Pull mar-ket-ing (v.) – any method a company uses to generate demand for their product(s).
Pull marketing is exactly what it sounds like: a marketing approach that attractsand motivates customers to pull your product off the physical or digital shelf to buy it. It is the opposite of ‘push marketing’ which focuses solely on getting the product on the pet store shelf.
In the good old days, you could design and manufacture a product, find the right retailer, put it on the shelf and it would sell. But with the mind-boggling amount of competition in the pet industry, it is necessary for companies to invest in brand building and marketing strategies that ensure customers know about their products, believe in their value and look for them specifically when shopping online or in the store.
Pull marketing tactics include activities like advertising (digital and traditional), social media marketing, content marketing, user-generated content and referrals, as well as email marketing, promotions/discounts and much more. It is any activity that increases brand awareness prior to purchase and encourages trial and loyalty.
Why it Works for Consumers Today
The way consumers make purchase decisions has changed for good.
First, they are bombarded with product and brand information all day, every day. This information overload only gets worse when they realize they have a need and are looking for a solution. Whether they are standing in a pet store staring at endless aisles of options, or staring at a computer screen looking at thousands of search results, the overwhelm is the same. This is why you must be able to stand out or, even better, have built a strong relationship and reputation before that need even arises!
Second, consumers today are looking for relationships from the companies they choose to spend their money with. They want value, information, entertainment and an ongoing conversation. They expect companies to be where they are and have the information they need. This is a tall order and one that demands a thoughtful strategy with strong content.
Third, consumers today are walking around with a computer in their pocket. If a need or want arises in their life, they have the ability to find a solution almost instantaneously. And their ability to weed through the clutter and find the right solution depends on companies’ ability to define their offer in a clear, concise, deliberate way – in the right place at the right time.
And fourth, consumers trust strangers more than they will ever trust you. Enter: consumer generated content. The images, reviews and referrals from current customers can and should be leveraged to build your business – it will be a stronger platform for growth than you could develop with your internal marketing collateral.
This is where the importance of developing a well-rounded and mature brand and marketing strategy is going to put you ahead of the competition.
Increased searches signal increased demand…and competition.
There are more than 6 billion internet searches (77% of which are done in Google) made everyday around the world – a 33% increase just since 2016 (source) – and 144 million households that own a pet, and an estimated $69 billion being spent on those pets just this year.
When we break down that math, how are you competing with all of the brands that have been around longer than you and have more funding than you? What marketing tactics are you implementing – online, or elsewhere – in order to get the attention of today’s consumer?
Social media brings consumers closer than ever before.
Between the number of consumers on social media in 2017 (2.3 billion users among Facebook, YouTube and Instagram alone: source), the amount of time those users spend on social media (average 90 minutes a day between Facebook, YouTube and Instagram: source), and the way social media platforms allow you to follow specific people, businesses and influencers right for their specific needs and desires, you have a real opportunity to pull customers in and engage with them in real time.
How You Can Implement an Effective Pull Marketing Strategy
In order to make pull marketing tactics work for your business, you need to establish how your future customers will actively find you, begin to trust you and eventually buy from and remain loyal to you.
In order to have pull marketing work for your pet product business, you should have:
- A robust marketing strategy built off the following information: your consumers’ points of market entry, the problems they’re trying to solve, the products you can offer them, the information they need to make their decision and all of the places along the purchase journey where you can create touch points.
- A well thought out and robust content strategy that consistently pushes out relevant, informative, engaging and entertaining (and on-brand) content about your brand, products and the solutions they provide.
- A strong customer relationship management (CRM) system that includes newsletters, loyalty levers, referral requests, cross-selling, couponing and more.
- An SEO and SEM strategy that incorporates your content strategy and keywords distinct to your brand
- A social media and consumer-generated content plan that supports your goals and offers third-party validity to what you offer.
If you want to make sure your marketing strategy is robust enough to cover everything it should to effectively implement the best pull marketing tactics for attracting your ideal pet parents, contact us to schedule a strategic brainstorm.
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