Every marketing tactic falls into one of two categories: Push or Pull. Does your organization employ one or the other? How about both? More on that later. First, let’s break down the two main marketing strategies.
What is Push Marketing?
Push Marketing is a form of advertising that sends communication to the user. Also known as direct response marketing or general advertising, it targets a specific audience with messages and offers. Email, direct mail, print and broadcast are prime examples of Push Marketing.
What is Pull Marketing?
Yes, you guessed it, Pull Marketing is the opposite of Push Marketing. This type of marketing “pulls” prospects and shoppers into your website or social page. Today’s buyer is an avid online researcher. He or she reads reviews, conducts keyword searches and asks online social friends for suggestions. Pull Marketing gives you an opportunity to attract the researcher wanting answers you provide. When a prospect finds an ebook, white paper or blog about a topic they want to know more about, Pull Marketing is at work.
Push Marketing and Pull Marketing differ in concept and application. Let’s explore the five main differences.
Push Marketing: This is also known as outbound marketing, since it pushes marketing out to prospects and customers. With Push Marketing you’re finding the prospects and they’re “raising their hand” when interested.
Pull Marketing: This is also known as inbound marketing. The term “inbound” means that your marketing efforts cause prospects to find you when they have an interest. They come to you for answers.
Push Marketing: A Push strategy is about devising ways to place a product or service offer before prospects. This approach usually involves some form of paid advertising: print, TV ads, radio spots and direct mail. However, email falls under Push Marketing as well.
Pull Marketing: Pull makes it easier for researchers to find you. The focus is on creating awareness and increasing brand visibility and generating a lead, particularly online with content that often resides on your website.
Push Marketing: This type of marketing typically starts offline, with a few exceptions. A direct mail postcard is an example of offline marketing. It often drives prospects and customers to a physical location, a website/landing page or to an inbound phone number. An email offer is another example of how Push Marketing drives respondents to a store, website or landing page.
Pull Marketing: Pull is almost exclusively a web-based method. Online content you create is designed to take respondents to a unique landing page to complete a form or place a call to an inbound number found on the landing page.
- Application Push and Pull also differ in application. Let’s consider a few specific examples.Example 1: Direct Response Print and SEO
Push: You run Direct Response Print offering a free trial for your product and the prospect either visits a landing page or calls to place an order.
Pull: You focus on Search Engine Optimization and use key words on your site that are relevant to your product or service. A shopper finds your site online and calls you and places an order.Example 2: Direct Mail and Social
Push: You mail out a coupon offering a 20% discount with a limited-time offer. The customer goes online to purchase and uses the offer code they find on the postcard or they call you to purchase. Pull: You post a 20% off coupon on your Facebook page. One of your customers shares it with a friend and they download the coupon on their phone and go to your website to buy.
Push Marketing: If done correctly, Push Marketing can work really well. Direct Mail to customers is a perfect example. If you use your customer data to create personal and relevant communication, it can make them feel very special. It also moves them to take action sooner than later!
Pull Marketing: Marketing is rewarding when prospects and customers come to you. (It just takes hard work. And it often takes more time to make this happen.) Pull Marketing generally enjoys a higher level of engagement because the prospect shows an interest and takes an action without you prompting them. However, Pull Marketing can fail if your content is not designed around the personas you want as customers. And because you often attract prospects in the early buying stage, it requires a longer-term conversion strategy. You guessed it, Push Marketing tactics like email, direct mail, outbound phone and face-to-face meetings will play a role.
Why You Need Both
Successful marketers rely on the strength of each approach and often use them together. You need Push to reach out to those who might not have heard of your service or company. A Push approach also is needed for communicating with your qualified leads, lapsed customers and existing customers to increase sales. You need Pull to attract those in the research or buying stage who are searching for your product or service and to promote your business as a thought leader.
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