When many businesses think of ROI, the first thing that comes to mind is the number of sales they receive from a given investment. They think of money in the door. They think of dollars and cents. Certainly, in order for businesses to keep their doors (actual or virtual) open, revenue has to be somewhere in the ROI equation.
Before businesses bring in revenue, however, they must garner an even more essential ROI. They must get customers to walk through their doors. They must give customers a reason to stick around. They must ask customers to pay attention (and receive a “we will” in return).
In a recent article, Entrepreneur shared an excerpt of Seth Godin’s new book This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See. Godin describes a preferred way of getting customers, a concept he calls “permission marketing.” Permission marketing considers the return that customers value most, their attention. “Pay attention,” Godin explains, “is a key phrase here, because permission marketers understand that when someone chooses to pay attention they actually are paying you with something valuable. And there’s no way they can get their attention back if they change their mind. Attention becomes an important asset, something to be valued, not wasted.”
What this means for marketing, then, is that content must be relevant to customers. Godin explains that, while most businesses use an email platform that allows customers to unsubscribe, that option does not give businesses the freedom to bombard their customers with content, especially useless content. Godin states, “Real permission works like this: If you stop showing up, people are concerned. They ask where you went.”
As you consider the content you create for your customers, think of how much your customers would miss that content if you stopped creating it. If you’re not sure about the answer, ask your customers! If you want them to continue paying you their attention, you must invite them to stay by giving them what they want.