The FEI Tribe Discovers ‘Push’ and ‘Pull’ Marketing (Part II)

Last week, Fire Enterprises, Inc. (FEI) Marka explained “push” and “pull” marketing basics to marketing novice Cecil. This time, Marka and quick learner Cecil discuss integrated and B2B “push” and “pull” strategies. Remember, fire = print.

“We’ve talked about how ‘push’ and ‘pull’ marketing can work for a typical consumer product,” Cecil noted. “In case you’ve forgotten, our new marketing activities will be mostly aimed at other businesses! Can you explain how these ideas apply to a B2B sales strategy?”

“For products and services sold B2B, we can use a harmonious combination of push and pull tactics to cope with longer buying cycles,” Marka replied. “Pull activities create prospect interest and response, while push tactics can help guide the decision making process closer to the sale.”

“Can you give me a real-life example using fire as the product?” Cecil asked, quietly recording another birdie on his scorecard.

“Sure thing,” Marka started. “Here’s a hypothetical ‘fire sale’—Say a large bakery prospect receives a promotion from FEI: ‘Two complimentary months of FireClassic fire lighting services with your next order of a deluxe FEI brand custom-designed hearth!’ The prospect is intrigued and calls the number listed on the promotion.”

“The initial promotion that resulted in the call would be pull marketing,” Cecil chimed in.

“Yep. But as Odysseus proclaimed during the first leg of his long sea voyage, we’re just getting started, baby.”

Cecil somehow doubted that Odysseus had actually said that.

“You know Zoot,” Marka asked rhetorically. “His sales team would pounce on this pull-created sales opportunity and steer the discussion toward our most profitable hearth designs.” She missed her par put by a whisker and tapped in a bogie. (“Don’t throw your club,” she thought. “Don’t throw your club.”)

“That’s push marketing!” Cecil exclaimed. “Once the qualified prospect is talking to us about deluxe hearths, we could encourage further upgrades and purchases of ancillary products by offering additional incentives.”

T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
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