Thursday, February 4, 2010

Push or Pull... What's Your Marketing Plan?

By Jennifer Spitzer

I had a discussion with a client earlier today about his lead generation strategy for the coming year. After finalizing plans for the targeted direct mail campaigns, I told him the programs would bring in a steady stream of good prospects during the year but the small mailings alone won’t be enough to sustain the business. “How are you going to kick-off your selling season to the larger audience of prospects in your market?” I asked. We went on to discuss co-op mailings, B2B efforts, magazine and email – all of which are great traditional “push” strategies.

If you’re a push marketer, you’re not sitting around waiting for prospects to come to you. Push marketing is about being aggressive in your pursuit of new business and more often than not, you’re going to attract more prospects this way. Pull marketing, like social media and pay-per-click advertising, means you’re going to attract prospects that are already looking for what you have to offer. This is important too because if someone wants or needs what you sell, you want them to either think of you first or find you before they find your competition.

Push or pull… what should you do? A fellow marketing pro talking to a group of executives was encouraging the group to move toward the pull model and then went on to say it’s up to you as the business owner to decide which is better and adjust your strategy accordingly. The point I’m about to make brings me back to the original discussion I had with my client.

After finalizing the budget for the Push Tools, he asked, “Since I’m doing all this, do I really need to invest in the internet and my original pay-per-click plan?” If we had been in the same room together, rather than on the phone, I would have been shaking him by the shoulders as I yelled “Yes! Yes! Yes!”.

The thought of deciding between a push or pull strategy and then adjusting your plan accordingly is absurd to me. You must do both, especially in this current market. When potential new customers look for your product or service, you need to pull them in. At the same time, you need to aggressively push your business out to good prospects with unrelenting perseverance.

Rather than try to decide if you should push or pull, take a look at your strategy for the coming year and ask yourself if there’s a healthy mix of both in your plan. If there isn’t, you still have some work to do.


  1. Especially in today's marketplace, a marketing "professional" suggesting to employ only one strategy for reaching customers seems to be self serving to this "professional's" expertise.

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