Permission Marketing in Jewish Thought

permission marketing

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By Yonatan Gordon

In Seth Godin’s blog post today, he wrote the following:

“The best definition of permission marketing used to be messages that were anticipated, personal and relevant. If this is going to be an asset of your organization (and it should be), let’s take it to the next, easily measured level: would people miss it if it didn’t arrive?

Once you have people looking forward to what you have to say, no more worries about spam. You’ve built an asset worth owning.”

We spoke about this in our “Learning to Teach with Discrete Messages” post. The implication from our discussion was that communication is a two way street. If the teacher is saying worthwhile things (as in our example of the Kabbalist), then his students will view the teacher and the class as a treasured asset. Not only will they look forward to each upcoming class, but they will also hear insights that others may miss.

As Godin says, students will listen if they view the teacher or the topic to be important. But the degree to which they listen really depends on how much they view their teacher as an influencer. Now the media is gravitating towards a battle over influencers. While LinkedIn uses this term explicitly, when looking for news, should we go to CNN or the New York Times? One reporter or blogger over another?

In the transmission of the Kabbalah, it was never about a game of numbers. Even one devoted student could make all the difference. This is something we wrote about at the end of our “Kabbalah of Marketing: 101” post, written in response to another recent blog entry from Godin.

So what is permission marketing in Jewish thought? Instead of writers and readers, we should start viewing media as a teaching or classroom opportunity. Although a teacher may have many students, only a select few will be able to hear the deepest and most penetrating insights. How does a student get into this permission only area? By not only viewing the teacher’s lessons as an “asset worth listening to,” but also being ready and willing to help share these insights to the world.

Here’s the take home message for today:

Ideally, it is the students who should be the promoters of their teacher. If the teacher needs to use Twitter, Facebook, etc… then it’s only in order to reach those students, who will in turn promote the lessons further. Eventually maybe the inner circle of students will get bigger … but this all depends on how much the students have “permitted” these lessons into their minds and hearts.


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