intro-multimedia

Push, Pull, and Integrated Marketing

A push marketing strategy is when a brand advertises its product to garner awareness from their target demographic, while the pull strategy released content in the market to reach audiences, which have an existing interest in the brand or product. Below is a closer look at the integrated marketing efforts that Best Western International currently has in the market and I will be identifying which of these marketing platforms are push and which exhibit pull marketing.

“The newer pull strategy has been viewed as a shift in power from advertisers to consumers, and so requires a more adaptive approach by marketers.  With the increase of social networking platforms and users, social networking has become a major and focal part to music marketing adopting the pull marketing strategy. Pull marketing shifts the emphasis and attention onto the customer, trying to market in the correct places by knowing who the target audience is. Consumers are increasingly customizing to better suit their individual needs.” (Wikipedia)  The main idea here is that Best Western is hyper focused on the needs of their customers and are pushing content across all of their digital and social channels which then draws or pulls their audience to their brand.  Most businesses will use a combination of push and pull strategies in order to successfully market a product as Boundless points out. In my opinion, Best Western falls in this successful combination of marketing for their hotels.  Most of the items below are examples of pull marketing, but Best Western does have quarterly promotions that they push out such as their partnership with Disney Media every summer (which is showcased in my previous blog post).

BestWestern.com:

Best Western’s website includes links to all their social sites. The website also includes a booking widget and hotel locator to assist in planning your next vacation. In addition to their hotel directory, the navigation bar includes travel tips, member rewards and travel deals to assist in planning your travel. The latest offer available is located in the hero slider touting the stay 2 nights and earn a $25 gift card. In reviewing Best Western’s sites, you’ll find that this offer is being promoted on multiple media platforms. This offer is a smaller promo compared to bigger tent pole marketing efforts executed by Best Western. Best Western continues to execute integrated marketing efforts no matter the size of the promotion.

In addition to Best Western’s website being the hub for all the social link outs, it has so much information located within the site. Not only does the site allow you to research and book your next vacation, but you also have access to the history of the hotel-chain but also their senior leadership.

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The social media marketing Best Western has in market is a combination of push and pull marketing, however, leans more heavily on the strategy to focus on the pull.  In the social media platforms below, you will see that Best Western is providing a ton of information (specific to the social platform and audience) without a hard sell on booking travel accommodations.  Yes it is about the bookings, but it goes further with the Best Western brand with the focus on the traveler and their experience.

Facebook:

The cover photo touts the current promotion.  Multiple posts daily keep content up to date.  Best Western does a great job of sticking to current events.  In today’s post, they remind their audience it is Talk Like a Pirate Day and share a short pirate inspired video to go along with their post.

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Twitter:

Best Western just recently hosted a Twitter chat with two travel experts asking their audience travel questions, and had the two travel experts answer the chat questions.  Best Western is an industry leader in the hospitality vector because they truly are targeting their audience and communicating with them on each of their advertising platforms.

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Pinterest:

Pinterest boards can be seen as a great example of pull marketing.  Best Western created a travel dream board showcasing their hotels and available destinations. Their pins are incredible and when planning a vacation, you could find a ton of information on locals, not specifically Best Western hotels.  This shows how Best Western is providing information about these destinations and popular things to see and do while visiting.

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Blog-site: You Must Be Trippin’

Best Western is digitally versed and you can find a presence on social platforms that include Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ as well their own blog-site named You Must Be Trippin’. Best Western’s You Must Be Trippin’ blog-site has fresh content that is relevant to current events and trending travel topics. Way to go Best Western with the catchy blog-site title!

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YouTube:

Best Western leverages YouTube as a hub for all their video assets.  Everything from travel tips with Tessa to linking to their You Must Be Trippin’ blog articles with video.

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The Mobile Experience:

I was expecting Best Western’s mobile site to be responsive and look like the home page of their website, Facebook and Twitter branding, however, BestWestern.com on mobile takes you straight to the booking feature. I believe that the mobile experience could be enhanced to allow for Best Western branding and easier navigation of the mobile experience.

Email marketing:

E-blasts are examples of push marketing.  Best Western sends out weekly email blasts with their top deals and promotions that are being offered.  The email includes links to all of their social sites to help easily connect their consumers to their content.

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Comparison: Social Media vs. Traditional Media

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Below are two aspects of marketing that will be looked at a little more closely for both Traditional Marketing and Social Media Marketing.

 MarketingAspect

Classic Marketing v. Social Media Marketing

The social media world is opening doors for companies to generate revenue from a platform that was not even a consideration a few short years ago. Social media is really a paradigm shift or change in worldview rather than simply a new set of tactics2. Marketing via social media is new to most companies, and many advertisers are in the process of figuring out how social media fits in to their overall media mix.

Not only are the audiences different for every platform so is the execution lead-time, reach, and creative restrictions. I am a true believer in multi-platform marketing and how both classic and social media marketing truly can compliment each other if executed properly. During campaign analysis, I usually find that the metrics are greater when you use multiple media platforms to work together versus choosing one over the other to advertise. That’s not to say that the media landscape always should have a true integrated marketing approach because with most things it depends on the objectives of the campaign in question. For example, if you have a marquee campaign that includes a sweepstakes, television is a great driver for sweepstakes entries over social media drivers. Time and time again, television wins when a brand or company is measuring entries to the sweepstakes layer of their marketing plan. The audience still isn’t there on social to move the needle like we see in TV.

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Type of Marketing

Traditional marketing has always been about brand awareness and having the media platforms push advertising campaigns out into the world for people to consume. Due to the lead time necessary for traditional advertising, brand messages aren’t very flexible — they don’t change often, media buys are committed far in advance, and brands can’t easily adjust to take advantage of new opportunities2. Especially with television or print platforms, the production schedule is usually more than 8 weeks to produce. A traditional media plan is time-consuming mostly on the front end (planning, creating and buying) and back end (quantifying and analyzing) of the campaign. Once a traditional media plan is put into place, it is a mostly hands-off affair3. The guidelines and stakeholders that have to review television ads are far more extensive than social media posts and campaigns.

With a growing plethora of social media options, which are far less costly than traditional media, some of you might be questioning spending money on those pricey TV, radio and print ads to encourage business. However, using both media together, as opposed to one versus the other can move your message further and reach a larger audience3. These days every company has a social media footprint, and exploring how to utilize the platform. Because social media is new to the media mix, companies are testing reach and engagement from Twitter chats and brand awareness campaigns. Companies and advertisers are experimenting with the types of posts that resonate with their audience to generate more likes, comments and shares. The good news is that because social media is an emerging platform, the cost to execute a social campaign is considerably less than that to produce a television spot.

Unlike traditional media campaigns, a social media campaign needs to be worked every day. Monitoring what your customers are saying and doing and then responding accordingly takes time. Most experts’ recommend spending one hour every day with each social media outlet you utilize3.

Language

Traditional marketing goes through many rounds of review with various stakeholders that could include the creative director, legal, standards and practices, brand franchise, or sweepstakes administrator. It is a very formal process and strict to keep the marketing language adhering to the guidelines set forth by the networks and advertising sites. Additionally, the marketing message is more reflective of full thought out clever tag lines or messages. When you look at social media the marketing lingo changes slightly. Everything is abbreviated, shortened, or just a small piece of the overall marketing campaign is shared. Social media also asks the audience their opinion and phrases the marketing language in such a way that it promotes responses to the posts which is true to the platform in having an open two way communication. Social campaigns are still planned in the initial stages of posts people post in response to the marketing posts.

What Should You Do?

With any strategic marketing campaign, you must first know what the goals are and what the advertiser will deem a measurement of success. Once you know their objectives you can start building a marketing campaign to fit their needs and hope to deliver results to meet their expectations. Is the advertiser looking to grow followers? Are they looking for brand awareness? Do they want to create an experience with their brand. These are all very important questions to ask at the launch of any campaign execution.

Thanks for reading!

Links:

  1. http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-vs-traditional-media-marketing/466873
  1. https://www.hausmanmarketingletter.com/social-media-versus-traditional-media/
  1. http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/traditional-vs.-social-media-making-the-right-choices