Written by Richard San Juan for Gaebler Ventures
Push-pull marketing strategies are two distinct methods of promoting products and services to a target market. There are specific advantages in using each of these two marketing strategies. Being able to know the difference as well as how to use both in conjunction with another is very valuable information to an entrepreneur.
Push and pull marketing is used to define marketing practices for getting customers to purchase a certain brand, product, or service.
When you think of push and pull marketing, think of it in terms of a person either gets "pulled" in to see what the seller has to offer or the seller "pushes" out what he has to sell to the buyer.
Both approaches have their own advantages and disadvantages depending on the overall marketing strategy being used. Differentiating and knowing how to use both marketing strategies will be very beneficial to aspiring entrepreneurs.
In a "push" system, the customer usually doesn't request the product or service to be developed. Instead, the product or service is "pushed" out to the end-user through methods like advertising on relevant websites, e-mail marketing refined by search engine optimization, and cold calling or e-mailing a prospect.
These represent ways to be proactive and engage your target market. This approach is most useful for entrepreneurs, because oftentimes, when they start their small businesses, their products or services are not well known to the public. Therefore, by following this strategy, at least the products or services will be known to the target segment.
Of course, however, the marketers will mostly concentrating on promoting the product's features and benefits in an effort to get a favorable response from potential consumers. An example of this can be seen when perfume products being sold. Women generally do not request to smell a fragrance from a brand they are not familiar with or unknown to them. However, if the retailer is promoting that specific brand of perfume, the salesperson can recommend or "push" the consumer to sample it.
In sum, "push" marketing is definitely more of a short-term strategy to get the targeted market familiar with the products or services being offered.
In a "pull" marketing strategy, the customer requests the product to be "pulled" through the delivery channel.
With regards to this approach, various advertising and promotional strategies are developed to generate publicity to entice potential customers to gravitate towards a seller's products or services.
"Pull" marketing lets an entrepreneur or company focus on the development of the brand. While "push" marketing is more concerned with short-term results, "pull" marketing wants to create loyal supporters by setting a certain standard for their brand.
An example of this is the Porsche brand of cars. The company concentrated its efforts in developing the brand through the years. As a result, when the word "Porsche" is mentioned, majority of consumers readily associate it with being a high quality sports car due to the reputation of the brand.
This strategic development of the brand will obviously help in the long-term as companies and entrepreneurs can then offer more future products and services to interested customers who are already familiar with the brand.
Richard San Juan is currently pursuing an MBA degree with an emphasis in Finance from DePaul University in Chicago. He is particularly interested in writing about business news and strategies.
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