Push versus Pull marketing

What are Push and Pull marketing strategies? ‘Push’ means that you go out and find customers i.e. by cold calling, mass emails, direct mailshots and most forms of advertising. The problem is that you’re looking for a needle in a haystack, aren’t you? Typically, only 3% of people are actively looking to buy when you contact them. This is why large companies spend so much on sales and marketing; they know that they have to shout louder than their competitors. If the customer doesn’t already know you, the chances are slim that they will buy the first time that you contact them.

During the last century, marketing was largely all about pushing. Companies pushed the (unwilling) customer towards their brands, using expensive advertising, telesales, direct mail and sales forces. In the 21st century, pushing has become more difficult, due to the fragmentation of media, an explosion of communication channels (i.e. TV and radio stations, websites, blogs etc) the advent of GDPR and knowledgeable buyers who have heard it all before.

Enterprises of all sizes realise that getting customers to come to them is better than the old style ‘hunt and kill’ method. Broadly speaking, an attraction based approach includes customer education and knowledge sharing. It is co-operative, trusting, interactive and more female than male in nature. It also happens to be ideal for the world wide web, which was originally conceived as a way of sharing files amongst scientists.

I know that this approach does not appeal to everyone. “Why should I share my hard won knowledge?” they say to me. “That’s fine,” I reply. “Keep all of your professional knowledge locked up in a darkened room. Lock and chain the door. Let some large, angry hounds wander around the corridors putting the fear of God into anyone who enters the building.”

What will happen? The knowledge will shrivel and die, as it needs interaction with others to flourish and grow. Mind you, you’ll have to go and bang on all of the doors in the neighbourhood to find new business. By the way, how will your neighbours know that you are so brilliant at what you do, as they can’t see your expertise?

My advice is to share a little more. If you need any more encouragement, I am sure that your competitors are already doing this.

I receive a sales enquiry every business day, based on a knowledge sharing, ‘Pull’ approach. It is enjoyable to talk to people who are interested in what I do, have a requirement and are ready to spend money.

Google likes this approach as it favours websites with extensive content, by the way.  If you move towards ‘Pull’ you will need to spend more time learning, writing and sharing which is the right thing to do in a fast moving technological society which is experiencing exponential change. If you don’t have the time, then you can always work with someone who can help. (Like me, for example).

The above was originally published within my e-newsletter, which you can subscribe to here.

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