Push/Pull Marketing: What Are They and Which Strategy is Best for You?

Written on 24 August, 2016 by Trish OLoughlin
Categories Marketing

When trying to promote your business in a digital context, you have a cavalcade of different options available to you. These largely revolve around what we like to call push and pull marketing. Essentially, the concept of push and pull marketing encompasses two very different models for advertising a product or service. In order to maximise your chances of getting recognised, it’s important to work out which model will best align with your particular needs according to your industry.

So, what exactly is the difference, and how do you decide which avenue to go down?

First, let’s take a moment to discuss the differences between push marketing and pull marketing

Push marketing refers to ‘pushing’ your message onto a wider audience, and can generally be seen in a variety of display marketing strategies. Here, you are relying on the probability that a percentage of those who see the message are interested in what you can offer and will therefore engage with your ad. This is most suitable where customers may not be aware of the product or service on offer, and is therefore ideal for niche markets or up-and-coming industries.

Pull marketing, on the other hand, largely revolves around search campaigns where keywords are the hallmark for attracting an audience. Here, customers identify their need with their search and so you work to ‘pull’ them to you with a prominent listing. This method is appropriate where your audience is well aware of the product or service you provide and is seeking a supplier.

What are some examples of cases where push marketing might be used?

In essence, push marketing is about hoisting up a banner and showing the public what you can offer them. This ‘banner’ might come in the form of a Facebook advertisement, a YouTube video, a LinkedIn account, or an ad displayed on a related site where target audiences are expected to mill about.

AdWords campaigns can also be implemented when you are devising a push marketing strategy; however, in this case, your keywords would be based on services people are already aware of that relate to your business.

Feeling confused? Let’s colour things up with an example. Take nanotechnology glass: it’s a very niche market that not too many audiences are going to be typing into Google at this point in time. Say you work in this industry and you want to construct an AdWords campaign to market your business. You could employ much more common keywords such as “glass replacement” as a way to get audiences searching for you. In these kinds of circumstances, you would be working with what we call a ‘loose’ AdWords campaign.

…and what about pull marketing?

When it comes to pull marketing, you want to find ways to make your business stand out so that you can pull audiences to you like a magnet. This is where SEO – search engine optimisation – is paramount. The idea is to scatter keywords that users are most likely going to search for throughout your campaign, therefore aiming to become one of the first businesses to organically pop up on Google.

Again, AdWords can be implemented here; however, this marketing strategy will now be considered a ‘tight’ campaign rather than ‘loose’. What do we mean by this? Basically, you are incorporating keywords that are very specific to your market (for instance, “handmade soy candles” instead of just “candles”). In this way, you are working to trigger a direct search: you want your target audience to know exactly what you can offer them.

Can SEO work for what you would consider to be more of a push marketing industry?

When done right, SEO can potentially be a smart way to go if you are just starting out in a field that is expected to boom. For instance, 3D printers were unheard of once upon a time. However, a 3D printer manufacturing company decided to take the SEO route in order to market their up-and-coming product. As a result, the company is now placed in an enviable position as the market continues to expand.

While this can be an alluring pathway to take, it’s important to recognise the risks and setbacks associated. What if your innovative new business trend doesn’t take off? Furthermore, an SEO campaign generally takes longer for you to reap the results you want.

Evidently, there are a number of elements to consider before you decide on whether you should implement a push or pull marketing strategy. If you need help on deciding which pathway to choose, get in touch with the digital marketing experts at WME today.


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