As a consumer, you experience both push and pull marketing dozens of times a day. Both subtly, and not-so-subtly, influence your purchasing decisions. But do you know what the difference is?
As a business owner, it’s essential that you understand the difference between push and pull marketing so you can tailor your marketing strategy to get the right results. This is often even more important for small businesses since our resources are limited, and so we need to ensure we’re using the right approach.
All marketing can be categorised as either push or pull marketing. Read on to learn the difference and when to use each type of marketing so your marketing strategies connect with your audience.
Push marketing, otherwise known as outbound marketing or direct marketing, gets its name because it “pushes” your offerings toward potential ideal customers, and looks for a fast sale. That said, it doesn’t always have “buy now!” energy - it can be both someone trying to stop you in the street to sell you a streaming service and a sign in the supermarket showing you that a new-to-you brand of dishwasher tablets is on offer.
Pull marketing, also known as inbound marketing, instead focuses on pulling your ideal customer toward you. Pull marketing puts relationship-building first, ensuring your leads are warm (i.e., already know and trust you) before you make an offer.
Push marketing is used to increase sales volume and brand awareness in a short space of time. Compared to pull marketing, it is high-risk, high-reward. If you pour a lot of money into your outbound marketing and find that the offer isn’t quite right, you can pour a lot of money down the drain. However, if you get it right, you can make a lot of money quickly.
Pull marketing is a much more nurturing style of marketing. It’s about putting information out into the world and developing a relationship with potential customers so they later seek out your solution.
Pull marketing gives consumers time to consider whether your offer is the right one to solve their pain point. They may consider other options before deciding that your offer is ultimately the right one for them.
While push marketing may sound a little aggressive, done well, it can be effective and deserves a place in our marketing strategies. The key to doing push marketing well is to put the customer experience first - how can you best present your offer so they see the immediate benefits and how your offer can solve pain points in their life? Provided you keep this goal in mind, you’ll be able to create effective push marketing strategies that don’t turn off customers who may not be ready to buy.
Pull marketing is all about putting all the information out there that your customers need to make a decision and doing your best to make sure they see it. How you go about this varies depending on your industry and offering, but it can include content marketing, social media marketing, and native advertising.
One of the benefits of pull marketing is that you can promote your offer before it’s available to buy. You can generate excitement for the launch of your offer, or even use it to gauge interest so you know how much of your product to order for the launch, or even if your new offer will resonate in the marketplace.
You should use both. While businesses often struggle to turn sales made via push marketing into repeat clients, creating a strategy to nurture those relationships can combat that.
Similarly, the customer journey from awareness to purchase can be a long road - which means that pull marketing can make predicting when you’ll make sales difficult.
When you use both in your marketing strategy, you can balance the need for immediate cash flow with the desire to nurture long-term relationships with customers.
Understanding the differences between push and pull marketing will allow you to create effective marketing strategies that support your business growth. By leveraging both push and pull marketing, you can increase cash flow, create lasting relationships with customers, and create a sustainable and successful business. Just remember to put the customer experience first and create your marketing assets with your brand values in mind so they are tailored to attract your ideal customers. With the foundation of a strong brand, your push and pull marketing efforts will be successful.