Offline Marketing

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Pull Marketing

The following is an examination of the overarching, marketing technique known as "Pull Marketing."  I refer to it as an "overarching" technique as it is an overall method as opposed to a specific tactic. 

My reasons for discussing pull marketing stem from a variety of perspectives I have on the subject.

Marketing Executive

First, as an executive in a marketing agency I hear this term used at times in reference to individual executions and at times as the focus of an overall campaign.  It is a term we throw around frequently, at times attaching it to work that truly exemplifies the term and at times to elements that really only loosely apply.  We are all aware of the importance of pull versus push marketing as well as just how difficult it can be to design and execute a proper pull campaign.

Independent Internet Marketer

The second perspective from which I contemplate the term pull marketing is as an independent Internet Marketer, conceiving, developing and marketing information products and software.  In the world of IM (Internet Marketing) we are seeing more and more pull marketing being employed, even if the specific term is not applied to it.  When one considers the fact that the vast majority of the Internet (even the hidden Internet) is made up of freely available information accessible to just about everyone wanting to access it… we realize the Internet is a near perfect pull marketing medium.

When one examines the most successful marketing campaigns (that is multi-million dollar campaigns that took place within the incestuous little IM world) of recent months it becomes very apparent that they were built upon the provision of high-quality, in-demand, free content.  The ultimate buyers of the programs and products being offered were drawn to the "answers" to their problems that were being made available in audio and video.  By the time the product being sold was made available it was all folks could do to keep from being cut to ribbons by the frenzy of credit cards that were all but thrown at the sellers.

I could go on talking about just this one perspective for quite a while… but am going to save that for a latter installment of this examination.

The Consumer

Now, on to perspective three which would be as the consumer.

This aspect requires close and in my opinion immediate examination as the landscape of advertising and marketing is now changing rapidly.  Never before have advertisers had so many channels through which to disseminate their messages.  Likewise, never before have consumers been hit with such a deluge of messages.  

The marketplace has never been as crowded as it is today, with an unprecedented number of products and services vying for our attention.

We are all painfully aware of the volume of email (much of it unsolicited) that hits our inbox each and every day.  That is just one single channel.

The traditional media channels such as mail, print, radio and television are all but clogged up with advertising messages that are constantly thrust in prospects’ faces.  Add in a variety of marketing mediums on the Internet such as banners, pay per click advertising, video, audio etc. and it is really almost overwhelming.

The majority of this marketing is push marketing and often very aggressive push marketing.

Here is where the problems arise as the natural reaction to this constant bombardment is consumers becoming more and more savvy and more and more jaded. 

In plain terms, people learn not to look at the right hand column on a set of Google search results.

The immediate reaction of most advertisers when push messages are becoming overlooked is to look for alternate channels through which they can push their message, or they simply stay right where they are and… just push even harder.   The bottom line on this is consumers are getting pretty damned sick of it all and will seek out Tivo-like solutions to employ wherever and whenever possible.

Seems to me a change needs to come about which is all but screaming out for pull marketing methodology.

The Psychology Behind It

The final perspective from which I will examine pull marketing is from a psychological standpoint (yes, besides expertise in marketing, and being a trained chef, I also hold degrees in both Psychology and Biology).

I will not even start into a discussion regarding the psychology involved in pull marketing right now as this post is already getting lengthy.  Suffice it to say, I will cover it in great detail later on as I personally find it fascinating and I feel full understanding of the mechanisms in place and the forces at work is critical to being able to properly harness and use pull marketing effectively.

The image at the very top of this post is a reflection of what can happen when pull marketing is properly used.  A virtual avalanche of attention can result that ultimately may be all but impossible to stop.  It starts with a single attraction and snowballs as more and more

My goal in this series is to answer a base set of questions within the framework of these various perspectives:

  • What is it really?
  • How does it work?
  • Where is it being used?
  • How can I use it?

Please feel free to share your own comments, thoughts and questions on this topic as we go.

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll

Filed under Blog, General Musings, Offline Marketing, Online Marketing by  #

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I suppose I should say not TV in general but TV advertising (the state of TV as we know it today is another post on another day).

I find it very entertaining and interesting to watch advertisers restructure and redirect how and where their marketing dollars are spent.

Yes, most folks know that "social media" is pretty much the latest and greatest thing since sliced bread, especially if the conversation mentions the word "Web" and the numbers "2.0". 

The great riddle is how to harness it and even more importantly, how to monetize it.

Take a look around and you will notice all of the major television networks trying to generate conversation and interaction between viewers.  This, really in an effort to draw people into their websites.

That is what the networks are doing, but what are the companies that typically advertise on those networks broadcasts doing.

The answer is… not spending anywhere close to what they used to on TV ad time.

I recently read the results of a very interesting Forrester Study that details this exact topic.

Here are a few of the findings:

  • Sixty-two percent of marketers believe television advertising has become less effective in the past two years, but close to half of the advertisers surveyed have already started to experiment with new ad types to work with DVRs and VOD programs. Eighty-seven percent of advertisers believe branded entertainment will play a stronger role in TV advertising in the coming year.

  • Advertisers are eager to try new ad formats, including ads in online TV shows (65 percent), ads embedded in VOD (55 percent), interactive television ads (43 percent), and ads within the set top box menu (32 percent)

  • Over 50 percent of marketers reported that when half of all TV households use DVRs, they will cut spending on TV advertising by 12 percent.

  • Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they intend to spend more on Web advertising this year.

  • Seventy-two percent of marketers are very interested in having individual commercial ratings rather than average commercial ratings.

Ah yes, did you notice the mention there of the DVR.  That technology alone is singlehandedly giving TV advertising a hard spanking.  All one has to do is record, and then start watching a show 10 minutes into that same show.  Do that and you can fast forward through all of the commercials.  You no longer have to watch a single one.

So what next?

What will happen as more people do their TV viewing through the computer?

Can you say "Opportunity" for those individuals and companies that understand and can harness the Internet as an interactive, marketing channel.

Well, this is all new enough that the jury is still out, but TV and more specifically TV advertising seems to be a dying breed.

Filed under General Musings, Offline Marketing by  #

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I’ve been reading this was coming and now it is truly here.

Not long ago Google decided they wanted to branch out from their comfortable seat in the PPC world and weave themselves into ALL forms of advertising both on and offline.

One of these areas they planned on targeting was radio.

Well, today it is here.

You can watch an overview video here: Google Radio Ads Overview

They have made some elements of this quite easy and have included yet another revenue source by also including a "providers" program one can use to produce audio ads.  You access the whole thing via your regular Adwords interface.

Obviously the jury is still way out on this as it has just launched. 

One thing that will definitely be a factor is the very nature of radio advertising.  One of the greatest aspects of Adwords is the ability to be very targeted in your efforts.  If done correctly, your Adwords ads can show only to those viewers for whom your offer is the most relevant.  This translates into prospects with the greatest potential for conversion.

Radio on the other hand, can be chalked up as one of the LEAST targeted advertising medium available. 

Advertising on the radio is like tossing a small rock into a big pond and hoping to hit a specific fish.  Yes, there may be lots of fish in the pond but the chances of hitting any, let alone the one you want with a single rock are pretty slim.  If on the other hand you are casting a large net out over the pond and you are willing to eat a wide variety of fishes then you can feed yourself very well.

This doesn’t mean Google Radio can’t be effective.  Radio advertising can be very effective but extra efforts and considerations must be taken in order to match the right offer to such a broad audience.

We’ll be watching this one as it develops.

That’s all for now.

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll

Filed under Blog, General Musings, Offline Marketing, Radio by  #

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Well I suppose it was only a matter of time.

Google has announced they are branching out of the online world into offline advertising.

Their Adwords and Adsense programs have proven to be so profitable (estimated revenues to exceed 10 billion this year) and in-demand that they are now going to try their hand in a number of additional arenas.

They did try a print ad program earlier this year which bombed.  They are apparently reworking that concept. 

In the mean time they are trying their hand at radio of all things.

You can read all about it in this Washington Post article.

There is also more coming out regarding their efforts in television and print.  In fact, Google plans to all but dominate the advertising world it seems.

Here’s an excerpt from today’s Wall Street Journal (If you are not yet an online subscriber to the Journal, I recommend you join for just $40/year)

"The ultimate goal, Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt told reporters in October, is to let advertisers buy a broad menu of ad types and distribution through Google’s single Web-based interface. "The long-term fantasy is we walk up to you and you give us, say, $10 million and we’ll completely allocate it for you" across different media and ad types, he said in an interview last month. All types of ads can be made more effective, for instance by targeting them to consumers more likely to be interested in them, Mr. Schmidt said. By tackling that problem, Google expects to expand its share of global advertising sales."

Amazing what you can do with Billions of dollars in revenue!

Onward & Upward!

Sam Knoll

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