Are you “Pushing” or “Pulling?”

 A Guest Article Written by Harold Goldman of Financial Safety Net

Insurance agents and financial professionals can no longer rely solely on traditional push marketing techniques to capture the attention of prospects or deepen their relationships with current clients. The introduction and success of social media networking has transformed the way services are marketed to consumers, shifting from a push to pull marketing strategy.

Traditionally, we push products at customers —

this is the best policy; you need this rider; buy this investment; I am the best advisor, etc. — however, as customers gain access to a greater number of options and information via online platforms the power of marketing shifts, requiring services and products to be made available on their terms.

Instead of pushing the products and services producers want to sell at clients and prospects, through advertisements which can easily go unnoticed or brushed aside as intrusive, pull marketing invites prospects to pull producers towards the products or services in which they’ve expressed interest.

To remain effective in reaching new clients or inspiring new purchases among existing clients, producers need the optimum mix of concurrent push and pull marketing campaigns. Let’s explore each strategy further and give you some ideas for combining tactics to create interest and harness that interest into opportunity.

Push Marketing

Most businesses are familiar with traditional, outbound promotional techniques which ‘push’ their message in front of prospects without regard for a customer’s interest or desire to initiate contact. Push marketing tactics are useful if consumers are not actively looking for your product or service because of lack of need or awareness of their options.

Here are a few examples of common Push Marketing tactics:

● TV and Radio Ads

● Display Marketing (Print, Billboards, etc.)

● Direct Mailers (Postcards, Coupons, Email Discount Offers, etc.)

● Website Banners and Pop-up Ads

● Mobile Ads (via geolocation or coupon sites such as Groupon

● Sponsored Blogging

● Referral Partnerships (perks offered in return for pushing your products/services)

● Cold Calls or Telemarketing

On one hand, these marketing tactics may be viewed as intrusive and turn off potential customers; on the other hand, these methods are highly effective at establishing brand awareness and reaching target audiences at the right time. When executed properly, a push marketing campaign will allow your business to target your marketing dollars at specific demographics and a direct “call to action” for a quick return.

Unfortunately, these tactics also tend to cost more than other, less-direct marketing tactics; be sure any push marketing strategy is going to reach the audience most likely to buy or is supported by a broad pull marketing campaign.

Pull Marketing

The current spread of online devices has put consumers in the driver’s seat when it comes to requesting information or making a purchase. When it comes to insurance and finances, consumers prefer to control how they receive and process information. Producers can use pull marketing tactics to raise awareness about their business or important products and services, inspire smart choices or snag quality referrals.

An effective pull marketing strategy ensures your business product or service is broadly visible when prospects and clients express an interest or particular need, and are researching potential solutions. There are numerous free platforms and paid services which offer unlimited possibilities for exposure and staying engaged.

Here are a few examples of common Pull Marketing tactics:

● A Well-designed Website

● Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve natural search visibility

● Pay-Per-Click Ads (only displayed when someone searches for your product or a related product)

● Educational, Non-Promotional Content (raise brand or product awareness to create interest), Blogging, PR/White Papers

● E-mail Newsletters (Non-promotional and Permission-based)

● Social Network Interactions (actively sharing posts or comments relevant to business)

● Infographics and Video Webinars

Pull marketing works great for luring prospects at various stages of the buying cycle — whether it involves pulling in natural visitors to convert consumer interest into opportunity or simply reaching out to fulfill a request — whereby making your business visible or a valuable resource to encourage a sale.

While pull marketing tactics tend to be less expensive to initiate, they require an investment of time. Natural search optimization takes time, sometimes months, to see results in improved page rank on search engines and increased website views. Social media requires active participation to demonstrate accessibility and value to audiences. And developing original, educational content takes time to plan, write and edit, before it can attract a significant audience base.

Once you have launched a pull marketing strategy, solidify a follow-up plan to ensure that you are subtly pushing prospects and clients towards the best products or services to fulfill their needs.

Striking a Balance: Push and Pull Marketing Plans

Successful businesses are built on effective prospecting efforts. A combination of push and pull marketing is necessary in order to help prospects realize their need and consider your products or services as a solution.

Limiting your marketing strategy to one method or another will impair your ability to reach all prospective buyers while continuing to nurture existing client relationships. Together, push and pull marketing tactics can simultaneously push a message, create awareness, identify prospects, establish your value as an expert and convert opportunity into a sale.

For example, FinancialSafetyNet relies on pull marketing to reel in users looking for unbiased, advertisement-free financial information on the website. The organization focuses its pull marketing and communications efforts on sharing educational content and resources related to insurance, finances, estates planning and more. Prospects are drawn in by articles, such as A Brief Guide to Long Term Care Insurance for Veterans, and seek relevant products from agents or financial professionals.

FinancialSafetyNet rounds out its marketing efforts by offering member advisors a directory listing and monthly email newsletter which contains elements of both push and pull marketing tactics. Producers are pulled to the information and products prospects show interest in, which they may follow-up with a finely tune message to translate interest into a sale.

The newsletter contains educational, non-solicitous content — the organization monitors which emails are opened, including which articles recipients are reading and who is clicking through for more relevant information. That information, combined with direct input from advisors about what industry or content they want to promote, allows FinancialSafetyNet to customize its ‘push’ message for each member advisor.

Adapt to Market Realities

“Work smarter, not harder.”

Push and pull marketing campaigns need to work together to help producers convert interest into business. From insurance to investments, your products and services are already in demand; ensure your business is poised to be pulled towards qualified prospects. Once you are ‘pulled in’ to the demands of a consumer, producers can earn a sale or maintain a long-term relationship by pushing them towards the best products or services for their individual needs.

About Harold Goldman

Harold Goldman is the Founder and Senior Advisor of FinancialSafetyNet, LLC while serving as President of Emes Insurance Services, Inc.. As the visionary of free, unbiased financial information and resources, Harold offers a public platform to connect visitors with financial experts and inspire educated financial decision-making available at http://www.financialsafetynet.org.

Contact Harold directly at hgoldman@financialsafetynet.org or call (951) 833-6917

About Jeffrey Berson

40 years in and around the industry has made Insurance a part of my DNA. I have had the pleasure of working with and for some of the greatest minds in our industry. My "Bersonal" View is an attempt to capture some of the best ideas, the best concepts and the best practices in a way that can lead to success for others. It will certainly be my point of view, so please...don't take it "Bersonal".
This entry was posted in Bersonal Posts. Bookmark the permalink.

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