Push Marketing in its literal form, literally failing.

The train operator on my  route to and from my office has taken Push Marketing far too literally.

Opting to close the once popular buffet car in favour of pushing an unwieldy drinks trolley through narrow, limb-laden aisles is a marketing decision that mystifies me.

Whereas in the buffet car, hot and cold drinks remained true to their billing, they now share the same sweaty commuter temperature and accordingly remain unsold, day after day. Its not as if the buffet car has been removed to accommodate more passengers, it remains part of every journey, shuttered up like some inner city off-license.

Can there be a better real-life, literal illustration of misplaced Push Marketing? Back when the shutters were raised and the steward announced the temperature-controlled goods therein – back when Pull Marketing was the name of the game – weary commuters readily found solace in a cool Stella or were buoyed by a piping Capuccino.

Hear me East Midlands Trains! Discard the trolley! Fire up the fridge! Put the kettle on! Raise the shutters! And give the Marketing Manager a second chance.

Trolley remained stoical about its fate.

Ads Worth Spreading

In November 2010, Chris Anderson, Founder of Future Publishing and now TED curator, expanded upon what he describes as ‘ambush marketing,’ – the unexpected hijacking of peoples attention when its focussed elsewhere. Such practices tend not just to irritate but to actually damage a brand. Take a look at his lecture. Its long but well worth it.