Marketing’s Addiction


Marketing has traditionally relied on PUSH strategies to achieve its goals to build brands and sell products.

  • Personal selling
  • Advertising
  • Sales promotions
  • Coupons

Previously I have wondered if retailers are not possibly similar to drug pushers.

These methods remain valid of course, but there are now also alternative PULL approaches which promise a lot – but to perfectly frank, typically does not deliver. Marketers are attracted to these newer pull strategies – based on the somewhat idealised notion of ‘conversations’ that brand are having with consumers.

I can understand the attraction of PULL:

  1. It makes logical sense because we all recognise that the balance of power has shifted towards the consumer in the purchase decision-making process.
  2. It promises to be cheaper
  3. It promises to reveal a trove of data that the weak/insecure will be able to rely on to make the decisions for them and cover their arses in the future.


I have wondered about marketing’s addiction to push strategies.

  • Is it fear of change?
  • Is it an addiction to the control they once had which enable them to sway and influence consumer behaviour en masse?
  • Is it purely habit?
  • Or is it because the newer marketing strategies are not yet proven?

I suspect the truth is somewhere in between all of those layers of emotions.

Some commentators think we will never reach the tipping point and ridicule the new age marketers mercilessly.

Right now this commentator has the weight of results on his side, but that does not mean that it won’t eventually change.

But what I know for sure that it will only change (if it does) if marketers can overcome their addiction to being in control.

I will know that marketers are moving away when they abandon the notion of 'brand management - and all its associated terms and practices.