‘Push’ and ‘Pull’ Marketing

Last time, Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) designer Cecil the Cyclops discussed proper design placement techniques for printed marketing communications. This week Marka explains “push” and “pull” marketing strategy to marketing novice Cecil. Remember, fire = print.

It was a balmy afternoon and Marka and Cecil had reached the 18th hole of Vesuvius Fields, the best Olympian golf course available to non-deities. Marka was attempting to discuss “push” and “pull” marketing with the talented young Cecil, who still lacked an understanding of many marketing fundamentals.

“I think I like ‘pull’ marketing better than ‘push,’” Cecil said, wiping a film of sweat from his uni-brow. “Say you’re hanging off the edge of Mount Olympus – wouldn’t you rather be ‘pulled’ up than ‘pushed’ down?”

“I’m not sure you fully understand the two concepts,” Marka replied, trying to remain patient with her unpolished protégé.

“I admit it. I’ve just been trying to keep up with you,” Cecil said. “In reality, I’m more confused than Odysseus on the island of Circe.”

Marka was in a playful mood (plus, she was shooting even par). “Perhaps a visual demonstration is in order,” she offered, picking a golf ball up off the grass. “Say I’m a sales clerk in a store that sells golf supplies.”

“OK…” Cecil said.

“Buy this bag of golf tees,” Marka urged, dangling a bag of tees in front of Cecil’s colossal face. “If you do, I’ll give you a golf ball in that bin for free!”

“That’s ‘push’ marketing?” Cecil asked.

“Yes. A ‘push’ strategy consists of sales and promotional activities that suggest, or ‘push,’ a mutually beneficial solution on the customer, often at point of purchase,” Marka explained.

“I see,” Cecil said uncertainly.

“When you have a product that’s a commodity, or at least is perceived that way—like a particular brand of golf tees—‘push’ marketing is often necessary,” Marka counseled.

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
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