Push Vs. Pull Marketing And Why You Need Both

Let’s define pull and push marketing from the perspective of the target audience or customers. In push marketing as the name suggests you’re promoting a product so that consumers can see it.

In a pull strategy, consumers might be looking for your product or service drawn by its brand.

Push marketing in a nutshell

Push marketing in the retail world stands for tactics that aim at bringing products to customers. This means a focus in enhancing the visibility of your offering so that consumers can decide to purchase it more easily.

For instance, in the manufacturing world, this might mean a better display on a shelf. The critical element of a push strategy, therefore, is the ability of the product to reach consumers.

Examples of Push Marketing

In a way, push marketing generates demand with a top-down approach. The customer is not looking for your brand or your product.

Rather you’re pushing it through them. This might imply a set of tactics which are interruptive in nature.

Things like a mass media campaign or an advertising campaign of social media or any other tactic that make the consumers see your brand while they’re doing something else.

Other examples of push campaigns where you get your message to consumers in an interruptive way are:

  • direct selling
  • face to face
  • sales canvassing
  • point of sales displays
  • social media marketing

Pull marketing in a nutshell

Pull main marketing aim is to have consumers see you when they are already looking for something similar to the product or service you offer. Or they are looking for your brand.

The primary objective is to create loyalty toward a brand so that those same people will get back without you having to push your product or service to them with interruptive strategies.

Examples of Pull Marketing

In a way, pull marketing generate demand at a bottom-up level. Indeed, while in a push marketing strategy a brand interrupts a consumer by delivering a message independently from the consumer looking for it. Pull marketing shows the product or brand when consumers are seeking it.

The advantage of a pull campaign is that consumers might recognize your brand and therefore ask for it. This also helps the company build a better distribution strategy.

A pull marketing campaign might require substantial investments, yet it might be more cost effective in the long run compared to push marketing as it might imply better loyalty and conversion.

Push and Pull marketing and why they both matter in the digital era

With digitalization, the difference between push and pull has become less important. Indeed, what was defined rules in the past have become blurred now.

For instance, when in the past a company needed to spend millions in mass media campaigns to push their product to consumers, just to build brand loyalty.

Nowadays with targeted ads or with organic campaigns via search engines, it’s possible to reach a large number of people that are actually seeking for a product or service.

Both push and pull strategies seek to generate demand.

In some cases, a push strategy might be hard to distinguish from a pull strategy. For instance, when Google closed the deal with AOL, in its early years, that meant a short-term boost and strong push strategy.

However, the association of the Google brand with AOL (at the time among the most recognized web companies) also created a brand recognition. This in a way is the B2B2C business model strategy in action.

This difference is harder in practice. Brand and conversion are tied in the real world. A more recognized brand might imply better conversion. Therefore, tapping into both push and pull is critical for any organization!

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