Are You a Ram or Peacock Marketer?


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I was on a panel last Friday sharing some thoughts on lead generation to a group B2B marketing execs.  I was encouraging the attendees to find and articulate their unique value proposition and use it to attract prospects. In other words, I asked the audience to consider moving their processes from the “push” model to the “pull” model of marketing.  Laura McGuire, one of my colleagues on the panel, suggested that pull marketers are like peacocks – they try to make themselves look as attractive as possible – to get their prospects to come to them.  Like many of the bird species, male peacocks try to be as colorful as possible and perform intricate dances for the ladies, including an elaborate fanning of the feathers – and the more ostentatious the better. 

This made a lot of sense to me and being the imaginative type, got me thinking not only about peacocks but also how other animals attract their mates. You are probably wondering where the marketing message is in this discussion, but trust me, it is coming. Rams, unlike peacocks, are experts at ”push” marketing. They don’t sit around waiting for their potential mates (ewes) to come to them and they don’t really care how they look to the ewes. They just want to look tough to the other rams.   

According to NatureWorks (reference, in the fall, male rams engage in head butting contests to establish dominance. They run at each other at speeds of up to 20 miles an hour and ram their heads together (perhaps this is why they are called rams?). Head butting contests can last as long as 20 hours and the dominant ram is rewarded by mating with more females than his less aggressive or weaker colleagues.  In fact, rams are so aggressive at breeding time that if you adopt a ram lamb as a pet, he may one day attack you as a potential rival for his ewe group. In other words, rams take their prospecting efforts very seriously.

Like the ram with a plan, aggressive push marketers will often attract more prospects and close more sales, but this is not always the case.  Sometimes it benefits you to be a peacock marketer and make sure you are as attractive as possible to your prospects that are already looking for what you offer. Push marketers will utilize more traditional media tools (direct mail, print ads, events, email, telemarketing) while pull marketers tend to utilize new social media tools. There are many other differences between the two disciplines but the major point is for you to decide whether you are a peacock or a ram when it comes to marketing, and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Christopher Ryan
Christopher Ryan is CEO of Fusion Marketing Partners, a B2B marketing consulting firm and interim/fractional CMO. He blogs at Great B2B Marketing and you can follow him at Google+. Chris has 25 years of marketing, technology, and senior management experience. As a marketing executive and services provider, Chris has created and executed numerous programs that build market awareness, drive lead generation and increase revenue.


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