Push marketing? Pull marketing? We hear these terms a lot, but what are they really, and how do we determine which is the right tactic for a particular campaign? In this article we examine the two, and how each can affect the outcomes of a developing marketing plan.
Geo-locational marketing efforts, or those attempts to promote products and services to prospective consumers that are currently located within the same geographic locations as the business (such as hungry patrons within a few blocks of a restaurant) are on the rise secondary to the augmented usage of mobile technology. These positional-based promotions are a form of inbound marketing, which utilizes a pull paradigm, wherein consumers are encouraged to be actively involved in the process. This is distinguished from the push model, which is more akin to the broadcast concept, which harkens back to the days of Don Draper, the beleaguered character of the hit TV series, Mad Men.
Pull-centered marketing is also based on relevance to the prospective consumer, which in turn enhances targeting efforts. According to HubSpot, business adoption of the inbound marketing hypothesis is in direct proportion and correlation with the ever-increasing tendency of shoppers to do online research. The study suggests the marketing approach is enhanced by this customer-centric stratagem, especially in terms of their involvement as co-creators and content contributors. Word-of-mouth marketing in social channels is worth its weight in gold, and should always be encouraged.
One of the best modern examples of a successful pull marketing strategy are quick response (QR) codes, which offer the consumer advantages in utility and accessibility via a dual-dimensional bar code. Studies indicate consumer embrace of QR codes has been robust, and often relevant to design. QR code usage in mobile marketing is proving to be beneficial to vendors, although widespread adoption is as yet far from ubiquitous.
Push-marketing strategies have proven problematic in customer audiences demanding transparency from sales personnel. This has required re-thinking from both marketing and sales departments. Product attributes are synergistic with brand recognition as perceived in the minds of potential consumers. While push-marketing still has a place in the modern marketing plan, its relevance would appear to be on the decline at present in favor of pull-marketing. The choice of a push marketing strategy will be greatly dependent on the marketplace offering, the selection of promotional channels and several other factors.
The differences in marketing approaches is never a one-size-fits-all proposition, and myriad dynamics will dictate which tactics should be pursued and which will be discarded. However, being aware of the various approaches available to the modern marketing manager is valuable information that can lead to optimized decision making during the course of the planning process.
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