How your small business can generate leads on a small budget

There are two primary methods of marketing, ‘push’ and ‘pull.’ Push marketing uses intrusive delivery methods and has served us well for decades, even back in the 50s, 60s and 70s when it was simply a game of whoever could afford to ‘push’ the most direct-mail, print and broadcast advertising in front of consumers won the battle. Pull marketing is a whole different beast that relies on things like value, relevance, informative content, and, yes, entertainment value to create significant gravity to pull in, willingly, your best prospects.

Pull marketing is the practice of producing useful, helpful and entertaining content and placing it where it will be found and appreciated by the intended target market. Hence the term, ‘pull’ marketing. We’re letting the market pull what they need. When you provide what’s needed, you get the opportunity to start developing a relationship with that prospect. “If you found this useful, you can learn more about how to do the same for yourself by visiting” You get to direct them towards your value propositions and prove your offerings are well-suited to solve their problems.

This method recognizes consumers have developed an aversion to  most ‘push’ marketing methods or are no longer present in those channels. They are now skipping commercials with the fast-forward button on their DVR, getting their music fixes not by radio but by portable players and streaming Internet services and using Internet search engines to decide on everything from the best tricycle for their kid’s birthday to who are the best distributors to supply the company’s warehouse expansion project. The advertising big spenders have discovered this and it is truly amazing to see the dramatic decline in their spend over the last ten years.

Not surprisingly, these advertising big spenders are now paying big bucks for product placement on popular television shows and movies. You see, they need to spend a lot of money to feel like they’re doing something. Fortunately for you, that’s not necessary. Utilizing pull marketing strategies, you simply need to create content (blogging, white papers, eBooks, case studies, videos, podcasts, etc.) that speaks to your target markets’ needs. Utilizing search engine optimization and social media distribution channels, your content will be easily found and serve to pull your best prospects to discover your best offerings.

Recently ‘pull’ marketing has been given the label of ‘content marketing‘ and is included in an overall marketing strategy called in-bound marketing. However you want to call them, Whatcom Marketing’s practices are based primarily on these methods and schools of thought because they serve to be extremely cost-effective and provide a level playing field on which the biggest marketing budget isn’t required to win. Using them, small business budgets can now create marketing efforts that generate lead volumes previously reserved only for the big boys.

Agree? Disagree?