Push vs. Pull Marketing & Push and Pull Strategy Tips

Here's the definition of push vs pull marketing, plus a strategy on when to use each one to get the best results from push and pull marketing.
push vs pull marketing

Not too long ago, marketing was a fairly straightforward concept. Now, push vs pull marketing has gotten a little more complex. Your website and online marketing efforts can be used for both push and pull marketing.

Push vs. Pull Marketing Defined

Basically there are two broad topics when it comes to marketing strategy: push and pull.

The definition for push marketing has not changed too much since the term was coined: basically, the person doing the marketing is in control of the message being sent out and how it is received by potential customers.

Think of the “push” part as pushing your message to an individual. This includes email marketing campaigns, direct mail, any medium in which you send a message to a specific person.

Pull marketing, on the other hand, means that the recipient of the message is in control of the message and their decision to act or not.

Pull marketing includes content on your website that someone reads before reaching out to you. This is powered by your ability to get well-ranked in the search engines, a.k.a. search engine optimization. Pull marketing is anything that you do to reach your target indirectly and cause them to reach out to you, including advertising (the “old” way) and content marketing (the “new” way).

Push and Pull Marketing with Social Media

Social media marketing allows you to reach smaller groups of targetable traffic, grouped along specific demographic or social lines. The success of sites such as Facebook and Twitter have demonstrated that people feel the pull of social media globally – and almost universally.

What this means for the marketer is that there is a whole new opportunity to present a message to a highly targeted demographic; good pull marketing is likely to be much more effective in terms of effort vs reward than any push marketing attempts at any time.

When you use a hashtag in your social media posts, people who are searching on those hashtags have a better chance of finding you. Example: use #accounting or #hr and you will attract people who have those terms on their radar. Looking for people interested in fashion trends? Use #fashion or related terms. This will increase your pull.

If you send a direct message to someone who follows your social media feed, as opposed to a general public post, that would be considered push marketing. This is much more time consuming than pull marketing when it comes to social media.

The only way to use push marketing in social media effectively is to automate the process of reach followers directly – such as an automated note that goes to them the moment they follow you. There are tools like SocialOomph and others that can help you with this.

The Customer Is In Charge

So which option is better for you, push vs pull marketing?

People are very resistant to any messages that they see as advertising, the old way of doing pull marketing tactics. Today’s pull marketing strategy of using content to attract prospects, however, is extremely effective.

It allows your potential customers to engage with your company without obligation. They trust you faster because with good content comes education on your topic. They will see you as a reliable source of information and will be more open to buying your products and services.

Potential clients feel better when they pull your business in to their radar. This means that you need to provide opportunities for prospects to reach out to you. This includes publishing articles on your website regularly, posting tweets and status updates that link to those articles, offering educational material such as guides or checklists in exchange for signing up to your newsletter, and other strategies that encourage prospects to connect with you.

A client who comes to you through the new pull marketing is generally a client for life, and they are a great source of additional (word of mouth) promotion as well.

That said, once you are on their radar, you can encourage repeat purchases using email marketing, which is considered to be the #1 form of direct marketing, or push marketing, available today.

Use both push and pull marketing together and you will have a solid strategy to grow your business.


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