Pushing VS Pulling

. Wednesday, April 8, 2009
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In marketing there are two common techniques, pushing and pulling.

Pushing means your marketing material is geared towards pushing your product onto the customer. This means offering incentives for employees or sales representatives to push your product or placing your product in areas were customers impulsively buy. Promotions are a form of push marketing, or advertisments that end with "buy now."

For example: Energy drinks love to use push marketing. You will see numerous street teams handing out products and promotions to potential customers. A lot of perks are given to retail stores to carry specific energy drinks, such as free tickets to events, price breaks, and merchandising material.

Pull, means your marketing strategy inspires consumers to demand your product. This technique requires you to use your head rather than your wallet. You need to come up with ways to relate with and engage your target market. Tools often used are sponsorship, product placement, PR stunts, and word of mouth.

For example: Apple Computers very rarely pushes. Instead they use product placement, PR and innovative advertisements to create consumer demand for their products. If you look at Apple computer advertising you'll notice that they never end with quotes such as "buy now" or "available at the following locations." The ads are never trying to push the product, instead the message is "this is who we are, this is our product, and this is what it does."

An energy drink company that focuses on pull marketing is Red Bull. By sponsoring events such as the soap box derby, concerts and Formula 1, Red Bull has created an image that is relatable to its target market.

Both Apple and Red Bull offer no price breaks to retail stores, and almost no perks for selling their product. However thanks to their powerful pull marketing strategies they offer something that other brands can't, guaranteed consumer demand. Stores like London Drugs know that although Apple and Red Bull products are priced higher and have smaller margins, the product is demanded by their customers. Because of this stores are forced to stock these brands.

So why don't all companies use pull marketing?
-It takes time to see results
-Consistency is key
-Coming up with creative ideas takes too much time and energy

These are the three biggest reasons small-medium sized companies don't use pull marketing.

Contact MarketR to learn how we can help you develop cost effective pull marketing strategies.