I Used to Be a Pusher
Imagine the next meeting of the local B2B marketing group, and you stand up and say. “‘I’m Chris R and I used to be a pusher.” Not a pusher of drugs of course, but a pusher of marketing. Most of us who have been in the B2B marketing world for any length of time cut our teeth on the “push marketing model.” We made a living by tracking down sources of suspects, promoting to them relentlessly, converting a small percentage of these suspects into qualified leads (prospects), and then selling some of these prospects. In other words, it’s all a numbers game. Throw enough email, ads, phone calls, etc. at enough potential buyers, and a few will shake out at the bottom and actually purchase from you.
The Annoying Door-to-Door Salesman
The push model in B2B marketing is no different than the door-to-door salesman. He knows that he will annoy many people, perhaps have a couple of doors slammed in his face, but in the end, the numbers work out because he only needs a small percentage of people to say yes to make quota. With a thick skin and relentless attitude, sales will eventually come. But in many ways, this is an unpleasant way to make a living, and this is true regardless if you are beating the streets or beating cyberspace or mailboxes for your prospects.
There are a lot of names for the differences between push and pull marketing. For example, inbound vs. outbound marketing or interrupt advertising vs. fulfillment advertising. But the bottom-line is that some marketers are primarily demand creators and others are demand fulfillers. Being a demand fulfiller (pull marketer) is not only easier but can be more profitable. That’s why there is a major push towards the pull model in B2B marketing and sales.
Create an Ongoing Dialogue With Your Prospect
The essence of pull marketing is for you to discover where your prospects congregate (physically or electronically), and then provide useful education to make their personal or professional lives easier. You combine this with interesting offers to gain permission to communicate on an ongoing basis. You also provide incentives to come to you when they have a need for what you offer. Unlike the monologue of push marketing, pull marketing creates a dialogue between you and the prospect. The idea is to get the dialogue going before the individual (or business) is ready to buy, so that when they are ready, you are the obvious choice, or at the least, you are in the game.
Pull is the Future of B2B Marketing
In other words, why be a pusher when you can be the fulfiller of what people already want? It may take a lot of work up-front, but this is certainly an easier and more profitable way of doing business. And the good news is that you don’t have to give up your addiction to push marketing cold-turkey. Just start adding pull marketing strategies (e.g. social media) to the mix and transition over time. Pull marketing is the future of successful B2B marketing. Why not get started now?
We have lots of good ideas on pull marketing at the Fusion Marketing Partners Website.
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