VIA Idea #10: Push and Pull Marketing You Need Them Both

When companies buy traditional ads (newspaper, television or website banner ads), they are proclaiming a message to people who may or may not be actively seeking those goods or services and hoping the ad will trigger interest. With ever-increasing access to the Internet, relevancy plays a larger and larger role in bringing buyers and sellers together. With traditional advertising, information is “pushed” toward the potential buyer; “pull” marketing draws attention to your information because it answers a request.

Push marketing uses traditional tools like ads, brochures, press releases, etc. filled with product features and service benefits. The Internet is similar, filled with websites, banner ads and paid search word tactics. These messages are all created with outbound sales strategies.


Pull marketing uses the premise that people find companies and their products because they are looking for them. This method uses social sites to listen to, contribute information and otherwise engage people. Tools like organic search allow web content to be ranked according to the user’s keyword searches. You draw people in with relevant content in the hopes of engagement. Content strategies, optimization, keywords in articles and headlines, tag blog posts, etc. pull in your prospect rather than push out to them.

PR is an example of a tool that can be both push and pull marketing. No longer do you need to solely rely on rigid printed press releases (although they are still important). You can embed video, images, slide shows, and more into social media releases (SMRs) to be shared on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites.

While push marketing is more concerned with short-term results, pull marketing exists to create loyal supporters by setting a certain standard for their brand. At VIA, we’ve always talked about the media mix. These days, the mix needs to include both push and pull marketing strategies for getting customers to purchase your certain brand, product, or service.


For more information about how we can help you market your service or process, give us a call at 219.769.2299 or send an email.

Let’s talk about it.

VIA Idea #9: Branding Your Process or Service

Not to be confused with branding your company, branding your services provides a great point of differentiation and perceived value. Two examples of this type of branding are found with UPS WorldShip™, their international shipping process, and UPS Quantum View®, created to help customers manage shipping information. UPS brands most of their processes as proprietary—available only at UPS.

Giving a company’s products or services different brand names is referred to as individual branding. One advantage of individual branding is that each product or service has a unique image and identity. This also facilitates the positioning of each product by allowing a firm to market its various brands differently.

VIA Marketing recently used individual branding to help Challenger Learning Center of Northwest Indiana better publicize its programs and events. When we first met our new client, we took a look at each of their nearly 20 program flyers. Laying the flyers side-by-side, they didn’t look like a family of programs from the same organization. We went to work and created a separate brand for each category based on its target audience. Now each program area (youth, education, public, corporate) has its own logo. Flyers within each program area carry a cohesive look while publicizing different events and learning opportunities.

Another client, Vanco Construction Services, wished to bring attention to the proven, quality processes they use daily in their business. As this method favorably differentiates them from their competition, VIA created an individual brand and sales sheet for their process: Vanco Vantage 3D.

For more information about how we can help you brand your service or process, give us a call at 219.769.2299 or send an email.

Let’s talk about it.

VIA Idea #8: “You Have to Spend Money to Make Money”

I heard my father say this when I was six or seven; it puzzled me for days then but makes perfect sense now. Including the right number in your business’s budget for marketing communications is just as important now as ever.

Clients often ask me “How much should I spend on marketing?” There’s no one-size-fits-all. Do you offer a niche product with a loyal following? Are you one of three pizza restaurants on your block? Is your market local, national or worldwide? The figures below are ballpark numbers but give an idea of what your competitors may be spending.

When arriving at the dollar amount, take into consideration how you’ll spend the funds:

  • Developing and/or refining your brand and deciding how to best promote it (these include logos, websites, brochures, sales presentations, email campaigns, and more).
  • Promoting and advertising online, offline, through public relations and social media.
  • Educating your customer service people to be better advocates for your company.

Consider, too, the way that marketing is moving away from “push” toward “pull.” For example, instead of buying only traditional ads, you might add training articles or video clips to your website.

If you’re looking for direction in sorting through the best way to use your marketing communications dollars, email or call.

Suggested marketing communications budget for small to medium-size companies*

Annual gross income Marketing communications budget
Less than $5 million 7 – 8 percent
$5-10 million 6 – 7 percent
$10-50 million 5 – 6 percent
$50-100 million 4 – 5 percent
More than $100 million 3 percent

*Call VIA to discuss reviewing a report focused on your particular industry.