Are you still using Push Marketing to generate business for you? Is so then it’s time you considered Pull Marketing.
Push Marketing refers to the traditional methods of pushing your product or service in front of potential clients. The “foot-in-the-door” salesman epitomizes this approach. So does cold calling, direct mailing, and accosting people in the street. Advertising in magazines, TV, radio, and Yellow Pages are also examples of Pull Marketing.
The Pull Marketing approach relies on building communities of people who you regularly interact with by blogs, social media, talks, networking groups etc. You build credibility and trust which encourages people to gravitate to you.
Both approaches have their merits and their places. Push Marketing is more suited to selling low cost products. But even then, it is becoming less and less effective as people become insulated from adverts that push products in their faces.
For example think of a TV ad that you found funny or interesting. Now try and think what product, or even company, it was advertising. Or, what do you do when you see chuggers approaching you in the street? I’ll bet you put your head down and ignore them. Push Marketing bombards us every day and we’re becoming more and more immune to it.
Pull Marketing is appropriate, even essential, for businesses that offer some kind of service, particularly where that service relies on the expertise of one or a just a few people. Using the channels available to you, especially online channels like blogs, social media, webinars, etc. you continually provide your audience information about your ideas, methods and results.
Let’s consider some examples of how Pull Marketing can work, referring to the model shown above:
- A Business Coach uses his blog and/or newsletters to provide a continuous stream of tips, articles about techniques, advice to businesses, and also results. Potential clients see this and find his information interesting. They subscribe to his newsletter or add his blog to their RSS news reader. Gradually they see him as an authority on business coaching and when the time comes when they decide they want to hire a business coach, he is an obvious choice.
- A Landscape Gardener publishes pictures of his results on his blog, on his Facebook account, and on Flickr. From time to time, he also publishes articles on topics relating to gardening and horticulture. He also makes videos of some of his gardens and publishes then on YouTube.
Pull Marketing does involve effort on the part of the business owner – writing articles, blog posts, responding to comments, making videos etc. But this is offset by the fact that it is relatively low cost. Blogs, social media, and newsletters cost nothing or, at most, very little. Videos can be made with a low cost camcorder of even a smart phone. The same thing for photos.
Push Marketing on the other hand is expensive. Ads in magazines, ads in Yellow Pages, telemarketing etc. can run to a fortune in costs.
Done properly, Pull Marketing can be extremely effective, Push Marketing is becoming less and less effective as time goes on. See the diagram avove.
So if you run a small business and you’re worried about your marketing costs perhaps now is the time to start thinking about changing tack and using some of the Pull Marketing techniques that I have described in this article.