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Marketing campaigns often give businesses a choice to go about their strategy in two ways, either to pursue a pull or push strategy. But for those unaware of the meaning and subtle differences between these two core principles, the choice may seem hard to choose. Selecting one of these strategies massively influences a business’ budget, time, efforts, and growth and selecting them is usually based on the company’s profile, their demographic, as well as their products and services. Picking up the right strategy can lead to the best results and can boost the business’ long and short-term success. In this article, we explore the basics of push and pull marketing, as well as delve into the nitty-gritty and understand the nuance between the two strategies to help a business select what’s best for them.
Push marketing is a strategy that involves a business directly promoting their products and services to a customer. In layman’s terms, it is a strategy that focuses on pushing products to the selected demographic. It often comes under the branch of general advertising. To better understand the concept, let’s look at an example:
A salesperson directly goes to the customer and promotes the product, explaining its features and benefits.
In this case, marketers are used as a medium to ‘push’ retailers to promote the item, or in the digital sense, they conduct the activity themselves. Push strategies are used when businesses want to directly imprint its brand image in the minds of their customers and is worth the investment if promoted on a large scale, causing the effect of economies of scale. However, it’s imperative to note that it almost always requires a specialized sales team who can actively network and build customer relationships smoothly. In other words, a good team of salespeople is key to the success of this strategy.
Pull marketing is another core principle under the marketing umbrella that requires businesses to develop a strategy that gets the customers to purchase the product by indirectly influencing them. This strategy is considered to be the opposite of a push strategy, purely because it pulls or draws in the customer rather than pushing the offering towards them. This strategy ensures that certain aspects are placed in a manner that enables customers to come looking for a business’ products or services on their own accord. A great example of this strategy is as follows:
A social media post promotes a pair of shoes in a way that showcases the aesthetic associated with wearing the shoes.
This example illustrates the main difference between the two strategies. Push marketing in this scenario would showcase the product in a way that directly asks customers to purchase it, whereas pull marketing displays the feeling or result of using their products or services, indirectly telling customers that they too can achieve the same lifestyle if they purchase the business’ offerings. It creates value in the minds of customers and creates brand equity in a significant manner.
When it comes to digital media and its effective marketing strategies, almost all businesses opt for a pull-based strategy. Showcasing why a customer needs your offerings rather than directly asking them to purchase it leads to higher conversions and sales for the business. Social media algorithms attest to the efficacy of the concept by designing their platforms to promote content that appeals to their lifestyle, aesthetic, and values. By presenting a brand as one that can truly change a customer’s life in ways other than just superficially adding a product or service to their lifestyle has proven to be far more effective as customers have increasingly been looking for offerings that can add an underlying value to their daily lives. It could be visual, functional, or even influence/popularity based. Utilizing either or both strategies effectively can make the most out of a business’ marketing efforts and can effectively position the brand’s offerings in the minds of customers, bringing a great rate of return on the investment in the marketing strategy.
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