Posted by Henry Adaso | Oct 29, 2013
Every marketing style falls into one of two categories: push or pull. Do you know the difference between push marketing and pull marketing? 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.
Ladies and gents, class is now in session.
What is Push Marketing?
Push marketing brings content to the user. Also known as “traditional marketing,” push is the grandmother of modern marketing. Direct mail marketing, such as catalogs and brochures, 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” a consumer into the business. Meaning: the customer seeks out your company. Today’s consumer is an avid researcher. He or she reads reviews, conducts keyword searches and asks Facebook friends for suggestions. Pull marketing gives you an opportunity to attract the customers who want answers you already provide. When you see a social media offer for a product you love, this is pull marketing at work.
Push marketing and pull marketing differ in concept and application. Let’s explore the five main differences between push and pull.
Push Marketing: This is also known as outbound marketing, since it pushes marketing out to customers.
Pull Marketing: This is also known as inbound marketing. The term “inbound” means that your marketing efforts generate a response: interest, inquiries, transactions, etc. That is, customers come to you for answers.
Push Marketing: Push strategy is about devising ways to place products before prospects. This usually involves some form of paid advertising: TV ads, radio spots, billboards and flyers.
Pull Marketing: Pull makes it easy for customers to find you. The focus is on creating awareness and increasing brand visibility, particularly on the web. Pull marketing strategies include eBooks, white papers, blogs and social media marketing.
Push Marketing: This type of marketing typically starts offline, with a few exceptions. A direct mail postcard is an example of offline marketing. An email offer is a perfect example of how push marketing can translate to the web. You can also combine both. For example, send a postcard that includes a URL to an irresistible online offer.
Pull Marketing: Pull is usually a web-based method. Blog posts, eBooks and other online-content machines are forms of pull marketing that live on the web.
Push and pull also differ in application. Let’s consider a few specific examples.
Example 1: Phone
Push:You pick up the phone and cold call a list of prospects
Pull:They call you and place an order, having found your number on your site
Example 2: Direct Mail
Push: You mail out a holiday coupon
Pull: A customer emails you to inquire about your services
Push Marketing: If done incorrectly, push marketing can be disruptive. As a result, push customers tend to be less engaged. This happens when marketers send a “Hail Mary” to a large swath of customers hoping for a lucky touchdown.
Pull Marketing: Marketing is easy when customers come to you. Pull marketing generally enjoys a higher level of engagement because the customers seek out the companies. Pull marketing can also fail if you target the wrong audience, or betray a customer’s trust.
Why You Need Both
Now that you know the differences between push and pull, which model do you prefer? Successful marketing campaigns adopt the best of both worlds. You need push to reach out to those who might not have heard of your company. You need pull to attract those in the research phase of the purchase cycle.
Studies back up the combined approach. One such study, by Brand Science, found that blending direct mail (that’s push) with other channels, such as email or social media (that’s pull), yields a 20-percent increase in ROI. That’s good news for businesses that mix and match their marketing techniques. Supercharge your marketing campaign by making inbound and outbound work hand in hand.