Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Should Your Brand Push Or Pull For Marketing?

Autotrader.com had put together a study about the Millennial generation as the next generation of car buyers and what attracts them to certain brands, and even the difference between older Millennials (25-32, 53% married) and the younger (16-24, 92% single.)

The implications of the study showed that Millennial’s respond to the more developed “pull” marketing, ie.“Experience the Brand” much over the traditional “push” marketing in advertising.   I believe this is a much better way to handle the buyers of this generation.  We are still a visual breed, but touching, feeling and getting a sense that is not scientifically proven and is showing more importance than ever before.

Building brand loyalty through experience, not just listening to your neighbor rant about his new Merceedes but by witnessing and driving for yourself.  This will go much farther than the traditional -in your face- push marketing.  I started marketing with a firm in the industrial manufacturing industry where the traditional style was strictly “Push! Push! Push!”  Now that I have more say in the firm, my younger style of Pull marketing is developing a push-pull style that works well in that industry. 

In the car world, are Millennial’s turning their head when they are targeted by push-marketing?   Brands like Subaru and Toyota have calmed down and realized what Autotrader’s study has show and started building cars that are “practical, sophisticated, innovative and stylish” to interests of Millennial’s through the internet and word of mouth.  Millennial’s have changing needs when it comes to a car now.  MP3 streaming, affordable infotainment systems, good looking wheels, and a mediocre body kit sell to us, but not GenX so much.  I see the want of looking good but with a great product as the priority of Boomers to feel young again and adapt to changing times.

Millennials when buying a car are listening more to what their peers are saying –word of mouth.  Whereas Boomers are still on the traditional media and surprisingly, GenX’ers are more than anyone, looking at the internet. 

So where do you spend your efforts in marketing?

Is it on the internet for GenX, doing great PR for company buzz for Millennials, or on traditional advertising to keep Boomers buying?

Brian Smith, VP of Lexus Marketing for Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.’s presentation at the Automotive News Marketing Seminar in NYC hit Generation X’s head with fast music and flashy visuals. To me,  all I saw was marketing for the entry level IS. But thats Lexus and that's what they decided to do.


In the idea of a Subaru or a Toyota, making something sporty, safe, reliable, and at a great price point that attracts the entry level buyer to experience something that companies like Ford and Chevy are missing.

So do you "push" or "pull" your brand to get noticed?