Push VS Pull Marketing. What are they? Why is it important?
When you boil it down, there are two different types of marketing. Push marketing, where you are pushing your message to people. Think of TV commercials, radio ads and billboards. This is followed by Pull marketing where you are drawing people to your brand/business by interacting with them. Telling them your story and sharing your life experiences with them. Gary Vaynerchuck wrote a book called “The Thank You Economy” which does a wonderful job of going into detail about 21st century marketing techniques, and how the internet is changing everything.
Lets continue by looking at Push marketing more in depth. Push marketing is a traditional way to advertise. We are all familiar with TV and Radio ads. Billboards and ads in the Sunday paper are also a form of Push marketing. Things are always being pushed on us as consumers. These traditional media platforms provide marketing departments with a great outlet to spew all of their ads onto us. We rarely know anyone from these large companies. To us, they are Crest, and they just sell toothpaste. Other than that, we really know nothing about them. Our “relationship” with them lacks any sort of two-way communication. Trying to talk to a real human being from one of these entities is almost impossible. I’m not picking on Crest but we all have been on the phone with some large corporation for hours on end. After 45 minutes of elevator music my eyes glaze over and I hang up. All I wanted to do was talk to someone about a refund because my toothpaste turned my teeth purple. It’s important to realize that businesses like these exist for one reason. To make money (not that there is anything wrong with that). They don’t really have to provide you with customer service because, well, we are used to terrible customer service from these bloated bimbos. We don’t expect anything else. Their profitability, in their mind, has nothing to do with providing customer service. However, this is changing. People, thanks to the internet, are expecting more in return from all businesses. Websites like yelp.com are changing the way the public views a business. Now there is a place for people to collectively come together and rate the experience they had at “The Blues Inn” or “Momma’s Coffee Shack.” All businesses, not just these large ones, are being forced to pay attention to their customers now. And the businesses who adapt early and provide outstanding customer service will overtake these large companies. This is where Pull marketing comes in.
As I mentioned earlier, Pull marketing is where you “pull” people into your brand/business. You are not “tricking” them with cleaver techniques. You are literally pulling them into interacting with you. Your business should be using Twitter and Facebook. This is where you pull people into your brand. You do this by promoting your Twitter/Facebook pages to your existing customers. Your customers will use these platforms to ask you questions, tell you stories about how they used your product, and yes, complain to you.
Lets say that you sold some strawberries to a bunch of customers a few days ago. In the frantic strawberry picking, you and your family became frantic and just started throwing strawberries in the packages. One of your customers, let’s call her Anne, complained about the poor packaging and crushed strawberries on Facebook. You have two options here. Ignore Anne like most businesses do. Or, interact with Anne on Facebook, and put on your diplomatic hat. The first option is stupid, so lets talk about option #2. Now that you are wearing your diplomatic hat, you can start a conversation with Anne. The conversation might go something like this:
Anne: The strawberries I got from Big Open Farm are not that good this year. They are all crushed! I’m not sure I’ll be going back there next year for their annual strawberry sale.
You: Anne, we are very sorry to hear about your bad strawberry experience. We have to admit, the three day window we had to pick those thousands of strawberries was more work than we expected. Toward the end of the picking, we were frantically packing the strawberries to get them ready for our customers. We now realize that we need more help when we pick. Thank you for bringing this issue to light. If you’ve experienced this problem, we know our other customers have too. As a thank you for bringing this issue to our attention, we’d like to give you a full refund of your entire purchase, and offer you a $30 “gift card” which can be used to purchase anything from our farm.
Anne: Wow, thank you Big Open Farm! I never would have thought that I’d hear back from you. It’s really cool to see that you care about your customers. Thank you! You are the first business that has ever responded to one of my complaints, I’ll be buying from you next year, and the year after that!
You might be saying to yourself that Anne just cost you $30-50. This is true. However, the real value in this situation lies in the fact that this was a public conversation. Anyone who is following you on Facebook has just witnessed this entire conversation. All of your customers can see how you treated Anne, and they will be extremely happy to know that you care about them. Down the road, you will makeup for this $50 by a factor of 10. This is the 21st century and people now, more than ever want a relationship with the people they do business with.
You have the power to do something that these large companies aren’t doing. And your competitors might not be doing them either. You are forming a relationship with your customers, and caring about them. It’s easy to do, and now you know how. Go out and let your customers know how much you appreciate them! Interact with them on a daily basis.
What did you guys think of this article? Was it helpful? What questions do you have for me? What did I leave out that you’d like to hear about? Please let me know in the comments section below.
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