Push vs. Pull Marketing: In B-to-B, You Need Both
In B-to-B, push marketing includes all the outbound messaging that have proven themselves for decades, most notably:
- Direct mail, including dimensional mail. Keep in mind that the list business in the U.S. is so mature, and so sophisticated, you can find just about every prospect using mailing lists, no matter how narrowly you target.
- Telephone calls, using the same lists, when the list owner gives you permission to call.
- Advertising, online and offline, with a strong call to action to generate a response.
- Event marketing, such as trade shows and conferences, where you can not only kick off relationships with new prospects, but also convey your expertise through speaking engagements.
Sure, these methods may be intrusive and unfashionable. But this is what we marketers do. To fulfill our mission of market coverage, scalable lead generation, and profitable sales growth, the modern B-to-B marketer must pull—and push—every possible lever.
Anyone want to argue about this? Let's discuss!
A version of this article appeared in Biznology, the digital marketing blog.
Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, and teaches marketing at companies and business schools around the world. She is past chair of the DMA Business-to-Business Council, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York. Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain's BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She is the author of Maximizing Lead Generation: The Complete Guide for B2B Marketers, and Trade Show and Event Marketing. Ruth serves as a director of Edmund Optics, Inc. She has held senior marketing positions at Time Warner, Ziff-Davis, and IBM and holds an MBA from Columbia University.