Customers are rapidly developing a new set of habits to govern their interaction with businesses. In the past, the interaction was described by the push system – the business pushed its products and services at customers and prospects while using focus groups, trend analysis, and other techniques to forecast demand.
In a push system, the business is largely in control of the customer interaction. With the rise of e-commerce, a shift is occurring to a pull system: customers and prospects pull the products and services they require or want from businesses. By changing who controls the interaction (the customer instead of the business), customers are becoming increasingly resistant to interruption marketing (such as television ads, telemarketing, spam, and web pop-up and banner ads) and are seeking useful, relevant information to help them make buying decisions. Social networking sites as well as “comment” and “review” features of e-commerce sites are new ways for customers to seek and receive information.