For the most part, promotional strategies with the supply and demand spectrum fall into two categories: push and pull. As such, marketers are faced with the task of determining which approach will best meet their needs. Often, it is a combination of both.
Push marketing is the relatively traditional method of outbound advertising that pushes products and services into the world to the point of near-full saturation. This can take the form of email marketing, experiential marketing, or mass media. It is very one-way in that there is not much room for feedback – at least not right away. It allows for outreach professionals to target audiences and promote specifically to them.
These campaigns can be rather costly, so it is essential that initiatives are as focused as possible – which means that telemarketing, direct mail, and similar solutions aren’t as effective as they used to be. People simply don’t want to be bothered with these channels. Instead, push marketing should be subtle; email campaigns are better routes to take. This is especially true when consumers give permission through subscriptions to receive messages from drip campaigns.
Pull marketing is more popular than ever. It includes infographics, blogging, social media, and search engine optimization. It also involves the use of public relations to keep existing customers engaged with brands.
This type of campaign is less expensive initially than push marketing, but be aware that you can incur costs in different ways. You may need a new team member to manage your social media accounts, for instance. He or she should be in charge of creating and scheduling posts, keeping information up to date, and responding to comments and questions. You may even need someone to handle blogging. In other words, you’ll be paying someone on a long-term basis instead of paying a service a one-time fee to design an ad. These strategies are incredibly effective, however, as far as stimulating word-of-mouth information sharing. They have a significant impact on sales.
Most experts agree that the best efforts blend push and pull strategies. In fact, many marketers believe that pull strategies should be implemented prior to the push, because pull tactics like SEO often take months before results are apparent. Furthermore, growing a substantial following for social media and blogs also takes a while. These things should be in place as soon as consumers opt to engage with your brand.
The Impact of Mobile Devices on Push and Pull Marketing
It is obvious that the mobile revolution now dominates the marketing industry. More than ever before, consumers are on the move and they are always connected. In fact, the use of smartphones has exceeded that of personal computers, and mobile technology allows brands to engage with the public in innovative new ways. Text messages, apps, and mobile browsers are just a few examples. Of course, with so many different options it can be difficult to determine how best to invest promotional resources.
Push marketing on mobile devices resembles conventional strategies, much like ads that pop up on computer screens or commercials during television programs. On the other hand, pull messages are provided only when requested. When someone is traveling, for instance, and searches for a nearby restaurant that offers coupons, the results are considered the pull messages. The investment involved with pull messages are minimal in comparison to push alternatives. In short, push marketing stimulates demand. Pull marketing is most effective when consumers already know about the products and services at hand.
Fortunately, the two are not mutually exclusive. Use push messages to create brand awareness, so more consumers will look for you – which is the perfect opportunity to implement pull strategies. Overall, a clear understanding of your core audience will help you effectively combine both push and pull strategies to build a compelling mobile marketing initiative.