Push marketing and pull marketing are two approaches that brands and businesses use to interact with potential customers.
In push marketing, the idea is to “push” the idea of purchasing a product onto a potential customer. Most forms of advertising could be considered push marketing as they encourage the purchase of a specific product. You will often find push marketing inside a store, with displays and graphics encouraging an individual to purchase one product over another.
In pull marketing, the goal is to “pull” a potential customer toward the messages offered by a brand and business. Instead of encouraging a sale by making a product seem more attractive, the goal is to make a specific organization seem more attractive than the competition. In doing so, more sales can be earned through loyalty.
What Is Push Marketing?
As a strategy, push marketing is a direct sales approach. If you are at home and receive a knock at the door to purchase candy bars for a local fundraiser, that’s a form of push marketing. The goal is to create a value proposition which encourages an individual to make a purchase that they may not have considered making if the direct approach was not used.
There are two basic forms of push marketing that are commonly used: active and passive.
In active push marketing, there is an ongoing attempt to convince a potential customer that they need to create a sales transaction. An individual, a marketing message, or an advertisement is used to counter the arguments a prospect may have to spending their money at that moment. If you watch QVC or another sales channel, active push marketing occurs when there is a discussion about the benefits or specifications of what the product or service can provide.
In passive push marketing, there is still an ongoing attempt to convince a potential customer that they need to create a sales transaction. The difference is that the organization creates displays to convince people at the point of sale that their product is better than what the competition can offer. A sales display at a grocery store is an excellent example of passive push marketing. It is a stationary and static method of convincing a customer that there is value in finishing a transaction.
What Is Pull Marketing?
As a strategy, pull marketing changes the perspective. Instead of reaching out to the potential customers, an organization using this strategy is trying to get their prospects to come to them. When people want to engage with a specific brand or business, they are more likely to create an initial transaction and then stick around for additional transaction opportunities over time.
Pull marketing is always an active form of marketing. The goal is to bring an awareness of what the brand and business can do to a specific demographic. Then, when someone from that demographic encounters the product or has a problem that can be solved with that product, they will refer to the pull marketing exposure and be more inclined to purchase it instead of a competitive product.
There are two types of pull marketing that can be used: paid and organic.
Paid pull marketing is seen every day. When you view an advertisement, you’re seeing an entry-level pull marketing message. A brand and business is attempting to establish a relationship with a demographic through advertising, even if the only thing being advertising is a sale. By creating a transaction, the hope of the organization is that the customer will like their purchase so much that they’ll want to engage more often with their brand.
Organic pull marketing is extremely effective for brand because it is the customers who bring other customers over to create another sales transaction. Word-of-mouth advertising has been a common form of this marketing since the invention of a business. Online reviews are a modern form of the power of organic pull marketing. More than 70% of people through consistent polling will rely on reviews they’ve found on the internet as part of their decision-making process to create a sales transaction.
Both Marketing Options Offer Multiple Opportunities
Most brands and businesses succeed when they implement a combination of both marketing opportunities. In the push marketing vs pull marketing debate, the goal should be to accomplish both. An organization wants their product to stand out and seem attractive to a potential customer. They also want that customer to keep coming back because they loved the experience received by purchasing that product.
Sometimes you need to go to the customer as a brand and business. At other times, the customer will want to come to you. When either event happens, it is a successful example of one of these marketing options.