What is Push and Pull Marketing?

Push and Pull Marketing Strategies summarize the 2 main ways to attract Customers:

  • The Push Strategy: A Proactive and Explicit approach that convinces Clients with Facts.
    • Focusing on the Characteristics of the Product (Price, Quality, etc).

 

  • The Pull Strategy: A Passive and Subtle approach that attracts Clients by evoking their Feelings.
    • Generally, it uses Aspirational Values (Happiness, Wealth, Social Status, etc).

Difference between Push and Pull Strategy

Push Strategy:

  • It Focuses on the Product and its Features.
    • The more valued a product for its characteristics, the more effective the push strategy will be.

 

  • Ensures that Customers are aware of the Product.
    • And why it is a good option.

 

  • For New Products, or Old Products in New Markets, the Push Strategy is necessary.
    • To be interested in a product, people must first know what the product offers.

 

Pull Strategy:

  • It Focuses on Values and Desires.
    • What People Would Like to be or to Achieve.

 

  • Ensures that Customers associate Values to the Product.
    • The Product can help Customers to become who they want to be.

 

  • For common products with non-special Characteristics, the Pull Strategy is suitable.
    • If you can’t attract Clients with Features, you can only attract them with Values.

 

Pull Strategies rely heavily on Storytelling.

 

Let’s see the first example:

Push and Pull Strategies - Example

 

Today it is illegal to display cigarette advertisements in many countries.

 

Over the years, Tobacco companies, had to change the way they develop their Marketing Campaigns.

In the past, they had to promote their products with Push Strategies:

  • New filters appeared.
  • New flavors and techniques of elaborating cigarettes were invented.
  • etc.

 

They distinguished their products by their flavor or smoothness:

 

But, years went by and:

  • People started to worry about health issues caused by cigarettes.
  • Governments started to ban cigarette Ads.
  • The product became relatively uniform: Flavors, Filters, etc.

 

What did  Cigarette Companies do?

 

They started to use Pull Strategies:

  • They associated Values to their product.

How?

 

They Sponsored movies for the Main character to smoke their Brand.

  • A Character that everyone admired.

Lark paid lot of money to make sure James Bond smoked its cigarettes.

  • Sylvester Stallone was also Sponsored to appear smoking in his films.

 

In addition, tobacco companies Sponsored Extreme sports such as Formula 1.

 

In this way, they associated a powerful Value to cigarettes:

  • “Bad Boys” smoke.

We know what you might be thinking:

  • Pull Strategies can only be developed by large Companies.

 

And again, we disagree.

A Small Company might not be able to associate Universal Values to its Brand or Product

  • Such as Happiness, Friendship, Socio-Economic Level, etc.

 

But, think about other Values, such as:

  • National Values.
  • Solidarity.
  • Regional Identity.
  • etc.

 

Those Values are easy to target and can be very attractive to many people.

  • Sometimes you just have to design the same product with a little Flag and that is all.

 

Now, before looking at more examples, let’s discuss the pros and cons of each strategy:

Pros and Cons of Push and Pull Strategies

Pros of Push Strategy

 

  • Easy to develop.
  • The Message is Independent of the target Market.
  • Results can be seen in a short period of time.

 

Cons of Push Strategy

 

  • Doesn’t create Customer Loyalty.
  • The message must be repeated frequently to Clients.

 

Pros of Pull Strategy

 

  • It creates Customer Loyalty.
  • It offers an alternative to differentiate a common product from its competitors.
  • It can make Customers to desire a mediocre product, from a technical point of view.

 

Cons of Pull Strategy

 

  • It is difficult to create a message that attracts Customers.
  • The results can be appreciated in the Medium-Long term.

Now that you know what Push and Pull strategies are, we will share more examples with you:

Examples of Push and Pull Strategies

We have chosen 4 examples that perfectly show How companies use Push and Pull strategies successfully.

 

Let’s begin:

SPAM - Push Strategy example

 

Have you ever wondered why we all call SPAM to massive non-desired mails?

  • The answer is one of the most aggressive Marketing campaigns in history.

 

The canned ham brand SPAM flooded the market with its Ads.

 

They announced their product, following a massive Push Strategy.

Showing many “recipes” that could be done using SPAM.

  • Also, they repeated the name “SPAM” a lot of times in their Ads.

 

We don’t know the cost of that Marketing Campaign but, it seems that it worked.

In the end… We are talking about them right now…

Harley Davidson - Pull Strategy example

 

Harley Davidson is a very good example of Pull Strategy.

 

Over the years, they have created an “image” associated with their Brand:

  • Being a Harley Davidson owner is associated with being a Maverick, a “free soul”.

 

Why we all make this association?

  • In fact, if you analyze it properly, what does a motorcycle have to do with being a nonconformist?

 

The answer: A very good designed Pull Strategy.

Microsoft - Push Strategy example

 

Microsoft is one of the few Silicon-Valley companies that has not tried to associate its name with anything.

  • Bill Gates is an active philanthropist, but has kept his business outside of Microsoft.

 

When they release a new Product they highlight the new functionalities.

  • The same goes for their new products.

 

Microsoft and Apple do not have the same aura.

  • Even if Apple is now a super-large company, they still “associate” their name to being “different” or “authentic”.

 

Microsoft has opted for a Push Strategy.

  • On the other hand, Apple has also used the Pull Approach.

Ferrari - Pull Strategy example

 

We are sure you know Ferrari.

  • But… Have you ever seen a Ferrari Ad?

 

Its name is associated with a high Socio-Economic level.

And how is that?

 

Unlike other car companies, they only make luxury cars.

  • And, all their products (merchandising) are very expensive.

 

They don’t have an “affordable” Ferrari.

  • They could do it and they would surely make millions of dollars.

 

As many other luxury brands, they use a pure Pull Strategy.

  • Maintaining the exclusivity of their products at the highest level.

 

And… How are Ferraris promoted?

  • Wealthy Ferrari owners showing off their new car: They promote their vehicles for free.

Summarizing

Push and Pull Marketing Strategies summarize the 2 main ways to attract Customers:

  • The Push Strategy: A Proactive and Explicit approach that convinces Clients with Facts.
  • The Pull Strategy: A Passive and Subtle approach that attracts Clients by evoking their Feelings.

 

Difference between Push and Pull Strategies:

Push Strategy:

  • It Focuses on the Product and its Features.
  • Ensures that Customers are aware of the Product.
  • For New Products, or Old Products in New Markets, the Push Strategy is necessary.

Pull Strategy:

  • It Focuses on Values and Desires.
  • Ensures that Customers associate Values to the Product.
  • For common products with non-special Characteristics, the Pull Strategy is suitable.

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