Volodymyr Written by Volodymyr

The Difference Between Pull and Push Marketing Strategy

1. So what is a push-through sales strategy?
2. When to use a push-through sales strategy?
3. Is a push the next step of a pull strategy?
4. Tactics to use in a push-through strategy
5. How to create a push-through sales strategy
6. Let's bring it all together

Useful tools:
1. Newoldstamp - Email signature marketing
2. Mailchimp - Email builder and sender
3. Hubspot Email Marketing - Marketing automation platform
4. MailerLite - Landing page builder 
5. Canva - Online tool for making designs

Promotional strategy is an essential component of any marketing plan. Even if you have the best product or service in the world, no one will be able to use it unless you choose the right strategies to promote it. These strategies can be roughly divided into three basic types: a push-through strategy, a pull-through strategy, and a mix of the two.

The difference between push and pull marketing

While in push marketing, suppliers ”push” their products or services toward consumers, a pull strategy is oriented on creating reasons and ways for potential customers to find these products or services.

Pull marketing strategy is undoubtedly great for luring potential customers at various stages of their buyer’s journey, especially if they’ve already realized the need to look for a solution.

But what about those prospects who aren’t aware of their problems yet? Or maybe you were lucky to develop a revolutionary solution, but people don’t know how to research for it.

That is why successful marketers prefer using both push and pull marketing strategies to get all the customers’ attention the product deserves.

Since we’ve already discussed pull-through tactics previously, let’s get deeper into push marketing as well.

So what is a push-through sales strategy?

As mentioned above, push marketing is all about getting a product in front of potential customers. Push-through selling involves:

  • Direct mail
  • Cold calls and SMS marketing
  • Mobile app notifications
  • TV and radio advertising
  • A trade show, showroom, and conference promotions
  • Paid Google Ads, Social media Ads.

When to use a push-through sales strategy?

When you start a new business, you can’t just afford to sit tight and hope your clients would just magically find you. Of course, you have to be more proactive and do your best to bring your product to your audience. A push strategy should also be used to develop sales promotion and retail markets for your goods and create additional demand for them.

Is a push the next step of a pull strategy?

Yes and no. Because every business is different, there is no unified approach to sales and marketing. To reach out to the right audience in the right way, you will need to use various tactics.

The difference between Marketing tactics

When size matters.

Small companies mostly prefer a pull marketing strategy. Larger corporations are likely to use push marketing and the mix of both. Such a choice is not difficult to explain: the bigger the company is, the bigger budget it has.

Coming back to our question, if a push strategy is the next step of a pull marketing strategy, let's look at the following examples.

1. First push then pull

Imagine that you founded a new cell phone company. Since you are new and unknown, your priority is to introduce yourself to the market and make your prospects aware of your existence. To inform the audience, you will need to use push marketing tactics like, for instance, TV, radio, and billboard ads.

Once people have identified a need, a pull-through sales strategy shines. And while people search for information, you need to ensure they can easily find you. To reach this goal, you will need to maintain a user-friendly website with credible content and clear calls-to-action, and, of course, optimize it for search engines. Also, a great pull marketing strategy includes high-valuable content in your social media.

2. First pull then push

Now imagine that you are a wedding photographer. You do have a blog, a website, and some social media profiles (pull marketing strategy) where people can see your works. This year you decided to set up a booth at a wedding fair and "push" your services to couples who will get married. You may also want to get a list of brides-to-be and send them a postcard with a discount – that is an example of push marketing.

3. Push marketing is the next step of a pull marketing strategy

A small B2B company prefers to pull marketing over push marketing. However, to move leads through the funnel, they may want to try sending one promotional email (e.g., request a demo) for every three educational emails.

In general, pull marketing strategies help to build trust and long-term relationships with your customers. So in these days, when buyers want to trust people with whom they do business, pull marketing is crucial. However, to spur people to action, you will still need to use push marketing as well.

Tactics to use in a push-through strategy

Since we have concluded that push marketing in sales is necessary, let's see what tactics you should use.

  • Personal and direct selling

It is a person-to-person communication in which a sales representative attempts to learn more about the customer's needs, presents a solution that satisfies those needs, and persuades the potential customers to make a purchase.

Personal selling often occurs through face-to-face meetings, telephone or chat conversations, and other new technologies. To bring your personal selling to a higher level, you or your sales rep will need to a) be natural and avoid being too salesy; b) know how to ask the right questions; c) be able to address the customer's concerns; d) have the ability to convince.

How to level up personal selling

  • Distributing networks and partners

Find reliable partners (resellers and distributors) to sell to customers you could not reach with your resources.

  • Cold calls and emails

In today's technological age, cold calling has fallen out of fashion, hasn't it? However, a lot of successful sales and marketing pros say that cold calls still deserve a place in your sales promotion strategy.

To make cold calls really work for you, hire experienced salespeople, often improve the quality of cold calls by using training techniques and analyzing your prospects’ response.

How make cold calls work for you

Email marketing is also essential for pushing your product or service. If you want always receive responses to your emails, read this post.

  • Events

Attend events related to your industry (conferences, trade shows, exhibitions).

  • Special Offers

If you believe that your product is so cool that you don't even need to offer discounts, you may lose sales opportunities. Because your competitors know the weak points of customers, have special offers and attractive prices, they can sell higher quantities than you.

  • Referrals

There’s nothing wrong with asking for referrals. Or let's call it "introduction." Perhaps you will not convert a prospect to a customer, but why not reach the prospect's acquaintance or colleague (who is a prospect too) and convert him to a customer?

  • Radio and TV promotions

In the era of the Internet, people still watch TV and listen to the radio. So there is a good chance your target audience will notice your ad. Keep in mind that advertising is content, and it needs to be treated as such. Give viewers a reason not to skip your ad, offer anything of value.

How to create a push-through sales strategy

Now when you are familiar with push-through selling, it’s time to establish a "push marketing" plan.

1. Make sure you have quality lists

There are many ways to get leads. For example, you may get them from inbound traffic. But more important is to know who you are targeting and why.

Learn about your leads as much information as possible: know their titles, industries they work in, their company size, location, and more. It is equally important to understand what you expect from your customer. Do you want him/her to buy a specific product, visit your shop, join a loyalty program, or create referrals? Once you have defined your goal, focus on creating leads to this particular goal.

Information about leads

2. Define the value

Sure thing, you can't just start contacting your leads, asking them for a lengthy conversation. To make people want to listen and talk to you, decide what special you have to offer. Are you talking to the right person? Does your product solve the problem your prospect is facing? Do you even know what his/her problem is?

3. Set a prospecting schedule

According to research from InsideSales.com, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days to make contact with a lead. Tuesday is the worst day. But is there the best time of day to call or to email a prospect? Yes. The best times to email prospects: 8 am and 3 pm. The best time to cold call: 8-9 am and 4-5 pm.

best days to make contact

4. Create hybrid content

Don't just educate your audience. Sometimes people need you to push them a bit toward a purchase. Build your email promotional strategy in this way: send one promotional email for every three educational emails or mix your educational content with the right calls to action.

5. Train your team

If your team lacks traditional sales background, invest in sales coaching and sales training programs to increase productivity and effectiveness.

6. Understand how to measure success

To analyze and improve your team's performance, measure EVERYTHING: TV ads (the number of phone calls can measure engagement), online ads clicks and impressions, promotional email opens, clicks, website visits, social media interaction, etc.

Google ads

Let's bring it all together

Having the right sales strategy is essential for your business. Pull vs. push strategy: how do you know which one would work best for your organization? Which one will bring potential customers to your point of sale? Of course, you can read about all the sales approaches in the world, but the best way to find your perfect fit is only through real experience. Now, as you know quite a lot about push marketing, try it!

Here are a few tips to make your push marketing successful:

  • Hire a professional
  • Identify your buyer personas and decision-makers
  • Learn about customers pain
  • Be prepared to objections
  • Stay motivated


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