What are the differences between Push and Pull marketing strategies?

A Push strategy pushes the product or service at the customer. Therefore, it is product-focused.

On the other hand, a Pull strategy pulls customers towards the product or service. On this basis, it is customer-centric.

Push can help to create awareness and deeper knowledge of what you have to offer.

A central element of Pull marketing is customer education.

When the customer has a problem that they want to solve, they search for answers.

If you provide useful, helpful, relevant and timely information you are more likely to pull customers towards you.

You can use one or both strategies.

‘Push’ means that you go out and find customers i.e. by cold calling, mass emails, direct mailshots and most forms of advertising.

The problem is that you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. Typically, only 3% of people are actively looking to buy when you contact them. This is why large companies spend so much on sales and marketing; they know that they have to shout louder than their competitors.

If the customer doesn’t already know you, the chances are slim that they will buy the first time that you contact them.

During the last century, marketing was largely all about pushing.

Companies pushed the (unwilling) customer towards their brands, using expensive advertising, telesales, direct mail and sales forces.

In the 21st century, pushing has become more difficult, due to the fragmentation of media, an explosion of communication channels (i.e. TV and radio stations, websites, blogs etc) and knowledgeable buyers who have heard it all before.

Enterprises of all sizes realise that getting customers to come to them is better than the old style ‘hunt and kill’ method.

Broadly speaking, an attraction based approach includes customer education and knowledge sharing. It is co-operative, trusting, interactive and more female than male in nature.

It also happens to be ideal for the world wide web, which was originally conceived as a way of sharing files amongst scientists.

I know that this approach does not appeal to everyone. “Why should I share my hard-won knowledge?” they say to me. “That’s fine,” I reply. “Keep all of your professional knowledge locked up in a darkened room. Lock and chain the door. Wait and see what happens.”

What will happen? The knowledge will shrivel and die, as it needs interaction with others to flourish and grow. Mind you, you’ll have to go and bang on many doors to find new business.

The question is, how will we know how brilliant your products / services are, if we can’t see the expertise that lies behind them?

Nigel Temple

Nigel Temple

Nigel Temple BA (Hons) MCIM is a marketing consultant, speaker and trainer. He helps enterprises to find more customers and to communicate with them more effectively. Email: nigel@nigeltemple.com | Call: +44 (0)1628 773128

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