Push Vs Pull Marketing: What It Entails and How Can It Help Your Company

Updated: November 12, 2022

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There are a few ingredients needed to make a company successful, with one factor being marketing. One debate amongst business owners is whether push vs pull marketing can attract more attention to your business and potentially increase revenue.

Business owners might not have the time or budget to run push and pull campaigns simultaneously and may need to pick one type of marketing. How do you choose between them?

It’s worth learning more about pull and push marketing, and this guide details how it can benefit your company so you can maximize your return on investment.

What Is Push Marketing? 

As the name suggests, push marketing is when you push your content out to the consumer. There are several other names for this such as outbound marketing and direct response marketing. Push marketing can refer to a few things including point-of-sale displays, email offers, and broadcast spots.

Anything that pushes your message outward is considered push marketing, like targeted messaging that uses a specific message to target a certain audience. This approach is typically used to target new customers and leads, which allows your company the opportunity to get in front of new customers.

You can also use push marketing when you have a new product launching soon by making existing customers or people who expressed interest in your company in the past, aware of the new product and present an opportunity to pre-order.

Examples of Push Marketing

There are a few different push marketing strategies that you can take advantage of. All these techniques have shown various degrees of results, especially when it is done well. The most notable ones include:

  • Targeted Emailing: Over the past few decades, email marketing has proven to be effective. Start by using an email marketing software and a targeted email list with people you’d like to alert about your company and its products or services.

The emails can be scheduled to be sent at regular intervals and will include links where you can buy your products or services. You can categorize the people in the list by age, location, and other criteria.

  • Line of Sight Advertising: Line of sight advertising has been around for decades and refers to retailers putting a display in a store to entice customers to purchase items.

There are multiple locations in a store where these can be placed. One of the more lucrative places is on the checkout line as this can entice customers to impulse buy. It’s good to keep in mind that any spot that is in a customer’s line of sight or frequently walked through can help boost sales.

  • TV or Radio Ads: Commercials can also be considered a type of push marketing as it pushes your message out through the television or radio. With this targeted approach, you can capture the attention of certain audiences who are more likely to watch certain programs at specific times. By marketing to the people who are most likely to enjoy your products or services, this can increase the potential for more sales.

To maximize your return on investment, it’s best to use a combination of the above approaches. These tactics will allow as many people as possible to see your message. If the content is developed properly, then you shouldn’t see a problem converting the exposure into sales.

When to Use Push Marketing

You might be wondering when’s the most effective time to initiate push marketing. There are several time frames to consider, depending on the message. One popular scenario is spreading the message about a new product or service being launched. Interacting with potential customers directly in the lead up time, during, and immediately following a launch should reap wonders.

That’s because they may already have an interest in your product, but they may consider purchasing if the announcement is timely and specific enough to the interested customer. Taking this approach should convert the people who interact with your push marketing campaign into sales.

What Is Pull Marketing?

Naturally, you might be assuming that pull marketing is the literal opposite of push marketing. In many senses, you’d be right. Also called inbound marketing, this approach focuses on pulling prospects and leads onto your site using social media and other tools.

This will typically be done to promote brand awareness alongside enhancing product visibility in the market. While there are several traditional examples of pull marketing, it’s become increasingly web-based in the past few decades. That’s because you’ll want to cast as wide a net as possible when using pull marketing.

In essence, you’ll be trying to convince prospects to look for your product or service rather than needing to contact them yourself.

Examples of Pull Marketing 

Like push marketing, there are quite a few pull marketing techniques to take advantage of. These tactics can be quite complicated, but it is worth investing in the time and effort.

The most notable strategies include:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search Engine Optimization is the process of getting your content to rank well with specific keywords and phrases. By doing so, you can get your product listed ahead of competitors and generate many more leads. 

There are numerous best practices and guidelines that you’ll need to follow to improve SEO. Creating high-quality content that is focused on your product and industry is enough to get you started in the process. You can then promote this content in other push and pull marketing initiatives.

  • Social Media: Social media lets you advertise to a wide range of potential customers. That’s because billions of people head to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites every day. These active users are ready and waiting to be advertised to. 

Each social media platform offers multiple tools that businesses can capitalize on to reach their audience. If you run a clothing company, you can focus on Instagram and run a social media campaign there. The possibilities are endless.

  • Cross Promotion: Partnering with a website that’s similar or complements your company can produce great results. There are a few ways that you can do so. If you’re selling sporting goods, for example, you could promote your website or goods on a site that covers sports. 

The key here is to ensure the audience of the like-minded company is also interested in your products. With the countless websites online, you can create a list of the best places to advertise on quite quickly.

Similar to other types of marketing, it is often recommended that you try out as many of the above tactics. Doing so could help maximize your potential for success and ROI. While running different campaigns will take a significant amount of time to master, it could be well worth it in the long run.

That’s especially true when you’re looking to generate brand awareness prior to a product release. Although it will take a significant amount of time to implement effective and impactful campaigns, it’s worth the time to ensure you’re taking care of everything for it to run successfully.

When to Use Pull Marketing 

When it comes to the best time to utilize pull marketing, majority of the cases recommend that you use it continuously. Regarding start-ups, pull marketing can be one of the best ways to increase your brand recognition and affinity relatively quickly with an affordable budget.

For larger firms and multinational companies, it can be a way to maintain a brand presence to the target audience by interacting with your audience quite regularly. Maintaining the interest with potential and existing customers is essential, especially when it comes to product launches and core products.

When the time comes, you can capitalize on consumer interest and leverage it to generate more sales. With this tactic, you should see a higher rate of engagement than you would with other types of marketing. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll see an equivalent rise in conversions though.

In contrast, the conversion rate is often much lower than you would see with other marketing campaigns. You shouldn’t worry about a potentially lower conversion rate because you’ll be marketing to a broader group of people instead of with a targeted approach like in push marketing.

Push Vs Pull Marketing: What’s the Difference? 

There are quite a few differences between push marketing and pull marketing. While some of these might be obvious such as the primary method of advertising, there are more differences than you realize. 

Knowing these differences could help you make your decision about whether push or pull marketing is the right one to use and when.

Push marketing is primarily focused on generating sales and is typically a here-and-now approach. You’re essentially emailing customers and asking them to do something. Pull marketing, on the other hand, is more focused on current customers alongside a small number of potential customers.

Pull marketing specializes in increasing and maintaining brand awareness while encouraging customer engagement and retention. 

Instead of the here-and-now approach of push marketing, it focuses on long-term relationships and sales that allows you to maximize your cost per customer and makes it easier for customers to find you.

Because of these differences, you could say that push marketing is most effective with a blend of offline and online marketing strategies such as direct mail and emails. 

Pull marketing is primarily an online approach as you are technically using search engine optimized pages that link back to product pages. It’s through these product pages, also known as landing pages, where you’ll make your sale. 

While anything can potentially be found online, including the purchase page, the purchase involved in a push marketing campaign can often take place in person. For instance, display campaigns drive a customer to buy the product from the cashier in the store.

There are benefits to utilizing both approaches, knowing which type of marketing is vital to promote product launches or drive sales.

Tools Needed for Push & Pull Marketing 

It’s one thing to know what push and pull marketing campaigns entails, but it’s another thing to effectively use it. While some tools are optional, a few of them are necessary to run a successful campaign. 

Thankfully, many of them can be easy to learn, but it’ll take a while to master it all. Some of the more notable tools needed for push marketing include:

  • Print-On-Demand Services: As the name suggests, these are marketing campaigns that involve printed marketing assets including brochures, flyers, and direct mail.
  • Customer Resource Management (CRM) Software: Your customer resource management software, also known as your CRM, is vital to almost all your push marketing efforts. 

Without it, you might not have anybody to send your marketing campaigns to. This is essentially a database of leads that you can send your marketing materials to.

It’s worth pointing out that it’s best to use a combination of the above factors. Failing to do so could mean that you’re losing out on a certain segment of your audience, which means that you could be unintentionally cutting yourself off from a decent number of sales and growth.

Pull marketing, though, will need a completely different toolset. Some prominent examples include:

  • Facebook Ads: Facebook is perhaps the most popular social media platform on the planet. The platform could be the largest website to advertise a product on, regardless of what industry you’re in. 

That’s where Facebook Ads comes in, it’s the portal where you can market your product or service on. This feature lets you customize your ads and determine exactly who you’d be advertising to.

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tools: You’ll need a variety of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools to help you with your content. Google Search Console is a highly recommended and free service. There is a wealth of other options, although these could come at a price.

Just like push marketing, it’s best to use a mix of these factors to garner results. Through trial and error, you can find out which methods provide you with the best return on investment, and ultimately generate the most amount of money. By doing so, you can capitalize on your strengths.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore your weaknesses. You should identify and address any weaknesses to see where you might be going wrong. You can hastily fix them, and the correction may subsequently lead to more sales.

It often seems like there are a lot of things you’ll need to keep an eye on. While that may be the case, all of the above have shown to offer a decent return on investment. Both your financial investment and the time you spent on marketing the products or services you’re offering is worth it!

Though it can seem impossible to manage, you’ll fall into a routine relatively quickly and will soon start automating specific areas to make things much more productive.

A lot of people will fall on either side of the push vs pull marketing debate. They both offer a significant number of benefits that can help your business in different ways. The key is to know which form of marketing is the best one to use in certain situations.

Many factors will come down to how your marketing efforts have performed so far. While there can be a general rule of thumb, advertising campaigns can vary in efficacy from campaign to campaign. That means that a certain amount of experimentation is needed to run an effective campaign.

Like many other factors in running a business, your marketing efforts will take time and effort. If it was easy, then everybody would do it. All good things in life take hard work, patience, and dedication. Coupled with the information in this guide, you’ll be on the right path to success in the future.

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