As you know by now, we’re in the middle of a mini-series on the pros and cons of pay-per-click advertising.  Let’s get right into the third benefit.

PPC Benefit #3: It’s pull-advertising rather than push-advertising.  Push advertising is what we’re all used to.  We’re bombarded on a daily basis with ads.  Companies are pushing their ads on us at every turn.  From billboards to bus ads to newspapers, radio ads, flyer on your door and coupons under your windshield wiper, we’re hit with hundreds of ads every day.  For centuries this has been the common approach to advertising.  The idea is to hit you enough times so that you’ll eventually give in.

On the other hand, there are very few forms of pull-advertising.  The difference is that people are looking for your product and you present your ad at the moment that they’re interested. They’re looking and you just pull them in.  With push-advertising, you’re just hoping to break through the clutter and interrupt your customers’ daily lives long enough to get your ad to sink in.  The trouble is, it’s tough to get your ad to sink in when busy people are more concerned with things like what to make for dinner or who’s picking up Bobby from soccer practice.  It’s commonly known in the industry that you normally have to show your ad to someone 7 times before they even notice it.  With pull-advertising, you might find that people only need to see your ad once to notice it.  The difference is, when they’re looking for your product or service, they’re actively engaged and are no longer hesitant to accept your marketing message.  When they’re being pressured with push-advertising, they’re in a defensive posture, trying to keep up a wall between you and themselves.  There are really only two forms of pull-advertising that I know of.  The  yellow pages and search engines.  Both are designed to show the customer with relevant advertisements at the moment when they’re looking for something.  When you need a plumber, some people still turn to the yellow pages to look up a phone number.  They turn to “P” for plumbers and low and behold, there are a bunch of advertisements for plumbers.  At any other point, the customer would be in a defensive posture, unwilling to learn about your plumbing service.  However, this morning, the toilet backed up and any plumber’s ad would be welcomed.  It’s all about timing.

Hopefully this week’s installment was insightful.  I don’t hear many people talking about the difference between push and pull advertising.  Until next week…

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