Consumers: Who Wears the Pants?

In this article, we’ll take a look at how Web 2.0 has changed some basic marketing definitions, and how they are implemented in today’s business strategies.

There are two basic and broad subjects when it comes to a marketing strategy, termed push and pull.

The definition of push marketing has not changed much since the term was introduced. Basically, the person doing the marketing is in control of the message being sent out and how it is received by potential clients. Think of the “push” part as pushing your message into the consciousness of an individual.

Pull marketing, on the other hand, is what has changed the market and means that the recipient of the message is in control of the message and their decision to act or not.

Social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube have turned Internet surfers into smaller groups of targetable traffic, grouped along specific demographic or social lines. The success of these social media sites has demonstrated that people feel the pull of social media globally – and almost universally.

What this means is that there is a new opportunity to present a message to a highly targeted demographic; good pull marketing in the Web 2.0 world is likely to be much more effective in terms of effort vs. reward than any push marketing attempts at any time. The trick is being able to avoid any push whatsoever – in fact, some say you also have to avoid the pull.

Why do you have to avoid the pull? Well, in today’s market, it’s your potential clients that are supposed to do the pulling. The sense of independence is incredibly high online, and rightly so. The client is in now in charge. People are very resistant to any messages that they see as advertising and that includes many strategies that would once have been thought of as sound pull marketing tactics.

Now, the business doesn’t pull the client in; instead, it is up to the potential client to pull the business in to their social media circle. This means that marketers have to show more patience than ever before.The ability to be patient and avoid being pushy means those dividends will pay off more. A client who comes to you through the new pull marketing is generally a client for life, and they are a great source of additional (word of mouth) advertising as well.

So how do you go about putting together a good pull marketing strategy in the new age of marketing? Well, it’s a lot of work. Joining groups, getting the word out on and offline and waiting patiently for them to seek the help of your business takes a lot of discipline. If done correctly, though, the rewards are tremendous.