What are push and pull marketing, and how do they differ? Originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
What Is Push Marketing?
Push marketing is a promotional strategy where businesses attempt to take their products to the customers. The term push stems from the idea that marketers are attempting to push their products at consumers. Common sales tactics include trying to sell merchandise directly to customers via company showrooms and negotiating with retailers to sell their products for them, or set up point-of-sale displays. Often, these retailers will receive special sales incentives in exchange for this increased visibility.
Businesses often use push marketing when launching a new product, or when trying to stand out in a niche or crowded market.
Example of Push Marketing
One common example of push marketing can be seen in department stores that sell fragrance lines. The manufacturing brand of the fragrance will often offer sales incentives to the department stores for pushing its products onto customers. This tactic can be especially beneficial for new brands that aren’t well-established or for new lines within a given brand that need additional promotion. After all, for many consumers, being introduced to the fragrance at the store is their first experience with the product, and they wouldn’t know to ask for it if they didn’t know it existed.
What Is Pull Marketing?
Pull marketing takes the opposite approach. The goal of pull marketing is to get the customers to come to you, hence the term pulls, where marketers are attempting to pull customers in. Common sales tactics used for pull marketing include mass media promotions, word-of-mouth referrals and advertised sales promotions. From a business perspective, pull marketing attempts to create brand loyalty and keep customers coming back, whereas push marketing is more concerned with short-term sales.
Businesses generally will use pull marketing when the customer knows what he is looking for or what problem he needs to solve but needs pulling towards your solution as opposed to the solution offered by your competitors.
Example of Pull Marketing
You can often recognize pull marketing campaigns by the amount of advertising that’s being used. Pull marketing requires lots of advertising dollars to be spent on making brand and products a household name. One example includes the marketing of children’s toys. In the first stage, the company advertises the product. Next, the children and parents see the advertisement and want to purchase the toy. As demand increases, retailers begin scrambling trying to stock the product in their stores. All the while, the company has successfully pulled customers to them.