Push vs. Pull Marketing: Understanding the Difference

Many newly minted entrepreneurs are just getting their sea legs when it comes to marketing their products and services. One of the first steps to getting it right if you’re a new business opportunity, distributorship, licensee opportunity, franchise or other small business owner in particular is to understand the lingo.

Knowing the basic difference between “push” and “pull” marketing is a good place to start.

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Any product or service promotional effort that involves “taking your product to the consumer” constitutes a so-called “push” strategy. Examples include cold calling, email marketing, trade show promos, direct face-to-face selling, retailer negotiation, packaging design elements and typical POS (point of sale) displays and strategies.

A pull strategy is any promotional activity that motivates your customers to seek you out. The “pull” in pull strategy means “getting the customer to come to you.” Examples of this approach include blogging, word-of-mouth referrals, managing customer relationships, couponing and other discounts, video marketing, and traditional advertising and other mass media approaches.

While push marketing in particular is an attractive option for new businesses that are looking to establish a following, both approaches have merit as an integral part of any well-developed small business marketing plan. In fact, your ability as a small business owner to build your own unique brand and reputation for excellence long-term depends on it.

What push and pull marketing strategies have worked best for you and your small business? What marketing resources have you found most helpful in crafting your overall small business marketing plan?

 

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