What’s most interesting about First Direct’s podcast for customers isn’t that it’s the first financial brand to use this method of communication, but that it is actually embracing an understanding of how to engage consumers on their own terms (MW June 8).
In effect, it is providing consumers with a means to “pull” relevant information, which they have chosen, from the brand. In marketing terms this is an important step forward. Most brands tend to market by “pushing” their information on customers.
First Direct is also displaying an understanding of how “permission marketing” should work. Permission shouldn’t just be about agreeing with a consumer which channels can be used to communicate with them. It can also be about empowering the consumer into taking action, encouraging them to extract relevant information themselves, avoiding the notion they’re simply being up-sold.
Other brands should take note. Marketing needs to become a two-way process, where the push and pull both have a role to play.