Many people who don’t like networking on the internet won’t use it because they are concerned that it wastes their time.
If you want to make sure you don’t waste anyone’s time, and instead become a trusted contact of everyone you know, and get business out of online networking, then it is essential to learn about how to use ‘Pull’ marketing.
So what is Pull marketing, and how does it differ from Push marketing? Here is my simple definition and some examples of how to use it, however you do your networking.
Push marketing is when the customer doesn’t want your product or service. Pull marketing is when the customer does want your product or service.
To understand Pull and Push marketing, you have to become the consumer. Put yourself in the shoes of your prospective customer. A good way to do this is to remember when you were last a customer yourself.
Remember the last time someone tried to sell you something you didn’t want? That’s Push marketing. You get a call from someone selling double glazing. You don’t want double glazing, at least, not now. If you’re anything like me you’ll find the experience frustrating and time wasting, but also it may make you feel a little bit guilty, because many people find it difficult to say ‘no’. Imagine what these feelings do to the reputation of your brand with your customer!
Now remember when you last needed help with something and someone put you in touch with the very person who could help you. The person they suggested was just right – perhaps they were a specialist, or provided the exact product you were looking for, for the right price. This is Pull marketing at work, and everyone wins. You get what you want, the supplier gets a sale and your contact gets brownie points for doing a good job.
The reason why Pull marketing isn’t frustrating is that it is a mechanism which comes into action when the customer needs something and not before. ‘Before’ is the waste of time.
Using Pull Marketing when Networking Face to Face
At a networking event, Push marketing would be if you collected everyone’s business cards and subscribed them to your unsolicited email newsletter, on the offchance someone might need it some time. This is Push marketing, because the person you are mailing doesn’t want your service. Millions of hours a day are spent dealing with this menace. If you push like this you might get some guilty customers, but you won’t get a trusted network.
Conversely, Pull marketing would be if you spent your time at the meeting getting to know the people there, finding out what they are interested in and need to know more about, and putting them in touch with people you know who can help them. This is Pull marketing, because you seek out people who need something, and help them get it. On the face of it you don’t get much from the deal, but if everyone in the room does it they’ll all know you a bit better too, and next time your ideal client comes along with a need they’ll probably put you in touch.
So that’s my definition of Push and Pull marketing. Personally I subscribe to the Pull version. How about you?
Next time I’ll look at how you can use Pull marketing with Linkedin, and then Twitter. If you’d like to get the updates why don’t you subscribe to this blog? You can add the RSS feed or fill out the box on the right to receive it via email. Of course, this is entirely opt in!
image: Push Pull by Robert S Donovan