Push vs Pull: Best Mobile Marketing Strategies for Customers
In recent years, businesses of all sizes have embraced the mobile revolution and started connecting with consumers who are on the move. After all, worldwide smart phone usage has recently outpaced the use of personal computers, and mobile technology offers companies excellent opportunities to engage with customers in new and exciting ways. Text messaging, smart phone applications and mobile browsers are each unique venues for creating and crafting a company message to its current and potential customers.
With all the ways that businesses can connect to mobile consumers, it can be difficult to know where and how to invest the time and money necessary for a mobile marketing campaign. One area to consider is the seeming dichotomy between push and pull in marketing and advertising.
What do we mean by push and pull in a mobile environment? Though traditional advertising definitions are different, mobile push messaging includes anything marketers or advertisers send to a user without that user making a specific, one-time request. Mobile pull messaging is simply the opposite: it requires the user to make that request. With that in mind, what are some of the benefits – and pitfalls – to each strategy?
- Push marketing is invasive. The technique used to push content via mobile networks bears a resemblance to traditional marketing and advertising strategies. Much like a commercial that interrupts a television program or an ad that pops up on a computer screen, mobile push happens without the request of the recipient. Many users resent unsolicited notifications, even if they’ve made an initial choice to opt in. Additionally, they may be wary of mobile push advertising – and for good reasons. Currently, up to 5% of free mobile apps use malicious advertising that can hijack a user’s phone and steal contacts.
- Pull marketing can be more cost-efficient. In a mobile environment, pull messages are sent only upon request. For example, if a traveler to Chicago is looking for nearby pizza restaurants offering coupon specials, the results returned via a local search application would be considered pull messaging. And the investment in this type of marketing is minimal compared to more aggressive push strategies.
- Which is better? Push marketing creates demand. Pull marketing only works – and maintains its cost-efficiency – if people are either already aware of your specific brand or actively looking for providers of your product or service. If the product you offer isn’t well known or a necessity, push marketing would seem to be the better option of the two.
So, which type of messaging is right for your business, your product, and your customers? First of all, the two are not mutually exclusive. Push messaging can be used to create an awareness of your brand, which will likely mean that more customers seek you out – offering the opportunity to use pull strategies. When it comes right down to it, a keen understanding of your customer base will be the key to developing an effective mobile marketing campaign whether you employ push, pull, or a combination of the two.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and writes small business news. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web through their trusted business directory.
Image by Steve Snodgrass via Creative Commons