What Is a Pull Factor?

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With every radio announcement you hear, every print advertisement you read and every broadcast advertisement you experience, someone working behind the scenes is actively trying to pull you in – to motivate you to become a consumer of the product or service being advertised. The more compelling the pull factor, the more likely the recipient of the message will respond.

Pull Tactics Vary

Advertising might be the most dominant pull tactic, but it's not the only one. Sales and discounts, promotional events and referral and loyalty-reward programs also are designed to “pull” consumers toward a particular product or service. In recent years, many businesses have added social media to the mix, knowing that word-of-mouth remains one of the most influential pull tactics of all.

Benefits Fortify “the Pull”

It might seem difficult to believe in today's rapid-response world, but virtually no research was conducted on advertising until the 1930s, when Depression-era advertisers insisted on measuring the success of their invested dollars. Although testing remains far from infallible today, it's been shown time and again that marketing efforts that “pull” best are those that emphasize the benefits – not just the features – of a product or service. For example, it's one thing to say that a hair gel contains healthy, fortifying ingredients. This is a feature. It's something else to say that the gel will help keep frizzy hair under control on a humid day and prompt admiring nods of attention. This is a benefit that is more likely to “pull” consumers toward the product.