Join The Participatory Marketing Network

A new marketing organization has been formed that you should take a look at it. It’s called the . According to its web site:

Over the last 50 years, we have seen marketing evolve from “Push Marketing” to the “Permission Marketing” concepts popularized by Seth Godin. More recently,  industry experts have proclaimed the coming of a new marketing model “Participatory Marketing,” and while their definitions may differ slightly, their concepts are united in their recognition that:

  1. We are in the midst of another paradigm shift that calls for new solutions that recognize and embrace consumer control and empowerment.
  2. The Internet and technology have fundamentally changed consumer and brand interactions forever.
  3. To succeed and build trust today, marketers must advocate for consumers and make them an active and willing participant in the promotional conversation.”

What I like about this concept is that it: 1) recognizes the need to move beyond push and persmission marketing, and 2) frames the model in a way that isn’t simply limited to social media and social networks.  (On the other hand, I hope the network recognizes that just because marketers must meet the “participatory” challenge, it doesn’t mean that they can stop mastering the permission and push models).Subscribe Today

The PMN is the brainchild of Michael Della Penna, who was a pioneer in the email marketing field as one of the co-founders of Bigfoot Interactive, and more recently, was Chief Marketing Officer at database marketing firm Epsilon.

Membership provides access to webinars (the first one from Charlene Li, co-author of the best-selling book Groundswell), white papers, and to proprietary Gen Y research that the network is conducting in conjunction with Pace University’s Interactive and Direct Marketing Lab.

There’s also a blog worth checking out.

Technorati Tags: Marketing, Participatory Marketing Network

Ron ShevlinRon Shevlin is Director of Research at . Check out more of his ideas and research on Cornerstone's And don't forget to follow him on Twitter at

This article was originally published on December 8, 2008. All content © 2018 by The Financial Brand and may not be reproduced by any means without permission.


  1. Tim McAlpine says:

    Thanks for pointing this new network out Ron. I have been struggling with defining what we do at our agency and wasn’t happy with the preconceived notions surrounding social media marketing. I landed on challenge marketing, but I am also intrigued by the concept of participatory marketing – I think it may be a better fit for what we do.

    I wish you would have pointed this out a few weeks ago! I may have to adjust my thinking. (search and replace maybe – we’ll see) 🙂

  2. As you astutely pointed out Ron: “(On the other hand, I hope the network recognizes that just because marketers must meet the “participatory” challenge, it doesn’t mean that they can stop mastering the permission and push models).“

    That is the challenge.

    Pure social marketing and some online proponents see the marketing world as a place where permission, disruptive and permission advertising no longer matter. In fact, they do not respect the learning that comes from testing or the direct marketing discipline.

    I don’t see online so much as a revolution or replacement of traditional direct marketing. But rather a new enabling environment where some of the old concepts of participatory direct marketing can finally take flight.

    Until the advent of online marketing, emarketing, and now social marketing, the promise of Customer Relationship Marketing was more of an ideal than a reality.

    Online marketing, therefore, takes well founded relationship marketing theory into the realm of reality. It hardly replaces the old disciplines.

    PS I love the falling snow graphic you put on your blog!

  3. I was waiting for such a group to form. Thanks for sharing.

    There’s also a group of volunteers (co-chaired by my agency’s own Johnny Abbate, jonnymagic8 [at] G mail [dot] com), founded by OMC. It focuses on the advancement of social media strategies for marketing. It’s currently supported by a start-up wiki:

    The Social Media Group is just getting started, and is by invitation-only, but readers who might like to find out more are welcome to email Johnny at the address shown in parentheses above.

    P.S. An aside to Tim: I think ALL marketing nowadays is challenge marketing!

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