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Digital marketing strategy: Push vs pull?

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Bob Dylan a celebrated and influential artist and song writer in the 60’s wrote a song titled “The Times They Are a Changin”. Nothing can be truer these days; we are really in changing times in the business world. What is relevant last year soon becomes obsolete this year. The world has shifted to a digital economy and this has revolutionized every known business strategy. To thrive in this digital economy, you need a digital marketing strategy. It’s at times like this that one remembers the words of Charles Darwin, one of the world’s greatest biologists; “It is not the strongest or most intelligent species that survives; but the one that is adaptable to change.”

Welcome to the Digital Economy
In this digital economy, only the businesses and entrepreneurs that are adaptable to change in their marketing strategies will succeed. One of such changes is the advent of social media which has led to the dependence on mobile and other web-based technologies in creating highly interactive platforms through which individuals, businesses, organisations and communities share, co-create, discuss and modify user-generated content through the internet.

This new advent of business communication is quite different from the popular traditional media in many ways such as; the reach, frequency, usability, and quality. While the traditional media operates from one source to many receivers; the social media operates from many sources to many receivers. With this advantage, many smart businesses have shifted their marketing focus from the traditional medium of marketing and advertising to digital marketing strategy and advertising using different online new media platforms. The question now is which of these digital marketing strategies will guarantee business success online?

Digital Marketing Strategy: Push VS Pull
Have you ever wondered why Apple sells millions of its new products just in the first day of its release? Why some people wait earnestly for months, weeks and days to buy a new product from a particular company; it is the other way round for some companies. Their target customers don’t know much or anything about their products or new products. Even with all the marketing promotions and advertisements engaged by these companies, they still find it hard to penetrate the market successfully. The answers to the difference between these companies can only be found in two words; Push or Pull. Companies who find it difficult to penetrate the market easily and successfully are using the push marketing strategy; while the ones with dedicated loyal customers and are heavily penetrating the market without stress have discovered the strategy of pull marketing.

Push Marketing Strategy
Push marketing is a marketing strategy where companies push their products or message out into the market. This can come in the form of;
Trade show promotions to encourage retailer demand
Direct selling to customers in showrooms or face to face
Negotiation with retailers to stock your product
Efficient supply chain allowing retailers an efficient supply
Packaging design to encourage purchase
Point of sale displays
Spam email marketing
Mass Media Advertising

The idea behind push marketing strategy is to push the product in front of the people. That is, taking the product to the customer.
Push digital marketing strategy is a one-way style of marketing in the sense that you are promoting your product or service in a way that does not often allow for feedback from potential customers. The truth is that most people have become so used to the strategies used in push marketing that they don’t want to be bothered again with it.

For example people don’t care much about the content of unsolicited fliers and emails, frequent SMS or direct marketing effort you are using to get their attention. Therefore, to penetrate the market easily, more so in an digital economy as we have, a new marketing concept is needed.
Tito Philips Jnr. is young Nigerian that is M.A.D – making A Difference


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Marketing strategy

1 Comment
  • Hi Tito philips, I like your hindsight on the subject matter, but you lost me with the terminilogies used “Pull or Push Digital Marketing”. The analogy “push” can be likened to traditional/outbound marketing, while I also believe “pull” can also be likened to inbound/digital marketing. In rare cases, you will find a pull-push marketing strategy like the use of NFC tags and QR Codes in printed advertising materials. Having said that, I believe that creating a helathy balance between the “pull” and “push” marketing channels is what defines an effective digitial marketing strategy.

    As you mentioned, you will find out that the likes of Apple, Nike, Coca-Cola etc. adopts both “pull” and “push” strategies and it works wonders.