September 10, 2018

Push vs Pull Marketing

The world of marketing is constantly evolving, with new digital channels emerging each year. Despite this, some traditional types of media, such as email, direct mail and print ads, have never gone away for many marketing teams. With trust in traditional media at an all-time low, do retailers need to take a new approach to advertising?

The referral marketing experts Mention Me look at consumer preferences for push vs pull techniques when discovering new products and services.

This new research suggests that when it comes to brand discovery, these ‘push’ forms of advertising are a turn-off for many consumers. The results make clear that ‘pull’ strategies, whereby customers are encouraged to seek out brands themselves, are the clear winner. In an era of ‘fake news’ and distrust in the media, maybe this isn’t such a surprise.

The results of the survey undertaken with OnePoll have been pulled together in this great infographic. Key insights uncovered include:

  • 71 per cent of consumers prefer pull marketing techniques, including recommendations, reviews, social media and online search
  • Review sites and friend recommendations are three times more trusted with consumers than endorsements from bloggers and YouTubers
  • 31 per cent of consumers find retargeting advertising creepy.

Read on to find out more or download the infographic here.

New Product Discovery

At Mention Me we looked at new product discovery and the preferred methods for consumers to discover a new product or brand. The results of this were obvious, with 71 per cent of consumers preferring pull marketing techniques, including recommendations, reviews, social media and online search.

The ‘Consumer Initiated Pull’ methods are seemingly natural interactions with a brand or product and are an amalgamation of:

  • Search engine
  • Reviews
  • Social media
  • Friend’s recommendations
  • Browsing in brick-and-mortar shops
  • Bloggers
  • Youtube influencers.

Top Endorsement Media

When it comes to the ‘Consumer Initiated Pull’ methods of endorsements and referrals, there is an obvious hierarchy of endorsement media. As suggested in the results of consumer’s preferred new product/brand discovery methods, the more personal and direct ‘media’ of review websites and recommendations from friends reign supreme.

Whilst endorsements from bloggers, Youtube influencers, and micro-celebrities do positively impact revenue, this isn’t anywhere near the same level as other media does.

This reinforces the tried and tested theory that it doesn’t matter how much money you throw at your marketing strategy or a particular campaign (an influencer content strategy for example). If your product isn’t worth reviewing positively and you haven’t garnered trust between yourself and customers that could refer you to their friends, then regardless of how good your marketing strategy is consumers simply won’t consider you or buy your product.

Having a good product and investing in brand trust, according to this research, will ensure that up to a certain point your products will market themselves.


Feelings Towards Retargeting Ads

One of the most common tactics digital marketers use (and re-use) again and again, is retargeting consumers with advertising. Retargeting campaigns are borne out of the data collected from multiple touchpoints within a customers purchasing journey.

Whether they have seen or interacted with an advert on social media, looked at something on your website, or have abandoned a cart just before purchase, these touchpoints can all be used to leverage further engagement and revenue.

Consumers attitudes to being retargeted with advertising specific to their digital interactions with a brand vary. Although, the general trend in the results of this report suggests that their attitudes and reactions are undoubtedly negative, with:

  • 49 per cent of those surveyed saying that retargeting with ads was ‘Annoying and intrusive’
  • 31 per cent deeming it ‘Creepy’
  • A significant 26 per cent suggesting it raises ‘Personal data security fears’ for them.

With this in mind, and in the current climate of heightened awareness surrounding personal data, it is important to reevaluate whether the revenue generated from retargeting campaigns is worth the possible negative impression these campaigns have upon a huge number of consumers.

However, it is also worth evaluating how significant the revenue generated from retargeting is in the context of your overall ROI. With 18 per cent of those surveyed saying that they felt retargeting ads alerted them to a good deal and showed them relevant new products, these consumers often have a significantly higher conversion rate than those that haven’t been retargeted.

So don’t be hasty with your decisions regarding retargeting and make sure you base your ongoing strategy on solid data from your consumers, and importantly, test any retargeting campaigns as thoroughly as possible. You don’t want to put off possible customers that think you are being creepy.

Most Popular Source Of New Product Discovery By Sector

One of the primary variables within the research was the evaluation of a consumers favourite source of new product discovery on a sector by sector basis. And while the results of this section did line up and follow the general trend of the report, that ‘Customer Initiated Pull’ methods of product and brand discovery are preferable, the differences between the sectors does make an interesting read.

Interestingly, consumers buying in the Fashion and Beauty sectors still depend heavily upon browsing in brick and mortar stores. This trend within the report is seemingly in contrast to the general industry move away from physical shops to primarily working in the ecommerce marketplace. It is no surprise however that using a search engine, social media, or depending upon a friend’s recommendation are close runner-ups for these sectors.

What does seem surprising is the almost complete dependence upon search engines as a source of new product or brand discovery in all the other sectors covered: Travel, Smart Tech, Energy, and Finance. Such an active discovery method could be deemed slightly unexpected, especially in the Smart Tech and Finance sectors. But in this age of Google dominance, information overload, almost infinite product/brand choice, and relative brand mistrust, it is clear consumers are setting out with a clear idea of what they want. And more importantly in some cases, what they don’t want.

What does this mean for marketers? For one, it means that businesses need to start focusing on targeting those consumers that are searching within their sector and advertise to them when they are further down the marketing funnel. But overall, it means that instead of the hard sell emails, #ad or #spon Youtube videos, and newspaper adverts, marketers should look to how their consumers like finding new products.

Considering this in your strategy will allow you to target your consumers more accurately, encourage further engagement with your brand, and ultimately, lead them to convert and become a loyal customer.