This is old news to a lot of marketers in the year 2007, but in this day and age when, at last researched count, the average American is exposed to 3,000 - 5,000 messages a day. That includes everything from logos on computers to signage to commercials on the TV, Radio and the web to the symbols on their shoes, labels on clothing, branding on cereal boxes and packaging for their new toothbrush. Marketing messages are EVERYWHERE. And most are interruptive. In other words we do not ask to see them.
All of that being said what if you could, as a marketer, discover those that actually want to hear from you? Is this so out of the question? For decades the mindset has been "How do we get their attention and persuade?" Well, now I believe the shift is slowly moving to, and has been for quite some time, "How do we understand what they want and/or need and deliver on that want/need?" How do we become relevant? How do we adapt and stay that way? Wouldn't it be nice if your audience actually looked forward to what you had to offer or say because they valued it? What a concept!
Once you have someones permission the next step to success is to not bore your audience. Engage and motivate. How you do this is entirely up to you. I have found that the more the audience can participate, or become involved usually the more successful you can become in not only keeping their attention but getting them to spread the word.
Permission, in my humble opinion, is the absolute foundation for today's most successful marketing campaigns. It sets the stage for a lot of great communication and a dynamic relationship. It shows your audience that you respect them enough to honor their desire on whether or not they wish to engage. That goes a long way.