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Push Vs. Pull Notification

The Internet Corner

John Summer established JTZ Enterprise in 1995.  John is well respected in the automotive industry by his peers, car dealers new and used, vendors, and colleagues.  He has spoken to 20 Groups, multiple VIADA and NIADA Conventions, and VIADA Dealer Days.  John Summer served as Co-Chairman of the VIADA Professional Development Committee and on the MVDB Internet Advertising Task Force Committee. John has been a Consultant to Automotive Dealers for over 25 years for not only his extensive knowledge of regulations and compliance, but his expertise in advertising and marketing in the automotive industry.


When I think of “Push Notification” as it relates to Internet Advertising, I always remember the scene from the 1980 movie, “Used Cars”, starring Kurt Russel. I remember the scene where the big dude is trying to get the pencil necked shopper to sit in the car. He wanted the shopper to see how roomy and comfortable the car was inside but the shopper refuses saying he doesn’t want to get inside, he was just looking. After a few failed attempts the man grabs the shopper up by his lapel and literally shoves him in the driver’s seat saying, “oh just get in the M… F…ing car!” Fast forward 40 years and today’s car dealer is asking, “What is Push Notification? How is it different from Pull Notification? Can it work for me?” Let’s compare Push and Pull Notification approaches.
Most marketing is considered Pull Notification. Think of it as the carrot on the stick. Your advertising is normally trying to entice the buyer to take action. For instance, your website probably has several Call To Action pages where you are enticing the shopper to provide you with their contact information in exchange for something they want. A link for “Apply for Credit” leads them to your Credit Application page where they can fill in the form in hopes of getting in return a Credit acceptance offer. Or maybe it is an SMS Call To Action that encourages them to enter a vehicle code and in return get a specific vehicle listing sent to their phone. It requires the shopper to act for it to work. If they ignore your links and other Calls To Action, the marketing efforts fall short.
Push Notification on the other hand allows you to reach out to the customer without them even having to visit your website. For instance, let’s say your website allows for the consumer to sign up for Price Change Alerts on a vehicle you have in stock that interests them. Once they opt in for that notification you have the ability to reach out to that client any time they are online. In this example, let’s assume you lower (or just change) the price of that listing. With Push Notification enabled on your website, you could have an alert sent to that shopper the next time they log on to the Internet with the same computer and browser they were using when they were perusing your website, last. This notice would get to that shopper even if they did not return to your website. They could be shopping for cars on another dealership website and get notice that the vehicle they were interested in the other day just had a Price Update! That notice would include a link back to your vehicle’s Window Sticker Page or Vehicle Details Page (VDP). This alert got triggered the moment you updated the price of that listing and happened without the shopper having to do anything!
For the first time, you can stay in contact with your consumers while they are still in the buying process. Now, this type of communication does require the consumer to opt in for these notices and it comes with the ability for them to opt out at any time. Their personal, private information is protected and they are able to remain anonymous, but if they are interested in the vehicle and enticed enough to take further action, they will cough up their contact information and go from being an anonymous car shopper to a known, verifiable prospect.
Having Push Notification enabled on your website is not only easy, it is also a no-brainer! Today’s car shoppers are being bombarded with offers and solicitations and it may take several attempts on your part to get them to turn that computer off and go visit your dealership. If you talk to your web provider and they either don’t know what you are talking about or cannot provide this service, we hope you contact us today at! Meanwhile, consider showing your sales team the classic film, “Used Cars”. It continues to be one of the best sources for sales training. Think of it as a how (not) to sell cars education!

By John Summer, JTZ Enterprise, LLC

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