We’ve all been there. Needing a new vehicle, but dreading going to the car lots because there’s always that one salesperson that just won’t let up or take no for an answer.
The last time I went car shopping, I actually had one guy pull up three cars that didn’t even come close to meeting the criteria I clearly shared with him a few minutes before. I told him those were not what I asked for. He went scrambling for a few more vehicles only to bring up more unwanted options. I walked out of there and will never go back to that dealership.
When I did buy the perfect vehicle, it was because of the reputation of the dealership, the quality of the vehicles, the knowledge and non-pressure of the salesperson, and the overall ease of the experience.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of businesses out there that tend to ignore our needs, peddling their goods and services, marketing day and night, and just putting on the air of desperation.
What’s the real difference here? Push versus pull marketing...
What is push marketing?
Push marketing is like those desperate used car salespeople. They need sales to make their quota, so they cold call people, stalk them in the car lot, and are forever handing out business cards.
This takes a lot of effort and by the of the month, they might have closed a few car deals, but they have lost a lot of valuable time that could have gone into investing in their reputation as a salesperson and the credibility of the dealership.
What is pull marketing?
Pull marketing is like the laid back luxury car salespeople. They need sales to make a commission and a living, but they know that the brand of the dealership and the type of vehicles they offer precede everything else.
These salespeople spend a lot of time building a rapport with their potential clients, adopting a no pressure attitude, offering sales materials that provide benefits and features, and doling out the white glove service no matter if they get the sale or not.
The difference between marketing and branding
Simply put, marketing is actively promoting a product or service. It’s what the online marketing world calls a “push tactic”. It’s pushing a message out via any avenue of promotion like a magazine ad, radio spot, commercial, or social media post where the main goal is to get a sale as a result.
Branding is not a push tactic, but rather a pull tactic. Branding is the expression of the value of a business, product or service. Having a brand will help encourage someone to buy a service or product, not by pushing but instead by attracting those that need it, simply by answering the following questions:
What is it? Why is it offered? Who does it help? And why would I want to purchase it?
Branding is what sticks in your mind about a service or product, no matter if you buy it or not. It is what determines if someone will become a loyal customer. The marketing may convince someone to buy a Chevy, but it is the brand that will determine if they will only own Chevy’s from there on out.
In other words, marketing can bring in sales, but it’s the branding that brings in the loyalty.
Why pull marketing through branding works
With the pull strategy, you focus your marketing efforts inward by spending time building your skills, value and brand credibility rather than searching for your next sale. This takes time, but with discipline and remaining highly focused on what you do best, you can actually build a reputation that attracts clients to you in a relatively easy way.
There are no guarantees with any type of marketing or branding, but with a little time investment and focusing in on what makes your brand valuable, the return from building a business with the pull strategy is much stronger and lasts longer.
So which type of marketing are you spending your time and energy on?
Using pull marketing versus push tactics is the difference between always searching and waiting for your next client and knowing you will have a steady stream of loyal clients and referrals.
If you want to attract ideal clients and avoid the endless cycle of feast or famine, networking and throwing money away on Facebook ads, you need to develop your brand and a strong pull marketing strategy. That means investing time in honing your skills, narrowing your focus by developing a niche service, and demonstrating your knowledge by sharing valuable content.
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Amanda Johnson Young is a brand designer with over 20 years experience. READ MORE
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