In an over saturated marketing and promotion system of today, you’ll likely find businesses bombarding customers with advertisements, newsletters and regular alerts to ‘push’ their product and services to the consumer. Since this is an easier and safer approach, more companies are likely to lean towards it and thus the tradition follows.
However digitization of the marketing world has led to a second strategy to follow, the ‘pull’ tactic which is much more effective in the long term and any viewership or expanded customer base is totally earned.
Let’s first take a more detailed look at what pull marketing is and how it stands out from a push marketing strategy.
Understanding pull marketing and what makes it different from its ‘push’ counterpart
Aptly put, pull marketing draws the potential customers in through reputation, referrals and viral marketing be it via social media or otherwise. The main goal under this strategy is to build a brand name over the years with careful planning and a whole lot of patience. User-base earned via this tactic is more loyal to and satisfied with the company’s services so there’s always room for invention and innovation for the businesses since customers will likely try the new product owing to faithfulness they have to the particular brand.
Over time, as the brand gets popular, bigger steps can be taken to ensure the credibility of the company with the likes of product placements, sponsors and presence in well-known business journals and magazines.
Of course this strategy takes a lot more energy and time along with constant development and progression to get there than its complete opposite, the ‘push’ marketing strategy. Most businesses, especially newly-founded ones that need to get their word across, employ this strategy since it’s safer and generally requires less investment of time and money. This tactic usually works with the retailers pushing out the brand’s name in return for special incentives provided to these sellers.
When the two are compared from a financial point of view, a pull strategy has a lot to show for. For one, there’s a higher and more consistent ROI when things kick into full gear. Secondly, consumer satisfaction means that your brand will more likely be promoted, indirectly, by spoken word or through social feeds. This will bring in even more traffic and thus potential sales allowing you to expand your franchise and focus on the quality of your product instead of stressing over sales.
With some clear benefits of a pull strategy out of the way, let’s take a look at how to effectively utilize the tactic in your eCommerce marketing plans.
The art of teasing
If there’s an action or an objective that best captures the essence of a pull marketing strategy, it’s probably: capturing people’s attention. Owing to the fact that the strategy is more subtle than its other version, there needs to be a constant reminder or tease, something to hype up the audience about even before the product is launched. Nothing creates intrigue like some secrecy and many entertainment products follow this guideline closely by rolling out cryptic teaser posters and clips that don’t expose a lot but still bring users on board.
Though this approach is more suited to reputed and famous brands that have built up a strong and credible connection with their consumers, rising businesses with prospect and potential shouldn’t shy away. Teasing announcements will always cause a buzz in the respective communities, no matter how small they may be. Look at Sophie and Trey’s example below:
Looking over at the VIP Rewards snippet, users will definitely be excited thanks to the notion of exclusive discounts and new deals on products whenever they become available. It’s a small matter since signing up doesn’t take a lot of effort, yet the brand will be successful in constantly alerting the user of their new products. Thus, anticipation at the visitor’s end results in a sound channel of communication for the business with their audience.
The power of referrals and using social media as the catalyst
It’s no rocket-science to know that most of the individuals, especially those in their teenage years, like to spend most of their time on social media. Businesses might want to give a little more credit as between these lines of socializing, chatting and commenting, there’s always a conversation that revolves around ‘Did you check out that restaurant?’ or ‘I just purchased the product for so cheap at XYZ store’. These referrals, since they come from friends, relatives or strangers you’d trust, carry some credibility about them and will most likely pull viewers towards your brand.
For this purpose, not only is it essential to have accessible platforms for the eCommerce on all popular media websites: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Instagram, but to have social media CTAs on the main web itself for people to share their experience directly to their online friends. Netflix, Starbucks and Nike are one of the many brands that likely to constantly keep in touch with their users on social networking sites and improve with the audience’s feedback.
The relevance of understanding the audience and holding onto the core values
Now this is an aspect that will be most relevant to new starting businesses and eCommerce sites. Asking the simple question: ‘How do you climb the ladder of success?’ it’s clear nothing is achieved without quality of product and the passion to constantly improve it over-time. It’s not only about creating content that’s original and fresh, but also relevant to the audience you’re targeting.
Sometimes, there will segments in your target audience with interests in varying topics and type of content. This is where your company’s analysis and data team will be put to work. See what’s trending and hot; what channels are accessible for different segments of consumers. At the end of the day, your goal is to make users aware of the passion, sound knowledge, and experience that you bring in the particular sector of the business and how you can make the customer’s lives better.
Going for a bold and strikingly different approach than others
Sometimes a business will capture the viewer’s attention if the content is wildly different and diverse from that of the traditional websites, even if they’re well-known. To take a new direction, execute a new vision, to innovate helps to set your company apart. This also applies to companies which are constantly changing the landscape via new ideas and challenges. Amazon is a prime example (no pun intended!) with their fresh-pick up groceries service, Prime Air drone deliveries and smart payment options. Amazon is the definition of an eCommerce that users will regularly look forward to for the new ideas in online retail alone.
Utilizing other viable channels of advertisements
Things don’t stop at social media. To build up on credibility and authenticity of the service, popular brands have been known to promote their services through product placements in films, TV ads, sports and corporate sponsorships. The above channels are already very popular among the masses and the particular brand associated with them is likely to get recognized and followed up on. Look no further than airline companies like Fly Emirates and Etihad Airways sponsoring multiple football teams.
An effective pull strategy is far superior to even the best push tactics out there, especially in the long term. If a business truly cares about their audience, they will be in constant touch, value the users’ feedback, and keep intriguing and updating them with new products and services. Should a business venture into competitive territory, they can utilize various channels and advertising opportunities to further their brand’s name. All in all, a pull strategy is more focused on the customer satisfaction with brand loyalty cementing the phrase: ‘the virtue is its own reward’.
Jenny Harrison is a passionate marketing and business blogger. She loves to engage with readers who are seeking B2B and B2C marketing related information on the internet. She is a featured blogger at various high authority blogs and magazines in which she shared her research and experience with the vast online community. Currently, she is associated with PNC Digital, an Orlando based E-Commerce Development Company specializes in OpenCart, Magento, Shopify Web Development.