Have you ever tried to pull open a door when the sign clearly says “push”? It doesn’t open, you can’t go anywhere, and you end up looking dumb. The same is true when it comes to marketing. If you push when you need to pull or vice versa, you will not be able to achieve anything. But how do you know when to use push vs pull marketing? Let’s discuss them in this article.

Post Graduate Program in Digital Marketing

With Purdue University & co-created with FacebookEnroll Now
Post Graduate Program in Digital Marketing

What Is Push Marketing?

Push marketing or outbound marketing is a marketing tactic that businesses use to push their products and services to potential customers. When businesses want to launch a new product or want to stand out in a crowded market, they can use push marketing. With this strategy, you can place the product directly in front of the customer as well as create awareness for your brand.

For example, let’s say that a new phone has just been launched and introduced to the market. When a new customer comes into the showroom, before they even enquire about a phone, the salesperson will approach them. He will let them know all about the exciting features of this new phone and its advantages over other phones. This will arouse the interest of the customer, and they may buy it eventually. Push marketing is helpful for new products and for customers with a first-time experience.

What Is Pull Marketing?

Pull marketing or inbound marketing is a marketing tactic where businesses put up some conditions in place to ensure that customers come looking for their products and services. It is often focused on a long-term relationship with the customer and attempts to create brand loyalty so that customers keep coming back to them. It requires lots of advertising so that customers become interested in buying your products and services.

For example, a business that provides interior designing services can advertise itself on social media by clicking beautiful images and videos of its designs. These may not be targeted towards a particular person; it is for the general public. However, whenever a customer wants to get their house designed and sees those beautiful pictures, that brand will stand out.

Free Course: Digital Marketing Tools & Techniques

Learn SEO, Email, Paid, Affiliate Marketing & MoreEnroll Now
Free Course: Digital Marketing Tools & Techniques

Differences Between Push vs Pull Marketing 

There are not a lot of differences between push vs pull marketing since they both ultimately aim at the same thing. However, there are some small differences between them.

Push Marketing

Pull Marketing

Tactics are deployed to push your products and services to customers

Tactics are deployed to pull your customers to buy your products and services 

Involves aggressive approaches 

Involves subtler approaches 

Geared towards short-term goals and immediate selling

Geared towards long-term goals and customer loyalty

Push vs Pull Marketing: Which Is More Effective and When? 

Push Marketing

Push marketing is aggressive and a lot more deliberate than pull marketing. It is generally used when businesses want to take advantage of a short-time period. Here are some instances when push marketing can be helpful: 

  • Launching a new business 
  • Releasing new products and services
  • Expanding to a new niche
  • Clearing out product stock before the end of the season
  • Promoting brand recognition against a dominant competitor
  • Generating cash flow or sales quickly
  • During holidays and seasonal events
  • Temporary promotional campaigns

Pull Marketing

Pull marketing involves letting your customers come to you by making it easier for them to find you. Here are some instances when pull marketing can be helpful: 

  • Maintaining dominance in a specific niche
  • Ensuring long-term business growth
  • Improving customer loyalty
  • Improving sales and revenue without an expensive ad budget
  • Increasing social media traffic
  • Engaging with customers and being at the top of their shopping funnel

Push vs Pull Marketing: Examples

Push Marketing Examples

1. Direct Marketing

Direct marketing can be in the form of letting customers try out a new product or service, handing out free samples, and the like. This often happens in trade shows, showrooms, or other forms of brick-and-mortar stores.

2. PPC Advertising

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is the most common form of push marketing where marketers can display ads, banners, shopping ads, and search engine ads across a wide range of platforms. A fee is charged each time their ad is clicked on.

3. Billboards

Billboards are strategically placed in high-traffic areas to reach as many people as possible. They are an effective way to broadcast your brand, products, services, or campaigns effectively. 

Digital Marketing Specialist Master's Program

Advance Your Career as a Digital MarketerEXPLORE COURSE
Digital Marketing Specialist Master's Program

Pull Marketing Examples

1. Blogs

Blogging is an effective way of reaching out to your target audience by providing them with knowledge about your business, products, and services so that they can make informed buying decisions.

2. SEO

SEO allows your content and web pages to get more in front of the people who are searching for those relevant keywords. Optimizing your content around those search terms will help your page appear in front of them organically.

3. Social Media Marketing

Social media pull marketing strategies include creating beautiful images and videos of your products, influencer content, how-to videos, etc. without being pushy to your audience.

Multi-Channel Marketing 

As the name suggests, multi-channel marketing involves communicating with customers through different channels using both push and pull strategies. It is very useful for companies whose target markets vary significantly. For example, a brand might want to target a group of potential customers using billboards, while simultaneously using a social media campaign for another target audience.

Planning and managing different marketing campaigns for multiple channels can sound like an expensive task, but it is more effective than channeling all the team’s efforts on one single channel. A good multi-channel marketing strategy makes use of all the tools a company has at its disposal.

Marketing Funnel 

The marketing funnel is a visualization technique used to understand the process of turning leads into customers. Like a funnel, marketers can capture as many leads as possible and narrow down these candidates in each stage of the funnel.

push_vs_pull_funnel.

Fig: A marketing funnel (source)

Awareness - Customers are drawn to this stage using customer discovery and marketing campaigns.

Interest - In this stage, the leads try to learn more information about the brand and its products and services.

Consideration - In this stage, the qualified leads are now seen as prospective customers. Marketers can send them more information about their products, services, and offers through automated email campaigns while continuing to nurture them.

Intent - To get to the intent stage, the prospective customers must demonstrate that they are interested in buying. 

Evaluation - In this stage, buyers make the final decision about whether or not to buy the product or service.

Purchase - This is the last stage in the marketing funnel, where a prospect has made the decision to buy and turns into a customer. 

Do you want to master the essential disciplines in digital marketing? Check out the Digital Marketing Specialist course now!

Should You Push or Pull?

By now, you should know when to use push vs pull marketing. If you want to dive deep into this topic and explore further advanced techniques, you can check out Simplilearn’s Post Graduate Program in Digital Marketing in partnership with Purdue University and co-created with Facebook. It contains lessons on all the top digital marketing tools along with Harvard Business case studies and projects on Google and Facebook to add a real-world experience. Get started with this course today and accelerate your career in digital marketing.

About the Author

Nikita DuggalNikita Duggal

Nikita Duggal is a passionate digital nomad with a major in English language and literature, a word connoisseur who loves writing about raging technologies, digital marketing, and career conundrums.

View More
  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.