Tap Into the 'Power of Pull' to Get Your Brand Out There

Rubel on Digital Communications

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For more than 100 years, marketing has largely operated as a push paradigm. We create messages and funnel them through the media to reach stakeholders.

Push remains viable. However, with time on social-networking sites and search engines rising, we need new ways to engage and reach people multiple times across different sources. That, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer, is when consumers will trust what we have to say.

That's what the "power of pull" is all about.

Steve Rubel
Photo: JC Bourcart
Steve Rubel is a marketing strategist and blogger. He is senior VP-director of insights at Edelman Digital.
The greatest rewards will go to those who create dynamic content at regular intervals -- content that is discussed, remixed and linked to by other high-quality sources online.

Here are three considerations for tapping into the power of pull.

When it comes to information, consumers will increasingly have a general ambient awareness of things they don't care about. However, they will go deep into pockets of passion. Brands can stand out and be more discoverable by becoming digital curators in a given niche -- and doing it well. They can work to separate art from junk. IBM is doing this by sponsoring Popurls Blue Edition, a section of the headline aggregator that culls business IT news.

Although it offers a lot of reward, creating content is work. This can be mitigated by finding digital assets that consumers are already using, remixing it and/or partnering with its creators to give it further lift. EA did this with "Tiger Woods 08," when fans noticed Tiger could hit a golf ball while standing on water. EA posted a video response starring Tiger hitting the "Jesus shot" and promoted "Tiger Woods 09" in the process.

Most of us still write for readers. But in the pull economy, we need to also write for searchers. One way to think of it is that Googlers are looking for "how to get rid of roaches," not necessarily for "bug spray." We can suggest using Google Trends and Twitter Trends to learn how people express themselves, and map language accordingly.

That's what the power of pull is all about.

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