Have you begun to understand the paradigm shift the culture is undergoing?  For instance, when was the last time you looked up a phone number in the yellow pages?  Opened up your newspaper to the movie section to get the times?  Memorized a phone number?  Those days aren’t going.  They’re gone!

One of the elements of the shift has to do with the impact of social media (flickr, YouTube, MySpace) on the way new products gain acceptance.  Social media has huge implications in terms of what Malcolm Gladwell was talking about in The Tipping Point.  When the sneezers, mavens, etc. can do their viral work online…well it’s a new day.

Has the shift made any difference in the way your organization is operating?  Consider the ways you have traditionally marketed your product.  Is it making any difference to you that every one of your current customer list could be the hub of viral activity?

A recent post over on Chief Marketer featured four great insights, mentality shifts, that will help you make the move…or in some cases help evaluate the distance still to travel…in order to join the culture where it is going.

  1. Stop thinking “push”; start thinking “pull.”
  2. Don’t just target; connect.
  3. Move from reacting to understanding.
  4. Focus on the opportunity; manage the risk.

There’s a lot to these four insights.  Too much to jam through in a single post.  But let’s talk about "Stop thinking ‘push’; start thinking ‘pull’."  Almost 15 years ago Jim Dethmer talked about the power of small groups being a more effective way to reach beyond the walls of your effort because they enabled what he called "side-door pull."  The power of those relationships enabled reach that "front-door push" couldn’t develop.  Very interesting in light of what Chief Marketer is writing about.  How about this line:

"Marketers should create experiences that enable consumers to pull brands into their digital bubbles by making their brand assets available, allowing consumers to badge themselves with the brand by creating meaningful connections and giving them something they can use."

Now, think with me for a moment about the potential on this one alone.  What if we made available an extension of what our customers already really value as the best available option.  Maybe a YouTube video.  Or a really cool flickr site that helped your customers describe for their friends how it feels to be part of what you’re doing.  Wouldn’t that enable potential consumers to "pull your brand into their digital bubble"?  It certainly would be a good stab at allowing your current customers to "badge themselves" with your brand.

Push is gone.  It’s all about pull.  Are you there?  Are you going there?  Can you even see it from where you are?

Thanks to Kent Shaffer for pointing me to Chief Marketer for the great insight!

Pull is the New Push