Push Marketing vs. Pull Marketing

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Push Marketing vs. Pull Marketing 

  • authorBy Paul Swarnapandian

Businesses utilize various promotional tactics to create demand for their products, boost sales, and expand their market presence. Yet, the effectiveness of these promotions hinges on how well the business balances its budget, time, and effort in generating positive brand awareness across diverse strategies. Despite this diversity, it’s important to note that all marketing initiatives fall into two broad categories: push and pull marketing. 

Generally, pushing and pulling are different ways of performing very similar actions, but in most situations, only one works. In essence, you shouldn’t push when you’re meant to pull. The same principle applies to marketing. Hence, we’ll be delving into the differences between push and pull marketing to help you understand when each approach is most beneficial for achieving the best marketing results. 

What is Push Marketing? 

Push or direct response marketing is a form of general advertising where businesses deliver their content right to the consumer through emails, broadcast spots, POS displays, and any other medium that pushes a specific message to a particular audience. The essence of this marketing strategy is to advertise what you can offer to customers. 

Push Marketing Strategy 

Let’s consider a new company with low brand awareness in its target market. The business can create better awareness by reaching out to prospective clients through email and social media posts or putting up advertisements across various traditional and online mediums. That said, this strategy isn’t limited to new businesses. Established businesses can also leverage direct response marketing or other push promotions like limited-time offers to improve their products’ appeal. 

Push marketing can be done in various ways across diverse marketing channels. Here are some examples of a push marketing strategy. 

  • Email: Businesses utilize email marketing solutions to generate a targeted email list for specific products. By identifying potential customers who meet predefined criteria, businesses can send direct promotional emails on particular products. 
  • Line of Sight: Businesses can also establish a direct connection between their brand and customers by positioning products within the customer’s immediate view. Often, brands partner with retailers to showcase their products in high-traffic areas for maximum visibility. 
  • Commercials: TV and radio advertisements are also effective forms of push marketing. Brands can secure airtime on specific channels to create brand awareness. The timing of these commercials is also crucial to reaching specific customer segments. 

What is Pull Marketing? 

As the name suggests, pull or inbound marketing works by actively pulling prospective customers onto your site or a product through brand awareness and visibility. Pull marketing leverages digital marketing theory due to its predominantly online-based processes. The goal of this strategy is to create loyal customers; it only makes sense for businesses to reach more customers through online marketing mediums that showcase what they may need. 

Pull Marketing Strategy 

For the pull marketing strategy, businesses seek to distinguish themselves from similar service providers. They pull customers to their brand through blog content, online ads, high-traffic social media campaigns, and other strategies that focus on highlighting their unique value proposition compared to competitors. 

Businesses attract customers to check out their products by using SEO for brand awareness and visibility, as well as online referrals and reviews. Here’s how these mediums work. 

  • SEO: It’s common for businesses to drive traffic to their apps or websites through blog content that incorporates high-traffic keyword searches and follows SEO principles. By optimizing content with these keyword searches, brands can ensure their website appears to customers organically. 
  • Social Media: The internet has given access to a vast pool of potential customers, with social media platforms standing out as particularly influential. As such, businesses can create social media pages or run ad campaigns with popular pages to subtly reach customers who share interests in similar products. 

With the pull strategy, businesses do not approach customers directly; instead, they attract engagement by ensuring customers casually stumble upon their products. Once the company is able to create a significant customer base through these strategies, productivity pivots from continuous marketing efforts to establishing and maintaining brand credibility. 

Understanding the Unique Differences 

Push marketing is a more deliberate and aggressive strategy and is generally ideal for businesses looking to generate quick sales or take advantage of seasonal trends. Businesses tend to make their products as visible as possible to get the best results; however, it costs a lot more to achieve a quick turnover. Some scenarios for push marketing include: 

  • New businesses with low brand awareness 
  • Businesses looking to make sales for holidays or seasonal events 
  • For temporary promotional campaigns 
  • To generate quick sales or clear out product stock 
  • Businesses looking to expand into new markets. 
  • To compete with more prominent brands. 

On the other hand, pull marketing looks to generate engagement and traffic naturally by having the audience come to you. With the pull strategy, brands understand there is a demand, so all they need to do is position their products in a way that is visible to customers. Businesses that implement this strategy are often looking to: 

  • Explore sustainable business growth 
  • Maintain dominance in a market 
  • Build a loyal customer base 
  • Increase online traffic, customer engagement, and brand visibility 
  • Improve sales in the long term without significant marketing costs. 

Utilizing the Push and Pull Strategy Together 

Combining push and pull marketing strategies can also be effective under certain circumstances. Consider a business with a somewhat loyal customer base seeking to expand its reach in a new market. Such a brand could use push marketing to reach new customers who haven’t heard of the company while maintaining the pull strategy for those already familiar with the brand. 

Implementing both strategies can be pretty tricky and would depend on the brand’s unique marketing goals. However, by outlining what you aim to achieve, you can determine which combination of push and pull strategies to employ or whether to use them independently. 

Author: Paul Swarnapandian

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