‘Push’ and ‘Pull’ Marketing
“Why?” Cecil asked.
“A Drachma bag of tees looks like any other Drachma bag,” Marka said. “However, if the sales clerk is given a spiffy incentive to sell one brand of tees over another, he or she will hand one bag to the customer and say, ‘Don’t forget these.’ In turn, sales of this common product will grow faster than similar competing products.”
“Gotcha,” Cecil declared. “Now what’s ‘pull’ marketing?”
“Say a customer enters the pro shop and asks the clerkm ‘Where are your Nike brand golf balls?’ ” Marka said.
“Now, all the clerk has to do is point to where they’re displayed,” Cecil contributed. “The selling has already been done!”
“Right!” Marka teed off with a thwack that echoed across the verdant, impeccably-manicured Olympian landscape. “But there’s still a chance that the customer may buy a different brand of balls than Nike…”
“...if the customer is exposed to a ‘push’ marketing message from another brand,” Cecil said, interrupting his mentor. “If the sales clerk has been asked to prioritize selling ‘Athens’ brand balls, for example, he or she might say things like:
"Athens balls fly longer and straighter."
"Did you know ‘Athens’ balls are on sale today?"
"2 out of 3 golfers prefer ‘Athens’ balls once they try them."
“Right! ‘Push’ marketing programs can also involve in-store signage, flyers handed out at point of entry into the store and similar means,” Marka continued. “The customer may decide he’d rather buy Athens balls on sale than Nike balls for full price, despite his original intention.”
“How does a B2B push/pull strategy differ from a B2C one?” Cecil asked.
“I like the way you’re thinking,” Marka encouraged, “but hold on...that’ll have to wait until after this tee shot.”
Today’s Fire Point:
Before deciding whether “push” or “pull” marketing activities are right for your company, you should fully understand the differences between the two. “Pull” marketing strategies are excellent for lead generation. “Pull” marketing vehicles like TV and radio spots, online search and banner advertising and viral buzz marketing campaigns get people to initiate contact with a company. Once prospects are qualified, “push” marketing strategies can help influence buying behavior. Incentivized sales pitches, self-talkers and point-of-purchase displays are examples of push marketing.