Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The shift from Push to Pull Marketing

As direct marketers who have quite a bit of experience in developing and executing new customer acquisition campaigns, we've become pretty proficient in the art of "push" advertising. We know how to get those prospects to react to our campaigns. Yes, we can get them to open the envelope (or the e-mail) and respond.

But, that's not enough anymore.

I firmly believe that the only way that we'll be effective marketers in the future (the very near future) is if we become really good at getting our prospects to come to us. We need to become so interesting; our products need to be so great, our story so compelling that prospective buyers will seek us out as they shop for our products/services.

And, apparently, this piece of research from the DMA agrees with me. From a very interesting U Talk Marketing article:
"Published today, the DMA Participation Media Report, sponsored by Experian, explores the consumer’s actual experience of direct marketing using an innovative diary approach.

The report shows that consumers are actively getting involved in the marketing process in an attempt to filter out the information that they need marking a shift from “push” to “pull” marketing.

This increased consumer empowerment is clear when gathering information before making a purchase – the research shows that the majority of consumers prefer to be in control of how and when they gather information, rating talking to the retailer and word of mouth as being the preferred method."
It's pretty clear that consumers will trust their own research (research that they've initiated) much more than they'll trust something sent to them, regardless of how timely the offering may be.

Does this mean that "push" marketing is dead? I don't think so. However, it may be time to strategize about how you can make your prospects come to you.

Perhaps it's time to:
  • Revamp your website. Have you thought about incorporating interaction on your site? Is shopping fun? Can prospects easily find what they're looking for?
  • Consider social marketing ventures. Hang out where your prospects hang out. Participate. Don't sell. Just by being there, trust me, word about you and your products will get out.
  • Think about sponsoring a charitable or sporting event. Only do this, however, if it makes sense for your business. Does your target market participate in a particular event? If so, this type of exposure may make a lot of sense.
We'd love to hear more ideas about ways to get your prospects to seek you out.


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