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Push Me, Pull Me: Steering a brand through a customer driven marketplace.

March 13, 2009 10 Comments

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The Clute Institute recently published an paper entitled, ‘From Push to Pull: Emerging Models of Mobilizing Resources’. It examines the shift from traditional “push” models to emerging “pull’ models in terms of how we organize and manage business, and how that shift will affect the way businesses interact with consumers and social activity in the future.

The implications for those in the marketing business are enormous. Whether you’re a traditional advertising agency or one of the many creative companies now generating advertising (including digital, talent, design, broadcast identity, experiential and production companies), it means we now face constant reconstitution to meet evolving customer needs. Solutions – the ideas, products or services we provide – will now emerge from changing constellations of creative partnerships. And instead of building infrastructure, we offer insta-structure – the ability to bring the right people together fast enough to meet that need as soon as it is required. The relevant distance to consider is no longer the one between you and your customer but the one between you and the partner you need next. Such nimbleness and flexibility requires a major restructuring of how we think about and organize our businesses, but it’s necessary if we hope to mirror the organic evolution of the internet-driven marketplace.

As for consumers, an abundance of information creates choice, choice provides control, and control means we no longer dictate consumer thinking or behavior. Instead we are in a constant creative dialogue, not just with our business partners, but with consumers and our role is to listen attentively. This dialogue will unlock all our futures. Uncertainty defines this process as it relies on the random collision of two previously unrelated ideas. In short, creativity.

We do have one tool at our disposal – the currency of fundamental human values. While the days when advertisers or brands dictated what consumers thought or did are over, values-based behavior is still persuasive because it is timeless, emotional and universal. That is why social marketing in growing and will continue to do so. At its worst, transparency lets consumers see the duplicitous and disingenuous behavior of brands and marketers. At its best, its shines a light on authentic core values, reliably expressed through consistent messaging and behavior. Goodwill is the enduring currency between corporations and customers. A brand’s value, appropriately, is increasingly defined by its values. Only then does the networked, virtual world work to our advantage.

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10 responses to “Push Me, Pull Me: Steering a brand through a customer driven marketplace.”

  1. Greg Bokor says:

    Sorry this is only about the ‘push me pull me’ – just last week, we watched Dr. Doolittle (the original with Rex Harrison) with our kids. Both my wife and myself remembered it fondly and reminisced about tv movies and how special they were back then. When the push me pull me scene came, with much anticipation from us children of the 60’s, we were shocked how totally fake it looked, our kids wasted no time in telling us exactly how the illusion was pulled off. Funny how we were so easily duped back then…

  2. Greg Bokor says:

    Sorry this is only about the ‘push me pull me’ – just last week, we watched Dr. Doolittle (the original with Rex Harrison) with our kids. Both my wife and myself remembered it fondly and reminisced about tv movies and how special they were back then. When the push me pull me scene came, with much anticipation from us children of the 60’s, we were shocked how totally fake it looked, our kids wasted no time in telling us exactly how the illusion was pulled off. Funny how we were so easily duped back then…

  3. admin says:

    That’s hilarious. And valuable. Is it ‘push me, pull me’, not ‘push me, pull you’. I won’t ever watch it again. I love how it lives in my memory. So real and bizarre. Duly warned.

  4. admin says:

    That’s hilarious. And valuable. Is it ‘push me, pull me’, not ‘push me, pull you’. I won’t ever watch it again. I love how it lives in my memory. So real and bizarre. Duly warned.

  5. Eric Tsai says:

    Simon,
    Good post, I agreed that the consumers are in the driver seat now.

    A consumer driven marketplace is where marketing should begin in the first place. Knowledge, information and tactics are becoming ubiquitous so the instant result that consumers want is only logical.

    Value, like most products and services, will be commoditized over time. I call this the value inflation. What used to be high value is now standard and bundled with everything else. And in a time like this consumers do have control and choice, they want more for less. This transformation is good for the marketers, consumers and brands, it will just take time to regain trust and establish credibility again.

  6. Eric Tsai says:

    Simon,
    Good post, I agreed that the consumers are in the driver seat now.

    A consumer driven marketplace is where marketing should begin in the first place. Knowledge, information and tactics are becoming ubiquitous so the instant result that consumers want is only logical.

    Value, like most products and services, will be commoditized over time. I call this the value inflation. What used to be high value is now standard and bundled with everything else. And in a time like this consumers do have control and choice, they want more for less. This transformation is good for the marketers, consumers and brands, it will just take time to regain trust and establish credibility again.

  7. admin says:

    Thanks Eric,

    I agree. Trusts and credibility are the first hurdles, especially in a transparent marketplace. I think one of the ways brands will distinguish themselves is through their behavior in line with the greater good. This appeals to timeless human values that are fundamentally emotional and therefore will connect with the most wary consumer. As ever though, you have to be genuine, authenticate and consistent – a huge ask for most brands. That’s where advertisers and designers come in like you and I. Thx for sharing and adding to the discussion. Best, Simon

  8. admin says:

    Thanks Eric,

    I agree. Trusts and credibility are the first hurdles, especially in a transparent marketplace. I think one of the ways brands will distinguish themselves is through their behavior in line with the greater good. This appeals to timeless human values that are fundamentally emotional and therefore will connect with the most wary consumer. As ever though, you have to be genuine, authenticate and consistent – a huge ask for most brands. That’s where advertisers and designers come in like you and I. Thx for sharing and adding to the discussion. Best, Simon

  9. […] must be given the choice as to what marketing they invite into their organically-driven networks (a ‘pull’ vs. ‘push’ approach of the past). As more social networks flourish and grow, they will cease to be passive […]

  10. […] must be given the choice as to what marketing they invite into their organically-driven networks (a ‘pull’ vs. ‘push’ approach of the past). As more social networks flourish and grow, they will cease to be passive […]

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