Stop Pushing advertising and Pull your consumers! – Beginners Guide to Online Marketing

Posted by in General Marketing, Pay Per Click (PPC) on August 3rd, 2007 6 Comments

There are lots of interesting starter guides, books and podcasts out there to help anyone starting out in internet marketing. They’ve helped me learn, but I thought it would be interesting to share my thoughts as I learn the ropes. Here, I explain the differences between push and pull advertising, which illustrate the differences between traditional and online marketing.

Over the years, I have developed an absolute passion for advertising and marketing techniques, but as an individual I am very aware of when I am being marketed to, and normally I do not like it.  I like to think I am in control of my own purchasing decisions, and am not being influenced by anyone else but me; I believe many consumers feel this way too. We have gone through decades of over-advertising which I believe contributed to the success of the Internet and the increased amounts of time spent online by consumers. Here is why I would like to talk a bit more about Push and Pull advertising. Push advertising operates in traditional media such as billboards, magazines, cinema and television (except for red button advertising) and consists of the advertiser pushing a message onto you in order to influence you next time you go to the supermarket or high street.  It could be done by sticking a silly song in your head or adding comedy value to your brand, but in any case, push advertising is becoming less effective: 

  Stop Pushing advertising and Pull your consumers! – Beginners Guide to Online Marketing

Pull is moving in, Push is moving out. via Flickr 

whereas people might watch television in a semi comatose state of mind […] consumers typically surf the web leaning forward while paying attention to their screen” (quote from The Economist , featured in my dissertation).

Furthermore, the development of digital technologies has encouraged consumers to fast forward the advertising messages or simply change channel. For my part, I am usually watching two programs at the same time: when the ads start on one, I switch to the other and vice versa. What happened here is that the other shows ‘pulled’ me into switching to them, as they were a better option than watching the ads. On the Internet, the Pull technique can work really well, but how are you going to get consumers to spend time and energy into browsing your website?

One way to make people aware of you is to have your website come up when related keywords are sought: the consumer has already made the effort to enter the keywords related to the information/products wants to find, and by the time the results appear he is in a different state of mind. This is comparable to the different processes that go on in your head before you buy. When your website’s URL appears in a user’s search, the thing most likely to drive him to your site is the one or two lines of text referred taken from the Title tag & Meta data. This data is embedded in the coding of your website and appears at the top of the browser window as well as on the Google results.

Meta data is therefore just like an advertising message or caption.

Now compare Push and Pull: a Londoner commuting to work will see a poster on the underground, but will probably be listening to his iPod. The advertising is therefore pushed upon the Londoner, who might associate the poster (and the brand for that matter) with his daily commuting nightmare since he is blocking all outward contacts and emotions with the help of “HIS” choice of music.  Good internet advertising attracts customers by being relevant – by making the website’s URL visible to him on a search result page. When he is ready to find information/products, the hook is pulled on him with a simple line of text that matches his exact needs, i.e.

Meta data (SEO) and AdWord’s advertising copy (PPC). The goal here is to have your consumer interact as much as possible with your brand, even if it’s just clicking a link: the brain remembers what you click more than what you see..

So one more time: interactivity engages and increases the retention of the advertising message. Got it?

Next time we will talk about a trainee SEO’s actual tasks.

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