Push vs Pull: 4 steps to marketing your business like it’s 2016
Do you get knocks on the door from people trying to sell you things you don’t want? Do you get mail from real estate agents offering to sell your home even though you’re renting? Are you sick of people ringing to sell you stuff just as you’re about to sit down to dinner?
These are all examples or what’s known as ‘push’ marketing. These companies have no idea whether you’re interested in their product/service, or even if you’re the right person to be selling it to. They just push it all on you, and hope for the best.
Push marketing is very ‘old school’. It’s something that probably would have been done in the ‘90s, when there were few other options. These days it’s considered ineffective and inefficient (not to mention downright annoying).
But now, thanks to the Internet and social media, ‘pull’ marketing is a much better option—for both business owners and customers.
Push vs pull marketing
With pull marketing, customers and clients seek you out. They may have read one of your articles that a friend of theirs shared on Facebook. You may have been a guest on a podcast they listen to. Maybe they saw you helping someone out in a web forum somewhere.
Whatever it was, you struck a chord with them. And they filed you and your business details away somewhere.
Then one day, while thinking about buying a particular product/service, they remember what you wrote in that article. They remember what you said on that podcast. They remember how you went out of your way to solve that person’s problem.
They remember you and your business. And so they grab the details they filed away and get in touch with you.
Now, imagine if hundreds of people read that article, listened to that podcast or visited that web forum. You haven’t done anything extra, and yet you could have hundreds more potential customers getting in touch with you about your product/service.
Which is why when it comes to push vs pull marketing, pull marketing is the clear winner.
The four steps to pull marketing
- Start creating great content people will find useful. It could be an awesome blog post (like this one—feel free to share and/or comment 😉 ), an article, a video or a podcast. And while you can certainly mention your product/service, don’t make it an advertisement. The main goal here is to help people, not sell to them.
- Publish your content on as many platforms as possible. Nearly all the popular platforms—Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.—are free, and so all it will cost you is time.
- Promote your content. Start a blog on your business’ website, create a newsletter people can subscribe to, even mention it in your email signature. And don’t forget social media. But don’t hit every social media platform you can think of. Instead, find out which ones your target market uses and focus on them.
- Join the conversation. If someone comments on your blog, make sure you respond. If they like, share or retweet your post, thank them. And if it starts a discussion on a web forum, make sure you join in.
By following these four steps you’ll be seen as someone who wants to help their customers, not just sell to them. People will start liking, sharing and following you and what you have to say. And when they’re ready to make a purchase, they’ll reach out and engage with you.
Push vs pull marketing? It’s no longer a choice.
But how can I track my ROI?
The most difficult thing business owners face with a pull marketing strategy is measuring the return on investment (ROI). How do you track how many sales came from a blog post, LinkedIn article or YouTube video?
There are plenty of tools out there that can track reach, click-through rates, shares and open rates. But with a pull marketing strategy it takes time to see direct results in the thing we want most as a business owners and entrepreneur—sales.
Be patient. The results will come. But try not to focus on them. Instead, make creating the content part of your day. If you enjoy writing, share it. If you love talking to people, record videos. Your knowledge and enthusiasm will show, and soon people will be reaching out to do business with you. In fact, a pull marketing strategy gets the attention of people you’d never be able to attract with a push marketing strategy.
And you won’t have to knock on a door or make an unwelcome phone call to do it.