Still pushing your advertisements? The age of Pull Marketing is finally here!
The influence that technology exerts on advertisements and marketing along with the increasingly changing profile of the Chief Marketing Officer has been done to death in articles. Businesses essentially vie for two things – the customer’s mind-space and time; something that is forcing people to get exceedingly protective ofboth.
The thing here is that the marketing scape and efforts, more than being centered on technology or the lack of it, is standing at the cusp of one factor that promises to rearrange the established norms of marketing relationships. That factor is attention. For a marketer, it is now crucial to revisit his approach in an attempt to connect with the customer base.
From Push to Pull – Why is it time for a switch?
Irrespective of how technology has succeeded in outlining the contours of advertising, the legacy marketing scope or push marketing is still dictated by the 3 I’s – Intercept, Isolate, Insulate – a dated process chain that is aimed at pushing across the content/message to people, without caring much about their desire to subscribe to or purchase the product or service. Intercept is the process advertisers and marketers fall back on to get mass attention, no matter where people are. Once marketers have that, the next step is to isolate the customer to get their message across, without much interference. And finally, insulate wherein marketers create a utopian world, projecting the individual as the ultimate beneficiary whom all the efforts, promotions and campaigns are projected at.
Generally considered to be interruptive, the significance and relevance of push marketing is gradually diffusing, primarily because it believes in culling the average customer from the pack, something theymight not always be pleased with. Moreover, with a humble marketing budget, push marketing might not be the most cost-effective.
Pull marketing adopts a radically different approach, with the main objective of the marketer here being to get customers to the brand via methods that are either non-intrusive or less interruptive compared to its traditionalcounterpart. Some of the more commonly adopted tactics include word-of-mouth publicity, referrals, mass media marketing, etc.From a purely business perspective, while push marketing is directed at increasing sales revenue, pull marketing concerns itself with creating brand loyalty and getting customers to repeat purchases.
Instead of the 3 I’s, Pull marketing is more synonymous with the 3 A’s – that of attract, assist and eventually affiliate. While ‘attract’ is the process wherein customers seek out the marketer, ‘assist’ has got to do with providing pre- and post-sales services, thereby helping customers find more value in the purchase. Finally, ‘affiliate’ is bringing together a number of participants in the mix, such that interacting with the marketers’ ecosystem becomes rather convenient for the purchaser/user.
The crucial rider is here that this ‘switch’ from push to a more engaging pull marketing is no more optional. Enterprises – their size, scale of operations and business vintage notwithstanding –will have to take stock of the changing times and act with a sense of immediacy. Moreover, organizations still deliberating on their next move and the ones sitting on the fence are likely to be replaced by newer and more promising entrants that are willing to engage their customers with unheralded benefits.
Being the advisor
Marketers will have to rest on digitization and Big Data in order to effectively scale up their operations before they test the pull marketing waters. The simple reason is with an efficient data harvesting mechanism in place;it would help to tap into historical data pertaining to their clientele’s purchase records and behavior, thereby subsequently developing meaningful insights into what they might exactly be looking for.
Another concept waiting for a rejig is customer assistance, wherein the focus is likely to shift from being merely reactive to a more proactive one. All in all, customers, sooner than later, will be expecting the advertiser to fit into the role of a guide, an able advisor that can ease taking the most important decisions.
The required skill set
Such a revolutionary shift in marketing focus cannot happen overnight. Not only will advertisers need to be more technology savvy, integrating digitization with the different marketing campaigns and initiatives, they will have to get themselves up to speed with Big Data in quick time.
With individual marketers, empathy towards the customer and passion for the product/service will hold the key to disturbing the status-quo and setting forth a process that would pay rich dividends over the long run. That is because at the end of the day, what will distinguish an able marketer from the rest of the pack is his ability to put himself in the customer’s shoes and be able to capitalize, with empathy, on the need.
Pull marketing is indeed more cost-efficient and it’d be best to streamline all efforts and focus them on this next-generation marketing initiative that has finally arrived and here to stay for good.