Push or Pull Marketing?

Marketing for a wine business owner or marketer used to be much easier, although we did not think so at the time! There were a few key national television channels or radio stations and a handful of magazines or newspapers that we targeted for coverage. There were also far fewer wine brands which meant less competition in the media for publicity or to get good cut-through for advertising.

In 2015 we have 850 wine growers and 700 wineries. (Source: NZ Winegrowers) There are millions of websites, hundreds of thousands “Apps” and the evolution of social media and technology has made the job of engaging wine drinkers challenging. Added to that, traditional wine marketing channels, such as print media, in particular food & wine magazines are experiencing a global decline in readership and copy sales. In New Zealand alone food & wine magazine copy sales have declined by over 15 per cent in the last two years.

Today’s reality is that you have to build experiences that truly engage wine consumers. Each piece of content, whether it’s a comment, an article, a photograph, a video or some other form of communication, is competing with every other piece of content to capture your target audience’s attention.

In the new world of wine marketing a strategic balance is required in your marketing plan between ‘push’ and ‘pull’ strategies to target existing as well as new wine drinkers.

Push marketing drives people to buy your wines, through traditional forms of marketing such as advertising by television, newspapers, magazines and/or radio.

The emergence of digital media means that pull marketing has become increasingly popular. This is marketing that attracts consumers to actively seek out your wines because they have discovered and connected with your brand and wine business, most likely through a digital channel, i.e. social media, email, blogs.

Let’s explore push versus pull marketing in more detail.

What is Push Marketing?

In its simplest definition, push marketing involves taking your ‘product’ to the customer. It is the traditional form of outbound marketing where we ‘pushed’ our brand messages about our wines, new vintage releases and wine stories out into the world. All forms of mass media advertising and publicity, direct mail, trade shows and broadcast email marketing are prime examples of push marketing.

This form of marketing does not allow feedback from your potential customers. However it does allow you to target your demographics and use your marketing budget to promote your product to the people you know are interested in your wines. It is expensive as you need to be sure that your marketing is reaching the right people at the right time. Today’s media is so fragmented that push marketing is far less an effective method than it was say five or 10 years ago.

Telemarketing and direct marketing methods have become outdated and less effective. People don’t want to be interrupted when they are having their dinner nor do they like to see the impact of the waste paper on the environment from mass direct marketing campaigns.

What is Pull Marketing?

Pull marketing is a growth area and takes advantage of the shift to digital media. This is marketing that gets the customer to come to you. It involves motivating your customers and is a much more active form of marketing. This type of marketing “pulls” a consumer into the business and makes it easy for wine drinkers to find you.

The focus is on creating awareness and increasing brand visibility, particularly on the web. Pull marketing includes blogging, targeted email marketing, infographics, videos, and search engine optimisation for your website. A good pull marketing campaign can also include public relations.

Today’s consumer is an avid researcher. He or she reads reviews, conducts keyword searches and asks Facebook or Twitter friends for suggestions.

Pull marketing gives you an opportunity to attract the customers who want answers to what you already provide.

Why you need both push and pull marketing

Successful marketing campaigns adopt the best of both strategies. You still need to use strategies to reach out to those who might not have heard of your company. You also need a pull strategy to attract those in the research phase of the purchase cycle.

Pull marketing requires a greater investment in time, but it gives you more ability to entertain your customers and to educate them about your wines and to share your brand story. A pull strategy goes hand in hand with digital communications and your marketing plan should weigh up the wide range of methods available to keep your brand at the cutting edge of the market and to grow your customer fan base and wine sales.

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