Magnetic Marketing In Social Media Pushes Past Push-Pull Marketing

If TV, Newspapers and Billboards is Push Marketing - and Web 2.0 and user-generated content produces Pull Marketing, what's prompting 'Magnetic Marketing?'  According to Ivan Askwith, director of strategy for the digital creative agency, Big Spaceship, "magnetic marketing is when the consumer and brand are drawn together, at the right time, without either side needing to take an aggressive action." Like a magnet, the customer and brand come together because the attraction is that strong.

For years, the business terms 'push and pull' originated in supply chain management as the exchange of a product between two parties. On the supply side, the brand traditionally 'pushed' the message out to the consumer, while on the market side, those same consumers 'pulled' the goods or information when they have a need. Some have described this dynamic as the "Technology Push vs. Market Pull" paradigm.

Social Media allowed 'pull marketing' to gain more prominence over the course of the last five years as social networks like Facebook and Twitter gave the consumer a voice. From this space, the 'wisdom of crowds' emerged as an essential component that brands, marketers and advertising agencies needed to take seriously. Those that chose to ignore these new business channels quickly lost ground to their competitors. User-generated reviews, customer service complaints and blog critiques have spawned CRM sites such as TripAdvisor and Yelp as the 'go-to' services to determine where travelers and diners will overnight or dine.

Ivan AskwithIvan AskwithIn an interview, I conducted with Askwith recently, he noted that "location-based social networking… actually helps change the user's experience as we move through our world." He affirms that "location-based services are 'magnetic' and focused on connecting people with information at the right time, and in the right place, for it to be useful and actionable." In essence, "location-base services are the ultimate form of contextual marketing: capable of reaching people at the right time to influence (and assist) their behaviors and decisions."

A great example of "magnetic marketing" in action is a new social media service developed by Novologies. Their latest web product called is a social media tool that has been developed for hotels, airlines and restaurants that melds consumers into brand advocates (see previous post: ", Social Media Tool Creates Evangelist, Buzz and Sales.") social media tool for hotels, airlines and social media tool for hotels, airlines and restaurants

When a customer books a guestroom at a hotel using, he or she is allowed to tweet about their visit via Twitter, share with their friends on Facebook and update their status on LinkedIn. Since "sharing" has become an acceptable means of communicating, and since this type of 'non-threatening' messaging is coming from the user versus the brand, there is a greater sense of trust that emanates during the "magnetic marketing" process. tweet from James tweet from James Chicago

On the restaurant side, helps restaurants get their guests buzzing at the right place at the right time as well. Using one's own mobile phone, each guest can review, check-in and then broadcast it on Twitter and Facebook. As the diner sends out updates to his followers and friends, both the diner and his network are incentivized with discounts and value-added offerings for current and future meals at the restaurant. Restaurant Restaurant app
Since the restaurant app is a 'Web" app and not a 'mobile' app like "Foursquare' or 'Gowalla,' diners have quick access to the application via the Internet versus downloading the LBS app to their smartphone.  Since "location" is key in all location applications, one could easily see the advantages as to how this tool can attract more local business to establishments using

For both hotel/restaurant operators and their customers, is a win-win, as it helps expand the hotels' and restaurants' brand message to networks of people they would never have had access to, in addition to communicating with existing guests at time of purchase. And as an added bonus, operators are given real-time reviews and critiques by their guests, so they can address service levels and quality-control issues as they are occurring. is also in the process of expanding their tool to permit users to connect directly with TripAdvisor immediately after a hotel stay, which again solidifies the establishment's and the customer's needs in real-time. The operator gets immediate feedback and the customer is not delayed in critiquing their stay.

Since is still in beta, they are looking for additional hotels, airlines and restaurants to continue to improve and enhance the product to incorporate other 'magnetic marketing' capabilities. One such area would be hotel and airline loyalty programs. Interested parties should contact for Web presentations and to see if they qualify for Charter membership for the beta program.

"Magnetic Marketing" is a relatively new business term that I am sure you will hear more about in the weeks and months ahead, as we start using some of the tools that are embracing this new form of customer interaction.  And as augmented reality gains more traction, the capabilities that are inherent with that technology will only enhance magnetic marketing practices. As Askwith notes, "it's not hard to imagine the opportunities: take a grocery store, where you can find deals, compare local prices, and get recipe suggestions for any product, just by pointing your phone at it." 

The possibilities for magnetic marketing are endless. In traditional marketing, we use to define 'revenue management" as reaching the right price, for the right customer at the right place & time with the right promotion. With magnetic marketing, I would add "with the right technology."  While the combination of push-pull advertising is still required by any effective marketing campaign, I think a more comprehensive approach in today's marketplace is the new combo of 'push-pull-magnetic' marketing.

Dilbert Cartoon on MarketingDilbert Cartoon on Marketing
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Apr 11, 2010
by Anonymous

Missing Links to creating the super social conductor

Hi Ron- great introduction to the concept of Magnetic Marketing!

The theory makes sense and I follow your logic as to the impementation- I think that the challenges with open profile data like facebook don't allow for the complete matrix of possible personal preferences.

I see how they are using some demographic and geographic data to exprapolate "targeted ads" today, but the model is still push advertising. Even the iAd model is push ads at the end of the day.

When you start adding preferences and linking profiles like linked In, TripIt and other stated preferences you get a lot closer to dynamic brand attraction. When offers come to you via a service that is discriminate, real time and completely non-intrusive the model will be realized as successful.

There will be room for guestimations in preferencial suggestions- but they had better be based on criteria such as(funny example); weather --- flight delay, stolen credit card, in NYC after dark- you might offer me a NAVY SEAL with a HUM V etc. vs. you are walking past a Denny's and you get a e coupon for breakfast at 6pm.

Enjoy the topic greatly!


Apr 12, 2010
by Anonymous

The Future Looks Brighter with Pull Marketing

It's interesting to watch the developments of 'pull marketing' in the air travel business. We'd been working in this space with both the airlines and airports to help them connect with their customers. Some early stage interest on their parts.

New players like GateGuru are a new breed of connectors focused on the air travel market. Existing sites like TripAdvisor, TripIT and others are starting to fulfill the ambitions of travelers to have a dialogue - something the airlines and airports have not done well to date. They seem to stuck in a PUSH marketing mentality.

Look forward to more dialogue.


Jul 28, 2010
by Anonymous

need your suggestion


need your suggestion
can this product doing magnetic marketing ???

Nov 16, 2010
by Anonymous

Magnetic Marketing is not new

Magnetic Marketing was coined years ago by legendary copywriter Dan Kennedy. His "Magnetic Marketing" program is famous and something you should check out at the principles in this program are timeless and relative to any new technological innovation.