With small businesses, the web has levelled the playing field. Gone are the days when huge marketing budgets are required to reach an audience. Now all you need is a little imagination, and/or social media to get on the radar and win.

When it comes to marketing for your small business, you need to have a website that people can visit to get information about what your small business, you need to understand the difference between two fundamental marketing theories to ensure you’re publishing the type of content and comments that will help you reach your blogging goals. Those two theories are push marketing and pull marketing, and they’re at the basis of all marketing strategies.

Perhaps you’ve heard the phrase before; it’s commonly tossed around when the subject of marketing comes up. But what does it mean and how does it apply to your small business? Basically, it defines the two different approaches to marketing that you might use in your small business. The difference between them is based on who the target of your marketing efforts is.

Push Marketing

Push marketing works exactly as the name implies. Businesses (or you as a blogger trying to grow your blog’s audience) push messages to consumers in an attempt to pique consumers’ interests in a product or business and make sales. Most often, the business controls push marketing strategies and has a very specific end goal in mind. Traditional advertising is a form of push marketing where companies try to craft messages and images that will motivate consumers to take an action such as making a purchase. Similarly, pushing a discount message out to your audience via Twitter or another form of social media is a push marketing tactic. Consumers may not have asked for such a discount, but you’re pushing it in their direction with the hope that they’ll be motivated to make a purchase.

Ford Kicks Off F-150 Online Push

Ford Kicks Off F-150 Online Push

Pull Marketing

Pull marketing is the opposite of push marketing. Instead of pushing information to consumers, consumers pull information from businesses. In other words, companies create marketing messages in response to consumers’ specific demands. When consumers make it clear that they want a new product from you, and you deliver that product, you’ve responded to a type of pull marketing. Similarly, if the online conversation prompts you to publish a blog post that answers questions you heard in that conversation, you’ve just implemented a pull marketing tactic.

Using social media marketing and content marketing to promote your blog enables you to pursue both push marketing and pull marketing tactics. In fact, the best social media marketing and content marketing strategy for a blogger is to pursue far more pull marketing tactics than push marketing tactics. In other words, spend most of your time listening to conversations, finding opportunities, and filling those gaps by publishing content and participating in conversations in which your audience is pulling you in and demanding more. Spend a much smaller amount of your time pursuing push marketing tactics that can be viewed as self-promotional.

Triumvirate Environmental Social Media Blog

Triumvirate Environmental Social Media Blog

When is it OK to Push?

Consumers understand that some push marketing is essential at the beginning of a campaign. You won’t turn off most people by sending out a regular email blast announcing and promoting a new blog and you won’t turn off most people by sending out email and Twitter promotions that those people will predictably be interested in — a sale preview announcement to opt-in email customers. But choose selectively where you need to push and pull wisely.

When is it OK to Pull?

Pull marketing is likely to be much more fruitful than push marketing attempts only as long as the pull message is not contaminated with a sales pitch. A company can post a compelling article about how to shop for a home alarm system and then kill the whole piece by finishing with “someone may be breaking into your home right now.”

Which works Best?

Both. The challenge is getting the emphasis and order right. The pull then push marketing sequence that works to move your business forward involves the following:

  1. Create resources that pull prospects to you and your firm.
  2. Get prospects to give you their contact information (Most firms let over 99% of the people who see their information go away and never follow up).
  3. Push useful information out to self-selected prospects on a regular basis. (Remember the majority of buyers won’t make a purchase until they’ve had a minimum of 5-6 contacts with your firm).

When your prospects have a compelling need, they will turn to the firm that they’ve had regular communication with, know and trust. At some point prospects will want more details about your services, credentials and testimonials. But this is often the last information you need to provide.

Summary

Okay, so you get it, but what does this have to do with marketing for your small business? Well, any good marketing strategy incorporates all of the different tactics possible within the budget available. You should be looking at incorporating both “push marketing” and “pull marketing” into your small business marketing plan. Consider the pros and cons of each of them so that you can make decisions about how much time and energy to devote to both types of marketing. You’ll need different approaches to your advertising for each of the two kinds of marketing.


Article compiled by : Adrian (Maxwave Design & Marketing, 2010)

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