The difference between push and pull marketing is simple. Push marketing is what you see in an episode of “Mad Men,” while pull marketing is what I’m doing right now by typing this blog post. Clear as mud, right? Let’s take a closer look.
It used to be, companies simply told consumers what to purchase, be it a car, food, etc. They espoused the benefits of their products through TV or radio ads, or by going door-to-door selling their wares. This was, and is, push marketing. The advertiser is literally pushing their message to you.
Of course, this type of marketing remains popular. Just turn on the TV. There aren’t any fewer commercials airing; in fact, there are probably more than ever. Or open your mailbox. Yep, the “junk” mail is still there. This tells us two things: one, push marketing isn’t dead (and never will be), and two, it still works. As much as people say they hate commercials, look at how many watch the Superbowl to see what Doritos or Taco Bell will do next.
But it’s not the only strategy anymore. It should be used in concert with pull marketing. Pull marketing involves creating content, sharing it and building your brand. Much like the “If you build it, they will come,” line from “Field of Dreams,” businesses are now sharing (and customers are finding) useful information on Twitter, education posts on Facebook and SEO-optimized blog posts like this one.
That’s right, this blog post is marketing to you as you read it. Can you feel it? It’s being written by a CAWOOD employee but nowhere in this post do I talk about CAWOOD’s marketing prowess, our amazing videography skills, our – oh, wait, sorry.
What I am doing is providing information to an audience that hopefully finds it useful. If they can take away a few nuggets and apply them to their business, that’s great. If they find an area where we can help, even better.
Along with social media marketing’s various platforms, other examples of pull marketing are search engine marketing (where your website’s listings appear in front of relevant searchers), speaking engagements, white papers and podcasts.
Understanding the difference is the easy part. It gets more challenging finding a successful combination of these strategies for your business!