Most industrial marketers are familiar with the terms push and pull marketing. Others use the phrases outbound and inbound marketing, or creative and directional. Whatever their names, these two types of marketing are essential to your success.
Though they are different, creative and directional advertising must work together to form an integrated marketing strategy. As you begin your initial marketing planning for 2018, keep these two approaches in mind.
Push, Outbound, Creative
These are the classic marketing tactics, where you push your message out to create brand awareness or raise a need in your audience.
- Examples: Direct mail, email blasts, online ads, mobile text marketing, event marketing, telephone calls
- Benefits: The marketer controls the timing, channel, content and frequency of outbound promotions. Tactics help build brand visibility in the market and awareness among your audience.
- Challenges: Because push marketing is disruptive, many of those you reach will have no interest in your message at the time when it arrives. Also, while the marketer is in control of the campaign, the customer decides whether or not to pay attention to your marketing efforts.
- Best practices: Segment your audience as much as possible by advertising on industry-specific sites or emailing only to a target audience.
Pull, Inbound, Directional
Although this type of marketing has been around for years (i.e., a person with a recognized need used to turn to the yellow pages), the rise of the internet and the digital age has led to the dramatic growth in pull marketing.
Directional advertising is placing your business in front of people who are actually looking for your product or service. Your audience has a recognized need and is searching for a solution. Your goal is to make sure they find you.
- Examples: Supplier websites, presence on industry websites, search engine optimization/paid keyword search, social media recommendations, public relations/article placement
- Benefits: Ability to connect with your target audience when they are motivated and searching, particularly early in their buy cycle before they make contact with a vendor. Typically, lower cost per opportunity generated
- Challenges: Requires optimal allocation of resources across the variety of channels that your customers use today to access information and search for products, services and suppliers
- Best use: Focus on maintaining an effective company website as well as building a broad and visible presence on industry sites that your customers use on a regular basis
Putting Creative and Directional Together
You need both creative and directional tactics to execute an effective marketing program. By implementing both strategies, you will build awareness among the potential customers you want to reach, and be highly visible to them when they are researching or making a purchasing decision.
Push and pull tactics work hand-in-hand for greater efficiency and effectiveness. For example, a web page optimized for specific search terms (pull) that you also drive prospects to using email blasts or banner advertising (push).
Another example is a supplier hub on Engineering360.com where engineers can find you when searching for solutions like those you offer (pull), and where you can also drive traffic to your hub or products through display ads on the site or by advertising in a targeted e-newsletter.
According to the upcoming Trends in Industrial Marketing research report, 69 percent of industrial marketers use both push and pull marketing tactics, but say they could be diversifying their mix more. How do you find the right mix? You can get more tips about creative and directional advertising, plus tools and recommendations to build a stellar marketing plan, in the just-published 2018 Marketing Planning Kit. Download your complimentary copy today.