• While designing a marketing campaign, marketers can choose either a push or pull marketing strategy. 
  • Both Push and Pull marketing strategies have their pros and cons. 

When marketing, businesses and marketers get confused between Push and Pull marketing, let’s understand the differences. Push marketing deals with directly promoting products and services to consumers using multiple channels like advertising and sales. In comparison, pull marketing creates a demand and pulls customers through strategies like SEO and content marketing. 

There is an ongoing debate over which marketing method to apply, but it all depends on your goals and objectives. Both strategies aim to attract and retain customers but significantly differ in approach. Businesses and marketers must understand the ultimate goal before selecting between either of the marketing approaches. 

Push marketing, aka outbound marketing, involves pushing the product or services to customers through advertising, sales promotion and related forms of communication. In comparison, pull marketing, aka inbound marketing, involves creating valuable content that has the potential to attract customers. Both these strategies are time-tested to bring results, but the approach they take might make marketers rethink. 

Push Marketing: The “Shoving” Strategy

You must have encountered credit card sellers roaming around and asking you to buy a credit card. Or, they must have witnessed door-to-door salespeople trying to sell their products. These are great examples of push marketing, as you might have felt that they are shoving their product or service to you.

Push marketing is all about sending out active messages and interrupting potential customers with your products or services with the hope that it would spark interest. Billboards you see on the roadside, TV commercials that interrupt your game, cold calls that frustrate you, unsolicited emails, etc, are all the modes of classic push tactics. 

Critical Characteristics of Push Marketing

Push marketing is a one-directional approach; it only focuses on delivering the message to your audience rather than engaging in two-way communication. It aims to grab attention by placing the message directly in front of consumers. For instance, while watching cricket, after every over, you see a new car commercial, or about the new iPhone, etc. 

You were not looking for that car or wanting to buy an iPhone, but you would remember that advertisement when you did want to buy a car or an iPhone. Push marketing attempts to reach a larger audience and might not focus on detailed targeting. The main aim here is to boost brand awareness and promote products rather than focusing on building relationships with customers. 

Pros & Cons of Push Marketing

Push marketing uses traditional advertising like TV, radio, print, billboards, etc. These advertisements include discounts, coupons, giveaways, contests, press releases, sponsorships, influencer marketing, email marketing, cold calling, direct mail, in-store promotions, product demos, etc. 

Push marketing is used to spread brand awareness and general leads quickly. It can also introduce new products to the market, which can be used to build initial demand. Outbound marketing is suitable for influencing impulse purchases of everyday items. Moreover, it is easy to measure the effectiveness of this marketing method by impressions, clicks and conversions. 

The disadvantage of push marketing is that it could bomb consumers with unwanted messages. Audience might need to reach the right audience, leading to a wasted marketing opportunity. Standing out in a crowded marketplace is sometimes complex and often fails to build long-lasting customer relationships. Customers are also increasingly resistant to traditional push marketing tactics. 

Pull Marketing: The “Magnetic” Approach

Pull marketing takes a polar opposite approach to push marketing. Instead of forcing messages upon customers, it aims to attract them naturally through valuable content and engaging experiences. It’s like setting up a beautiful garden or a lavish coffee shop inviting customers. 

Inbound marketing is a two-way communication that fosters conversations and interactions with potential customers. The main focus here is to create valuable content that educates and entertains the customers along with the potential to solve their problems. 

Push marketing allows targeted approaches to attract specific audiences based on their interests and needs. Another priority here is to establish long-term brand loyalty and customer advocacy. It includes blog posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, eBooks, and case studies, all aimed at building social communities, sharing engaging content and influencing partnerships. 

SEO optimization ensures that your website ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. Email marketing provides valuable newsletters, offers exclusive content and nurtures leads. With proper usage of push marketing, marketers and businesses can create spaces for discussions and customer support. 

Pros & Cons of Push Marketing

Push marketing is believed to produce high-quality leads and attract potential customers who are already interested in your products or services. It influences building long-lasting relationships and trust with customers. This marketing technique can be more cost-effective than traditional marketing in the long run. 

Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) like website traffic, email engagement, and lead conversion rates provides crucial information about the effectiveness of push marketing. Moreover, this marketing technique can be tailored to a niche audience and ever-changing market trends. 

The disadvantages of push marketing are that it provides slower results, as it takes time to build brand awareness and generate leads. Plus, it requires consistent efforts in content creation to influence audience engagement. There is a burning desire to stand out in a crowded online space. Marketers require skills in content creation, SEO, and online marketing tools. 

Pull marketing influences brand awareness for new and established businesses. It establishes yourself as an authoritarian leader in the marketplace. Proper implementation of this technique includes generating qualified leads and nurturing sales. It can be strategically used to build long-term customer relationships and loyalty. 

Marketers should remember that you can only pull a string. That way, you can guide the string wherever you want. Pull marketing allows you to pull the customer to you, which could have a better chance of success than push marketing

Before implementing either of these marketing strategies, it is essential to understand which strategy aligns with your overall business goals. Marketers must realize which technique would support sales goals, which would build brand awareness, drive sales and build loyalty. 

Push and pull marketing strategies are two drastically different approaches a business can use to reach its goals. Striking a balance between the usage of these techniques can be done by considering the target audience and the stage of the buyer’s journey the customer is in. Marketers are advised to understand a marketing campaign’s goal and objective before deciding which one to choose.