Seth is keen on identifying the difficulties in protecting a "permission asset" (a.k.a. the "right" that someone grants you to borrow their attention).
The fragility of permission is real. What Travelocity didn't realize is that even though their misquote may have been for Seth's benefit, managing Seth's perception is something entirely different. Understanding the gap between the intent of a web page's design and its actual use might represent one of the largest unknowns in online media. Indeed, many e-commerce tools can measure and optimize the dollar value of cash flow from a web page. How many marketers measure the flow of permission from the same page? Perhaps pages that generate the most cash in the short term also create the greatest loss of permission?
This conundrum has caused me to become almost TOO careful with my audience because I'm unable to measure the erosion of permission. Sure email unsubscribes are a good marker but there must be a lot more to it than that?
Next post- measuring and retaining permission (the greatest asset that doesn't come close to the balance sheet, BUT IT SHOULD!) Cash is king! Permission is king! Which is it? Can permission be traded? Can I trade permission futures on the open market? What would GAAP or Sarbanes-Oxley have to say?