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  • Writer's pictureSamradni

Permission Marketing Book Summary: Top 5 lessons

Updated: Mar 11, 2021

You can also listen to the podcast of this blog post, here

While book summaries have been off for a while from the blog, I couldn’t introduce it back without a Seth Godin book.

I think it’s pretty evident by now that Seth Godin is hand’s down my favorite marketing book author, but if you didn’t know that yet, well know you do!

Like the other books I have reviewed on The Marketing Empress, this one encapsulates multiple learnings too.

The best part about his books is that they always try to combine concepts with current marketing situations, this ensures that you never lose a link with what’s communicated.

Other books from the same author that I have already written about are Purple Cow, This is Marketing and All Marketers Are Liars, make sure you read those as well!

Now, Permission Marketing mainly focuses on the premise that it’s important as a marketer to understand what your ‘customer expects from you’.

Simply put, as a marketer you need to put yourself in the shoes of your customers to be able to understand their requirements and accordingly, curate your offerings.

The book focusses on the fundamentals of Permission Marketing, they comprise of 3 main characteristics, which are as given below:

1. It must be anticipated by the customer

Your customer is bombarded by multiple advertising messages daily.

But you have won most of your battle, if your customer waits for your message, he/she is eager to learn about what you have to offer.

2. It must be personal

Personalization is no longer treated as an asset, rather, today it's more about how well you do it.

So unless and until you don’t create a strong connection with your consumer, they won’t budge.

3. Relevant to the client

In the end, it has to be about something that really matters, wherein people want to know more about it.

The book mentions that ensuring these 3 main characteristics, can definitely help your brand to stand out, and for your audience to get more engaged with the offering.

So now that we have already spoken about the introduction to the book, let’s dive into the top 5 lessons from the book Permission Marketing, that in my opinion, were truly the best of the lot.

1. “Creating value through interaction is far more important than solving a consumer’s problem in thirty seconds”

This has such a deep meaning because it’s very important to understand the deeper meaning that your brand can provide, and make it very evident to your customers as well.

The way to do this is through ‘interaction’ as against focusing on just a 30-sec television commercial.

But then, most of the marketers are focused on widening the reach of their communication, and while I don’t find anything wrong with that, it may not always give us better benefits.

2. “Customers are building an asset that has nothing to do with the brand and everything to do with their relationship with you”

This might sound like, is the brand different from the marketer then?

Yes, and No.

The main learning behind this concept is that of understanding the importance of a relationship that the brand develops with the customers over a while.

Customers require a much deeper connection these days, to be able to trust a brand, and eventually stay loyal to it.

So only because of a strong brand name or brand communication, you may not be able to win your customers.

It is rather a long process, that takes into account your ‘relationship’ with them

3. “Permission Marketing is just like dating. It turns strangers into friends and friends into lifetime customers. Many of the rules of dating apply, and so do many of the benefits”

And this was the first time when I thought about this analogy, it made so much sense!

Think about it, the way you nurture your relationship when you are dating is extremely relatable to what you might experience with your customer.

It’s a journey, you start off as strangers, then turn into friends and then eventually move on to something more serious, that’s the relation of a lifetime customer.

And that should be considered as the end goal.

4. “The biggest secret of the Internet is that it is inherently a direct marketing medium. In fact, the Internet is the greatest direct marketing medium”

We all know the importance of the Internet, but have we really thought about it from a direct marketing point of view?

If you haven’t, now is the time that you do.

And the reason behind the same is that your consumers are more receptive to the Internet, social media marketing is growing by leaps and bounds.

Because of this, it makes a lot more sense to invest in something that can directly relate to your customers as against having a multi-layered approach.

5. “Out-of-the-box mindset is one of the most critical elements in launching an ad”

This stems from the fact, that as mentioned earlier, your customers are bound to come across multiple communications on a day-to-day basis.

Be it from your competitors or any other category altogether.

Out-of-the-box thinking then is the only solution or the best alternative to standing out from the clutter.

And more so, when it comes to an ad because any communication that doesn’t directly grab your attention is useless.


Permission Marketing is a book for all those, who are just starting off to understanding marketing as a concept.

It’s also a book for the marketing veterans, who feel there is an ever-evolving need to stand out from the crowd.

The learnings that you derive from the book are sure to make you understand the need to be ‘different’ and focus on developing a much stronger relationship with your customers.

It may or may not always lead to success, and that’s the most crucial point to note.

Marketing is evolving every single day, even as I write this blog, it is changing, and hence it becomes important to keep ourselves updated with all its requirements.


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