Push v Pull

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No, this isn’t an upcoming Supreme Court case. This is about advertising and marketing. There are of course many ways to break down advertising and marketing. Online or analog. Broadcast or print. Local or national. Website or social media. The list quite frankly could go on and on and on. One of the ways I have always liked to simplify it for my clients over the years is marketing is either push or pull.

If we create a TV commercial, we buy time on a network or a local station and broadcast the ad out to whoever is watching at that time. The same for a print ad in a magazine. Or a billboard on a busy street. We are pushing our message out to a selected audience. If we place an ad on Facebook or boost a Facebook or Twitter post, we are pushing our message out to whatever audience we have selected.

As marketers, we hope we have done our homework correctly and identified our target market demographically and psychographically. If we do, we get the right people watching, reading, listening, whatever we have asked them to do.

There is another direction, however. Pull marketing. You are there when someone wants information and not until they want it. Instead of pushing your message out to hundreds, thousands, even millions of people at a time, hoping to hit a decent percentage of that group interested in your product or service, we are able to lay in wait for them to come asking for both.

How?

Pay Per Click.

Search engines such as Google receive huge amounts of traffic and inquiries every day. How many? Well, let’s start with the fact that your website is not the only website out there. There are close to 1.9 billion websites online. Yes, billion with a B.

Google processes some 4.4 billion searches every single day. That translates to over 50,000 search queries every second. Bing receives almost 900 million search queries daily and Yahoo gets just over 530 million. All these searches are for something. They obviously aren’t all for the best Optometrist in Topeka, but some of them are. They aren’t all for where to find the best prices on Ray-Ban sunglasses, but some of them are. They aren’t all for where to find the newest collect of designer eyewear, but some of them are.

By participating in Google Adwords, Bing Ads, or Yahoo Gemini, you are able to purchase keywords for search terms and in a bidding process appear in searches nationwide or just in your zip code (note that only 73% of zip codes are available to target individually). You are able to bid on one or a few hundred keywords and dictate the price you are willing to bid up to per search term and what your daily budget is. When someone is searching “best oval-shaped mirror sunglasses from Lithuania” those who bid on that term will come up first and if there is no one (and my guess is there isn’t) buying that term, then those bidding in your area for sunglasses will show up.

The magic here is that you pay only when someone clicks on your ad. Your text ad can be seen hundreds of times for every click, but the magic here is you are only appearing to those who are actively searching that moment. Your TV ad might be the best television ad for Lithuanian sunglasses ever made, but if no one is interested in them when you run it, what good did it do you? On the other hand, you pay per click ad sits and waits for someone to search the terms you are willing to bid on. That means they are in the market to learn about or buy whatever it is they are searching, and if you planned your budget correctly, you can be there ready to promote your product or service when they do.

I am a big advocate of splitting a marketing budget between push and pull.  To make your practice or store more successful, so too should you.

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