The difference between push and pull marketing

Pull marketing is sometimes referred to as attraction marketing and is all about attracting the right customers to you by providing something of value. This differs to push marketing, in which you’re trying to get the attention for your product or service by interrupting the potential customer.

Remember those telemarketing calls during dinner and the TV commercials that we now change the channel or push the mute button on? Those are examples of push marketing, as are print advertising, brochures, radio commercials, coupons and sponsorships. The common theme here is that these forms of marketing can be blocked or ignored.

On the other hand, pull marketing involves opting into communications, and enables marketers to build relationships of value, over time. Examples of pull marketing activities include: blogs, articles, speaking, online learning, podcasts, e-books and social media interfaces such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

In an environment where we’re able to choose how we engage, I think pull marketing is more effective and powerful than ever before. This is not to say that push marketing doesn't have a place, however as a small business owner, you can really leverage pull marketing tactics in combination with some push marketing to create a marketing system that has customers seeking you out.

Use your website as the hub of your marketing activity

Once you have some of the fundamentals of marketing in place (such as having identified your key target market and defined your value proposition), you’ll be able to use your web presence as the hub for your marketing and sales engine. All your activities should then drive traffic and potential prospects to this one interface.

If this is your goal, consider working with a company that integrates many services into your website for you. I’ve only seen a few companies do this at a price point that’s affordable for most small businesses, so I recommend that you check out Bloomtools, HubSpot and Office Autopilot.

Examples of online pull marketing strategies

For example, your website should be more than a shop-front that’s open 24/7. It should be able to help you with lead conversion. Most people aren't ready to buy off you straight away, but by giving them a taste of you or a sample of your work, with time they become more likely to. If it hasn’t already got one, your website needs to have a call to action that allows you to capture leads.

Another option might be to actively participate in forums, networks and social communities, and then link back to your website hub. This is an excellent way to become known and build credibility in your target market. Remember: building a community around you is about doing something that’s worthy of followers. It’s also about developing a content strategy and participating on the social media platforms that best support that strategy. Choose your forums and social media platforms carefully; go where your customers, collaborators and competitors are so that you can add value and interact.

Do you engage in push or pull marketing, or a little bit of both? We’d be interested to learn which works better for you.

“ Choose your forums and social media platforms carefully; go where your customers, collaborators and competitors are so that you can add value and interact. ”
 
Danielle MacInnis

Danielle MacInnis thinks like a customer and creates insightful, practical marketing strategies for small businesses.

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