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Chapter 2 | Orbit

From Push to Pull

Our next topic is From Push to Pull.

Digital technology is changing the nature of marketing from push to pull. This chapter focuses on shifting mental models around marketing to create the kind of pull that draws people into your ORBIT.

Brand ORBIT

To think about engagement in a many-to-many world, imagine a solar system, with your brand as the sun.

Your customers, employees, partners, and influencers are the planets in orbit around your sun. Remember, ORBIT means:

Ongoing
Relationships
Beyond
Individual
Transactions

The gravity field is generated by trust, gratitude and reciprocity. Brand gravity attracts new people into this social system and keeps everyone connected.

Push marketing

Digital technology calls for marketing that is reciprocal, conversational and multi-dimensional

One-way media has created one-way marketing:

We segment
and target audiences,
sending messages
through channels
with campaigns
to move consumers
through stages
of a funnel.

The language and mindset of marketing is linear, transactional and one-directional.

Shifting to pull

As our technology and relationships change, so too must our marketing.

Social systems

People naturally pull in others from their social networks who share their purpose, identity and values.

In this new solar system—or social system—brands engage a variety of stakeholders:

  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Influencers
  • Citizens
  • Donors
  • Alumni
  • Investors

As they orbit the brand, experiences and interactions advance a Shared Purpose, reinforce a shared identity and create shared value.

Social facets

Instead of segments, think of people as having social facets.

To build your ORBIT, you have to rethink the old mental model of customer segmentation.

To segment is to divide something into parts, like segments of a grapefruit. Customer segments divide people by gender, income, location or geography.

But people are multi­-dimensional.

Instead of a “soccer mom,” a person might be a mom, soccer parent, wife, daughter, sister, foodie, executive, cyclist, baseball fan and vegetarian.

These are not just interests; they are roles and identities. They shape not just attitudes, but relationships.

Social Gravity

Social Gravity can pull people in customers’ social orbits into the brand ORBIT.

In ORBITs, transactions are embedded inside ongoing relationships to create a gravitational field that attracts customers into orbit around a brand.

This kind of Social Gravity isn’t just about how many likes you can get on Facebook. It’s about building enduring, meaningful and authentic relationships with your customers and the people in their lives.

Brand as relationship

We often talk about a customer’s relationship with a brand. Instead, think of the brand as
a relationship.

Innovative companies are re­aligning their brands to match the social facets of their customers.

  • Ride-sharing service Lyft invites customers to sit up front. The brand relationship shifts from driver/passenger to friend/friend.
  • Room-sharing service Airbnb has disrupted the traditional brand relationship of host/guest and replaced it with neighbor/neighbor.
  • With its smart devices, Nest has created a brand relationship built not on a manufacturer/buyer relationship but one that’s more like family member/family member.

In all of these cases, the relationship is more reciprocal, symmetrical and personal.

From loyalty to gratitude

ORBIT requires a different approach to customer relationships.

The purpose of most loyalty programs is to drive repeat transactions. But ORBIT is built on relationships, not transactions.

In a relationship, loyalty is reciprocal. You want your customers to be loyal to you. But are you also loyal to them?

To build a stronger ORBIT, focus on generating loyalty to the Shared Purpose rather than your product or brand. The transactions you desire will be pulled through naturally.

You will know you are on the right track because your customers will not only be satisfied, they will be grateful.

Push marketing vs. pull marketing

Recap

To think about engagement in a many-to-many world, imagine a solar system, with your brand as the sun.

Digital technology calls for marketing that is reciprocal, conversational and multi-dimensional.

Push brands use relationships to drive transactions.
Pull brands embed transactions inside relationships.

People naturally pull in others from their social networks who share their purpose, identity and values. Instead of segments, think of people as having social facets.

We often talk about a customer’s relationship with a brand. Instead, think of the brand as a relationship.

For loyalty to gratitude: ORBIT requires a different approach to customer relationships.

Go Deeper

Read "Why Gratitude Trumps Loyalty" by Mark Bonchek

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