Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Push vs. Pull Marketing

There are a variety of marketing strategies available for you to implement but all of them fall within two categories. They are either push or pull marketing. I actually had someone say, recently, that push marketing is dead due to the surge in media marketing. I don't think they've turned their TV on recently. In order to be effective, you need to understand what they are and be able to use them both.

Push Marketing

This is what I would consider to be traditional marketing. These are the activities you undertake that put your message in front of your ideal customer. You control what the message is, where and when it appears, and how it's seen. It's a little like being the guy behind the Outer Limits intro who controls your television. Examples of push marketing include:
  • TV Commercials
    31% of all households have 4 or more televisions and spend approximately 35.6 hours per week in front of the television, according to Nielsen Statistics. This is a very viable form of push marketing if you can afford it.
  • Cold CallingThis technique is particularly pertinent to service-oriented companies who may call the consumer to explain what the company does and determine they have a need for what the company is offering.
  • Direct E-MailThis might confuse some people because e-mail marketing is permission-based. That doesn't change the fact that you are sending your message out to the customer telling them about sales, asking for testimonials or introducing new products.

Pull Marketing

Pull marketing is designed to bring the consumer to you in order to find out if you have anything to offer that is of value to them. Pull marketing incorporates your corporate/brand identity to pull people to you and turn them into fans. Examples of pull marketing include:
  • Video MarketingTechnology is advancing at an unbelievable rate and consumers are becoming used to information-on-demand. Unlike commercials, videos can be filmed in a home or office for little or no monetary outlay and can be whatever length is needed to convey the message. Once they're done, the videos can be shared on YouTube, Facebook, or the corporate website.
  • BloggingBlogging is steadily gaining a reputation as an effective way for companies to share information about themselves, solicit consumer feedback, and keep a thumb on the pulse of their reputation. Blogging lets companies interact with their consumers and be immediately responsive in the relationship.

Social Media's Effect on Push Marketing

Now, all that said, I have seen an evolution in push marketing since the introduction of social media where push marketing is incorporating the idea that you are getting your consumer to spread your message for you. You are still creating advertising and promotional strategies, but now part of the objective is to get the consumers talking. I believe this explains what's behind the trend of producing shocking and controversial commercials, ads, etc. They create buzz and get people talking. I once had an art professor tell me that as long as the art creates a reaction, whether it's positive or negative, it's effective. I sometimes think that many marketers follow the same tenet with regard to their strategy.

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