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Whether you are a B2B or B2C business, selling products or services, as an entrepreneur you must have a basic understanding of how to market your business. There are countless ways to classify marketing strategies, but one of the most basic ways is categorizing them as Push vs. Pull (or Outbound Vs. Inbound).

What’s the Difference?

The answer is in the name. Push strategy marketing is when a company or marketing team pushes their product/service on their customers, whereas pull strategy focuses on pulling the customer to the product/service. Here’s how you can better leverage these techniques to attract your customers:

Push

Push marketing (also known as outbound marketing) traditionally focuses on creating awareness of the product/service by pushing promotions and hoping that the customers will become interested and ultimately purchase your product or service. The examples can be broken down into traditional push strategies and digital push strategies. Some examples are:

Traditional

  • Door-to-door sales.
  • Retail sales (Face-to-face).
  • Billboards, mail, magazine, newspaper and other print.
  • Product displays in stores.
  • Trade Shows
  • TV and Radio ads

Digital

  • Interactive video ads.
  • Cold Emails.
  • Display advertising online.
  • Facebook advertising and Boosted ads

Case Study: Dunkin Donuts – The Quick Service Restaurant Chain distributed coupons to mobile phone users in the Boston area. They sent the coupons to people who had opted into a program after responding to ads run on radio stations and online. The company saw a huge number of people redeem the coupon and try one of their new products because they provided an easy incentive.

Pull

Pull (Inbound) marketing, on the other hand, is all about making your product/service visible to your consumers, and letting them realize their interest organically. The main motivation behind pull marketing is to try and get customers to seek out the product or service on their own. Pull marketing mostly consists of newer channels like:

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Websites
  • Social media
  • Email
  • PPC (Pay per Click) advertising

The pull strategy is being utilized more and more, largely due to the fact that consumers now have access to information and are much more likely to research services and products online before pursuing them. Because people are seeking this information out, the pull strategy works well.

Case Study: Dunkin Donuts – The Quick Service Restaurant Chain makes use of digital pull methods as well like its regularly updated company blog, Behind the Beans: What’s Brewin’ and Dunkin’, and the Dunkin’ Mobile App which works to support the DD Perks, Dunkin’s customer loyalty program. For DD Perks customers can log-in to the app to check the status of their rewards points and earned freebies. This creates the inbound pull from users.

So, Which Should I Choose?

Many people think that today’s business climate is more inclined toward pull strategy, but the reality is that both have their place in the world of marketing. Both strategies require careful consideration and whichever you choose, whether it be push, pull or a mix of the two, must be monitored and reviewed consistently. The mix usually is needed when a new company needs to get the word out about their product/service (push). Once your consumers are first made aware of your product or service, give them the information they need to make a purchasing decision (pull).

For a blog from business.com on why you need a mix of push and pull, click HERE.

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