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6 Min. Read

Push Vs Pull Strategy: What’s the Difference?

Push Vs Pull Strategy: What's the Difference?

At the heart of the push vs pull strategy is the manner in which companies approach their customers. Here, we’re taking an in-depth look at each strategy and how your company can benefit from them. These methods have been used for years. Today, top companies focus on these marketing methods with ongoing success.

If you are just starting out, you will find that the push marketing strategy is likely the better fit. As you grow as a brand and earn revenue, you will be in a better position to use pull marketing. Below, we discuss the differences between push and pull marketing. We also provide examples of each strategy in action so you can see how they work.

So let’s start with push marketing and examine its core strengths and benefits before working our way to pull marketing. The concept of either is simple. And when utilized correctly, you can see big returns.

Here’s What We’ll Cover:

What Is the Push Strategy?

What Is the Pull Strategy?

What’s the Difference between Push and Pull Marketing?

Key Takeaways

What Is the Push Strategy?

The push strategy focuses on direct marketing. It works to bring products directly to consumers via various marketing channels. The most basic description of push marketing is when a company pushes its products or services on its customers.

Some common methods that use push marketing include company showrooms or sale displays via retailers. Companies will often use the push strategy of marketing to launch a new product or service in an effort to gain target audience awareness.

The advertising push strategy works well to help a brand stand out among its competition in a crowded market. Retailers that agree to use a brand’s push marketing will often do so under an agreement of receiving incentives from the parent company.

For example, the retailer might get a discount when they buy the new product to sell in their store. These incentives vary by company, however. So retailers don’t always get the same incentive for pushing a new product or service.

How It Works

Let’s assume that a new coffee brand entered the market. In an effort to gain visibility among its target audience, the company offers coffee shops incentives to push its brand to its customers. This makes a way to introduce the new coffee brand to consumers who would otherwise overlook it in favour of established brands. This is one of many forms of push marketing. 

And as the cheaper of the two marketing strategies, push marketing is a good fit for new companies that have yet to amass a lot of working capital.

What Is the Pull Strategy?

The marketing pull strategy is just the opposite. Rather than push a product on the potential customer, pull marketing brings the potential customer to the product. This type of marketing utilizes ads, referrals, and promotional strategies to attract customers.

One of the primary goals of pull marketing is to establish brand loyalty. When a company markets via commercials and other advertising methods, it instills its brand in the minds of consumers. That’s why many people — children especially — will say they prefer a brand without ever having tried it.

Moreover, it’s what makes consumers reach for a certain product in stores or at the checkout. That’s pull marketing in action. The company’s promotion of marketing efforts worked to get you to buy its product with little thought.

How It Works

When a new product is launched, you can easily identify pull marketing by how frequently you see advertisements for the product. Established companies will use many methods of advertising. These can include anything from billboards to commercials to social media marketing.

On that note, it should be said that a pull marketing plan requires lots of money. It’s not often that you see pull marketing used by startups, as they usually don’t have the capital to exercise pull marketing strategies. Instead, they will rely on push marketing to get their name out there.

What’s the Difference between Push and Pull Marketing?

If pull marketing is centred on brand recognition and consumer loyalty, push marketing is all about short-term gains. The major difference between push and pull marketing is that the latter is more of a long-term sales tactic.

Conversely, you would view push marketing as a short-term sales tactic. Of course, it runs much deeper than that. Push marketing is necessary when a startup needs to get its brand out there. Most consumers wouldn’t normally notice the new brand unless push marketing efforts were used.

Not only is push marketing cheaper than pull marketing, but it’s also ideal for companies that don’t yet have a lot of working capital saved up.

Pull marketing is generally used by companies with deep pockets. This marketing strategy requires a lot of money, so it’s not something you often see used by new startups. Moreover, established companies may even use a combination of push and pull marketing.

In doing so, they stand to reach a far greater number of consumers. When push and pull marketing are used at the same time, a powerful company stands to increase sales from both old and new customers.

A marketing mix that uses both methods is often seen when there’s an intense advertising campaign for a product or service. A good example is a soft drink company marketing a new beverage. You’re likely to notice retailers pushing the new drink with display ads and other marketing materials.

You will also see commercials and ads for the new drink plastered across TV, the internet, radio ads, magazines, and billboards. Such promotion of marketing efforts is expensive. As such, they’re often reserved for established brands that have millions of dollars set aside for advertising.

Key Takeaways

Push and pull marketing are effective sales strategies that have long been used in traditional advertising. Both can be very effective in garnering sales, but it’s important that they are used correctly. New businesses that don’t yet have a firm grasp on marketing might hire marketing professionals to handle their affairs for a time.

If you are thinking about starting a new business in Canada, you may want to consider hiring an outside service to help you get started. As you learn the ropes of marketing, you will be able to handle your advertising on your own.

If you are interested in learning more about starting a small business, check out our Resource Hub. We offer insights into business taxes, registering a name, and much more.