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Determining Perceptions of Marketing Permission Impact Marketing Success


Permission marketing infographicRegReady has released a survey and infographic on the four types of marketing permission: implicit, secondary, explicit and none.  The study surved 1,125 consumers and marketers about their perceptions and feelings about different marketing practices and how they related to permission.  The practice of permission marketing continues to be complex and elusive for one simple reason: How do you get consumer permission in the first place?  The four types of consumer permission outlined in the infographic ultimately determine the degree to which marketing efforts are most successful. 

The RegReady survey is revealing in its ability to differentiate the areas where consumers and marketers are communicating, and who/how consumers are willing to accept in their inboxes and mobile devices.  RegReady believes that in order for marketers to be successful, they have to understand what consumers expect.  Government regulations and easy to use filters that remove unwanted messages are making permission based marketing essential.

EXPLICIT Permission (Request Information, Special Deals, Newsletter, Alerts)

Explicit is the best and purest level of permission a customer or prospect can give, and provides the greatest results but is usually the most complex to acquire.  Mid-sized and growth companies are concerned the most with marketing permission, while small and large companies are least concerned. 

Based on the results of this RegReady study, consumers (70%) feel very strongly or somewhat strongly that they give permission before they can be marketed via email.  Some agreement between the groups was found as consumers (59%) and marketers (61%) are in agreement that explicit permission is required for direct marketing on mobile devices.  

Marketers (57%) feel very strongly or strongly that customers and prospects must give their permission before being marketed to.   Interestingly, citizens of Illinois felt the strongest that permission is needed before they can be marketed to on their mobile device.

IMPLICIT Permission (Purchases, Contests, Product Demos, Registrations)

Marketers consider implied permission sufficient to start engagement, while the vast majority of consumers disagree. One of the greatest differences between marketers and consumers is that 77% of marketers feel that a purchase does constitute marketing permission.  Consumers (80%) disagree that making a purchase doesn't constitute permission to market to them via email. 

Urban consumers (25%) in particular, feel more strongly than suburban ones that making a purchase does not constitute permission to market to them.  While certain marketing trends were confirmed, it is interesting to note consumer perceptions based on age and location.  

In its purest form, traditional marketing channels such as television, radio and periodical advertising are based on implied permission. However, with digital channels, marketers need to be more aware of some of the negative repercussions of implied permission.  Implied permission tends to deliver relatively good results as long as marketers align content and offers closely with the customer or prospect’s implied action. An important thing marketers need to be acutely aware of with implied permission is that when it’s acquired using incentives, its effectiveness is extremely diluted.

SECONDARY (Purchasing opt-in lists, list rental, affiliate marketing, lead mills)

Secondary permission is usually incentivized by intermediaries, opaque to the prospect or customer, and is often abused by marketers.  This type of permission is relatively easy to acquire but yields marginal results compared to explicit and implicit permission.  However, it has proven effective when reserved for unique markets and demographics. 

In an effort to increase lead generation, 58% of marketers feel very strongly or strongly that purchasing an opt-in email list is an acceptable practice, while 51% feel very strongly or strongly that purchasing any type of opt-in list is an acceptable marketing practice.

Marketers who chose to purchase opt-in email lists run the risk of having their messages marked as spam, as consumers are more apt to mark an email as spam over deleting the message.  The extremely strong desire for permission, as revealed in the RegReady study, demonstrates that explicit permission based leads will be more trusted.

The youngest consumers felt the strongest about companies not sharing their personal information. Contrary to popular belief consumers 55+ feel less strongly about companies sharing their personal information for marketing purposes. 

NONE (purchasing lists and data, mobile and web tracking)

Marketers should keep in mind that 80% of consumers feel strongly or somewhat strongly that email should not be used as a prospecting medium.  Marketers (60%) feel strongly or very strongly that mobile should not be used as a prospect medium. When asked about tracking digital behavior, 85% of consumers feel very strongly or somewhat strongly that companies should not track. Marketers are split on tracking of any kind without permission: 41% feel it is acceptable, 40% feel it is not acceptable, and 19% feel neutral.

Marketers need to group allotted budget to be spent according to the activities that match the permission descriptions.  From there, marketers can compare the ROI of each activity.  Marketing results, by the type of permission required for each marketing activity, should align with effectiveness. The higher the level of acquisition (eg: explicit) the more effective, as demonstrated in the RegReady Permission Curve graph.  By applying information from the RegReady study, marketers will have another data point in their arsenal to better understanding the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.  More importantly, marketers now have a framework to find new and creative ways to acquire customers’ and prospects’ permission.

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