Why push marketing still has a place in your strategy
June 12, 2014
As a strategic thinker, we have to take in all information and make the right conclusion from there. We need to be critical in the way to see things. So we have been talking about pull marketing, and while I would still devote more resources pulling, I must say that we need some push. So in this article I want to share why push marketing still has a place in your strategy.
Because people don't know what they don't know
These are the unknown unknowns. We cannot possibly be looking for something we don't know we need. Steve Jobs famously said, "People don't know what they want until you show it to them." I agree to some extent. We need to overcome the unknown unknowns to make sure that they know what they don't know. That will then spark all the searching which will be helped by your pull marketing strategy.
Because people prefer the status quo
Change is a big deal for almost everyone and they will prefer to stick to the status quo even if it were vastly inferior to whatever else is out there. By sticking to the status quo, they absolve themselves from the need to constantly keep up with changes in the environment. Hence, when there is something better out there, and it is not "waved under their nose" to make the change, they won't do it. We therefore need them to move beyond their comfort zone, question their status quo and then show them the better alternative. Push can help.
Because people don't bother as much as you do
Let's face it. If the above first two conditions are present, people will not really bother looking out for something else. They want to be less busy, not more. Perhaps your service offering is only a small portion of their portfolio? If so, why would they want to spend time looking for changes when they don't really need to. In fact, they won't really bother unless someone passionate about it comes along and shows them that they need to. That may require a push.
Because people won't do anything until they are asked to
"Would you like another drink, madam?" "Sure, don't mind if I do!" This is a typical scene in a restaurant. But our research has found that 6 out of 10 people will not ask for a refill until the waiter approaches them for one. We also know this to be true in a sales call. If we don't ask for the sale, we won't get it - even if they needed it! In almost every situation, we will need to wave the item in front of them and ask the magic question, "Would you care to engage our services to get you greater value?" And that is a push.
When will your push strategies work?
But reasons alone will not get your push strategies to work. They will work when:
you have something they desparately need;
you have a really differentiated value proposition;
you can demonstrate more value than their incumbent service provider;
you can overcome the inertia of the status quo easily
So there you are! A push marketing strategy cannot be discounted for these reasons and more. But push marketing has gotten a bad reputation especially over the last few years. It is not bad in and of itself, but perhaps how it has been done is bad. There may be ways to overcome this, but that is best left for discussion in another post.
Want to get your push-pull marketing strategies aligned?