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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

The FEI Tribe Discovers ‘Push’ and ‘Pull’ Marketing (Part II)

Last week, Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) Marka explained “push” and “pull” marketing basics to marketing novice Cecil. This time, Marka and quick learner Cecil discuss integrated and B2B “push” and “pull” strategies. Remember, fire = print.

“We’ve talked about how ‘push’ and ‘pull’ marketing can work for a typical consumer product,” Cecil noted. “In case you’ve forgotten, our new marketing activities will be mostly aimed at other businesses! Can you explain how these ideas apply to a B2B sales strategy?”

“For products and services sold B2B, we can use a harmonious combination of push and pull tactics to cope with longer buying cycles,” Marka replied. “Pull activities create prospect interest and response, while push tactics can help guide the decision making process closer to the sale.”

“Can you give me a real-life example using fire as the product?” Cecil asked, quietly recording another birdie on his scorecard.

“Sure thing,” Marka started. “Here’s a hypothetical ‘fire sale’—Say a large bakery prospect receives a promotion from FEI: ‘Two complimentary months of FireClassic fire lighting services with your next order of a deluxe FEI brand custom-designed hearth!’ The prospect is intrigued and calls the number listed on the promotion.”

“The initial promotion that resulted in the call would be pull marketing,” Cecil chimed in.

“Yep. But as Odysseus proclaimed during the first leg of his long sea voyage, we’re just getting started, baby.”

Cecil somehow doubted that Odysseus had actually said that.

“You know Zoot,” Marka asked rhetorically. “His sales team would pounce on this pull-created sales opportunity and steer the discussion toward our most profitable hearth designs.” She missed her par put by a whisker and tapped in a bogie. ("Don’t throw your club," she thought. "Don’t throw your club.")

“That’s push marketing!” Cecil exclaimed. “Once the qualified prospect is talking to us about deluxe hearths, we could encourage further upgrades and purchases of ancillary products by offering additional incentives.”

“Exactly!” Marka beamed at her star Cycloptic pupil. “Through push marketing, we would be able to incentivize customer behavior exactly in the direction most beneficial to us.”

“What should we do for our simpler retail products, like the new FEI matches?” Cecil asked.

“Ideally, our pull campaign will send hordes of newly-aware customers into stores with their eyes on our matches,” Marka said. “Once customers are inside, we expose them to up-sell and cross-sell promotions that offer higher value and complimentary products. Examples of these include our luxury match brand made from Olympian forest timber and our customized hand-carved match cases, respectively.”

“Again, that would be an integrated push and pull campaign,” Cecil observed. “By Zeus, I think I’ve got it!”

Marka and Cecil finished their pleasant round of O-golf. When they added up their scores, Marka couldn’t believe that Cecil had quietly beaten her by 10 strokes. Though it was a beautiful Saturday, Marka headed back to the office for a couple of hours of work on FEI’s “Customer Nurture Program.”

Today’s Fire Point:
“Push” and “pull” marketing tactics working in harmony will maximize the effectiveness of your B2B selling efforts. Once prospects are at the doorstep, “push” marketing strategies can help influence buying behavior.

FIRE! In Action
Pull Marketing for Less: In-n-Out Burger

Bumper stickers, billboards and cheap t-shirts featuring its distinctive “boomerang” logo launched In-n-Out Burger to more than $465 million in revenue in 2009.

Next week: Marka returns to the FEI office to go over five red-hot ideas for building a Customer Nurture Program.

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