Category Digital, Insights, Inspiration
In order to build an effective online marketing strategy for your business, it’s important to understand the theory behind what we call “push” and “pull” strategies, and how they can be utilized together to drive optimal results.
Let’s use a hypothetical example to illustrate this concept:
Suppose it’s February and you’ve invented the world’s greatest stadium noisemakers. Called “The Loudinator”, these things put Thundersticks and Bam Bams to shame. You’ve just invested a lot of money into producing your line of MLB specific Loudinators, and you’ve built an e-commerce website that is ready to handle sales. Now you just need to generate awareness of your product before MLB Opening Day.
Push strategy involves any marketing strategy that “pushes” its way in front of users without the user initiating the request. Push marketing is great for generating brand awareness, promoting a new product or service, or delivering a time-sensitive message.
Examples of some push marketing tactics you could use to generate awareness of your new product:
- Display advertising – Run display ads and video ads on relevant websites such as sports blogs and sports news websites.
- Mobile ads – Target ads at users who are within a certain mile radius of baseball stadiums, or who are searching for baseball-related phrase from their mobile phone.
- E-mail campaigns – Build an email list and distribute product information and promotions such as spring-training discount offers.
- Sponsorships – Sponsor sporting events or sports news shows.
- Partnerships – Partner with bloggers and affiliates who will help push the product for you.
If all goes well, your push marketing will generate awareness of this glowing (or roaring) new product and stimulate demand. Once people are aware of The Loudinator, they will most likely begin searching for it and discussing it online. This is when your pull strategy comes into play.
Pull strategy involves reeling in users who are actively looking for your content – The user has initiated the request and you are simply reaching out to fulfill it for them.
Examples of some pull marketing tactics you could use to bring users to your website:
- Search engine optimization – Make sure that your site ranks highly not just for your specific brand or product name, but for related products such as Thundersticks, Bam Bams and fan gear.
- Pay Per Click Advertising – Run targeted ads on the search network that promote your product with compelling messages such as “Buy The Original Loudinator” and “Free Shipping.” Since your ads will only run when someone searches for your product or related products, these ads will be highly relevant and effective at pulling the user in.
- Utilize Social Media – Allow users to actively interact with your brand on social networks and begin tracking conversations that involve relevant keyword phrases such as “Loudinator” and “baseball.” Try to engage those users and reach out to them about your product. Social media is an excellent example of push and pull happening at the same time.
- Start Blogging – Create a blog and add content that your users will find amusing, such as posts that contain photos of the world’s craziest dressed fans using your product. Allow users to post comments on your blog, and be sure to respond. Don’t forget to make it easy for users to subscribe to your blog via an RSS reader or email.
Although people need to be aware of your product or service before then can actively go looking for it, it’s important to note that push and pull strategy doesn’t happen in a linear fashion. For optimal results, the planning of both strategies often needs to take place simultaneously, and the implementation of many of the pull strategies actually needs to begin before the push. This is because tactics such as search engine optimization can take several months to achieve results; and it takes quite a bit of time and content to grow an active user base for blogs and social media. You want to make sure that you have all the right pieces in place to convert a user to a sale as soon as they go looking for your product.
About the Author
Erin Steinbruegge is a Partner at The Loud Few and specializes in interactive marketing strategy. You can learn more about her here or follow her on twitter at twitter.com/steinburglar.
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