been doing it for years. And the beauty of this...people begin to see them as ahead of the curve, so they can freely act like it.
This all kinda fell into place as we were creating our new corporate brochure. Our's is a Rubick's cube. It really works for us as a reinforcement of who we are and what we do. And we started giving it out to clients, and they loved it.
It was really great seeing, old serious men going back in time and be given permission to be children again; playfull, eager to find a solution, when they had only given us permission to do a presentation on the housing market situation.
Was it the reason why some assignments were won by us? No. But it forced some room for us to go further, to take clients on a ride somewhere where others would have looked out of place even asking if it's ok to go there.
Give people what they want, but please do not ask them how they want it, or worse wait for them to tell you when they want it..they just do not know. Or else we would have had faster horses.
For marketeers it really is time to take back what is theirs, the right/obligation to stay ahead of the curve, of being a teacher to the public. The bar is now so low we can't help but trip over it to victory.