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The Difference Between Push and Pull Marketing Strategies
In simple terms push marketing involves pushing your brand in front of audiences (usually with paid advertising or promotions). Pull marketing on the other hand means implementing a strategy that naturally draws consumer interest in your brand or products (usually with relevant and interesting content).
Running your business online means having to choose between two core principles for guiding your marketing strategy. It’s common (and important) to balance your budget, time, and efforts on growing your business across organic and paid strategies that offer the best results. Choosing between push vs pull.
But what is the difference between push and pull marketing? And which one is best for you?
Let’s go through the pros and cons. Understanding the difference between push and pull strategies will help you understand the direction you need to go.
First you have to establish what your long-and short-term goals are for your business’s success. As the world of online marketing continues to evolve in light of shrinking physical markets, and as businesses frantically try to adjust to the 2020 corona virus pandemic, it will be as important as ever to establish a solid online marketing approach to help your business stay up right. For businesses looking to establish a fast and immediate cash-flow, “push” strategies based on paid ads are one option. For businesses looking to gain a long-term customer base, “pull” offers methods for organic long-term growth.
But what are they? What’s actually the difference between push and pull strategy in marketing? In simple terms push marketing involves pushing your brand in front of audiences (usually with paid advertising or promotions). Pull marketing on the other hand means implementing a strategy that naturally draws consumer interest in your brand or products (usually with relevant and interesting content).
This relatively simple definition of push vs. pull marketing skips overs all the different strategies each option offers. Search engine optimization, search engine ads, content marketing, social media content, social media paid ads, etc. – are all forms of these two kinds of marketing.
The Difference Between Push and Pull Marketing
In push marketing the goal is to bring your brand or products to your customers. This form of marketing is a lot more deliberate and proactive than other inbound methods. Because push marketing is a bit more aggressive then the alternative it’s generally preferred by businesses taking advantage of a short time-period or trying to generate sales quickly.
Instances where push marketing can be helpful include:
- When launching a new business or website without a reputation
- When releasing new products
- During holidays, or seasonal events
- For sales and temporary promotional campaigns
- When expanding to a new niche
- To generate cash-flow or sales quickly
- To help clear out product stock before the end of a season
- To help promote brand recognition when competing against a dominant competitor
- Just in general, when trying to subsidize a multi-channel strategy
Push marketing is a broader, sort of shotgun approach that means making your products, services, or brand as visible as possible in order to get the best results you can – but for a cost. It usually means quicker sales. The other side of the coin with push marketing is that it also usually involves spending money. One of the most popular forms of push marketing is pay-per-click (PPC) advertising where marketers can place banners, display ads, search engine ads, and shopping ads across a wide range of platforms, usually by paying a small amount each time their ad is clicked on.
Other popular forms of push marketing include paid social-media marketing strategies that are similar to PPC or cost-per-thousand-impressions.
Pull marketing, on the other hand, involves naturally accruing traffic. The reasoning here is to create high-value content suited for your target audiences and letting them come to you. Of course this doesn’t mean doing nothing. Pull marketing simply means being aware of the fact that there are already users actively seeking out the products, services, or information that you offer and making it easier for them to find it, and making it easier for them to get to their ultimate goal.
The most prominent forms of pull marketing include search engine optimization (SEO), creative social media content, and customer reviews. Whereas SEO has proven itself as the type of marketing with the most reliable ROI for a long time, social media has only exploded as a business channel relatively recently.
Pull marketing is often the primary business strategy for companies looking to:
- Ensure long-term business growth
- Maintain dominance in a specific niche or industry
- Build a return customer base or improve loyalty
- To promote brand recognition with customer engagement and visibility
- Increase social media traffic as well as social media sharing
- Grow traffic to their site across organic, referral, and social segments
- Improve sales and revenue affordably, without an expensive ad budget
- Engage with customers before they know what they want, at the top of their shopping funnel
So what’s the difference between push and pull marketing in practice? A few years ago as many as 71% of consumers claimed to prefer pull marketing techniques. As the online landscape evolves businesses are continuing to see the value in the time-proven benefit of pulling in customers organically.
Close to 3/4th of all marketers claim that content marketing increases engagement. These days 51% of all website traffic comes from search engines, and according to BrightEdge that traffic alone is capturing over 40% of all online revenue. If those numbers aren’t convincing enough, by the end of the decade the number of global, active social media users had grown to 3.724 billion. As these numbers demonstrate a new form of normal for internet use, it becomes apparent that pull focused marketing is an absolute necessity for future business growth.
But the push strategy can be tempting too. According to Wolfgang Digital, this last year was the first time that paid-search ads outpaced regular search in terms of revenue with PPC driving 33% of revenue in the retail channel. For online-only business, paid strategies boast responsibility for as much as 46% of revenue!
The truth is that businesses find the best success when they focus on a multi-channel, multi-strategy approach in both push and pull. These two broad categories are simply too important to focus on just one.
The acronym stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. The AIDA model is widely used in marketing and advertising to describe the steps or stages that occur from the very first moment a consumer is aware of a product or brand to the actual moment the purchase is made.
What does AIDA stand for?
- Awareness: creating brand awareness or affiliation with your product or service.
- Interest: generating interest in the benefits of your product or service, and sufficient interest to encourage the buyer to start to research further.
- Desire: for your product or service through an 'emotional connection', showing your brand personality. Move the consumer from 'liking' it to 'wanting it'.
- Action: CTA - Move the buyer to interact with your company and taking the next step ie. downloading a brochure, making the phone call, joining your newsletter, or engaging in live chat, etc.
- Retention: We all know that this is key to upsell, cross-sell, referrals, Advocacy and the list goes on.. as companies are also focussing on LTV.
The AIDA model, tracing the customer journey through Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action, is perhaps the best-known marketing model amongst all the classic marketing models. Many marketers find AIDA useful since we apply this model daily, whether consciously or subconsciously, when we're planning our marketing communications strategy.
The acronym AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. These are the four stages that a consumer goes through when watching or viewing an advertisement. According to Lewis, first and foremost, the role of an advertisement is to attract the customers. Once an ad grabs attention, it has to invoke interest towards the product in the minds of the consumers. After creating an interest, the ad has to bring desire in consumers mind to use the product and finally the consumer has to take a favorable action towards the product by ultimately purchasing the product.
It’s a mess, get your act together - Malaysia Covid-19 great mess
After “bungling” the handling of the Covid-19 situation, the government needs to get its act together and move fast to ensure millions under lockdown have enough food on the table, says former second finance minister Johari Ghani.
Johari also said government aid to the people should not be based solely on income levels, as this could lead to many falling through the cracks.
“We were doing well initially, but since the middle of last year it has been one mess after another. Now we’re in a lockdown, and I’m very worried about the people, especially those without a fixed income.
“Whenever there is a lockdown, informal sector workers and the self-employed are the most affected as they rely on daily wages and incomes,” he told FMT, adding that department of statistics figures indicated that about 3.92 million people fell under these two categories.
The former Titiwangsa MP said the government must come up with a detailed strategy to ensure the needs of the most vulnerable were taken care of. He said there had been numerous reports from the first movement control order (MCO) of people not receiving aid, while a more recent United Nations report indicated that many urban poor were still struggling.
This, he said, indicated a mismatch between the help people needed and the aid being offered to them.
“We need all assemblymen and MPs to go down to the ground and identify families and individuals who cannot afford to buy food and basic amenities for their families. “The welfare department must work hand-in-hand with elected representatives to distribute the aid and ensure that no one is left behind.”
Johari said the federal government must allocate funds immediately for the purchase of these goods, which could be sourced from the respective constituencies to help spur the local economy.
A proper, total lockdown
Johari said even though he agreed that the total lockdown was necessary given the present Covid-19 situation, the government must have a proper strategy in place to avoid resorting to such measures.
“The repeated lockdowns are damaging to the economy, not just because a lockdown affects the immediate demand but also the atmosphere of uncertainty it creates.”
He added this was not helped by the international trade and industry ministry’s unclear directions and poor government communication which led to confusion and low investor confidence.
“As a result, we see businesses are downsizing and not hiring workers as the uncertainties over government policy withhold them from investing to operate or expand their operations; or worse, they close shop altogether.”
As such, he said, the government needed to be very clear about what were the essential sectors.
“To me, this is only the food and beverage sector, including those involved in the supply chain and distribution of these products.
“As most of the clusters come from the workplace, particularly factories, the government must ask them to close and do mass testing for all local and foreign workers even if the factories produce crucial export items such as electrical and electronic products or medical gloves.”
Johari called on Putrajaya to work closely with state governments and local authorities in carrying out mass testing, quarantine, health education, and enforcement.
Johari said what remained unclear to the public, the market, as well as investors was Malaysia’s exit strategy.
“It has been a year now since Covid-19 hit us, yet we seem to be directionless. No one knows our way out of the woods, let alone knows when we will get out of danger.”
He said it was clear however that vaccination was the country’s best bet to battle the pandemic and key to restarting the economy.
“My concern is that looking at how things are going, it is highly unlikely that the government will meet its target of achieving herd immunity by the end of the year.
“Clearly, we are not moving fast enough as new infections and deaths pile up in record numbers. In the past week, we had an average of 7,000 cases and 60 deaths a day, and our ICUs are reaching maximum capacity.”
Johari said in order to improve the vaccination process, Putrajaya must manage it efficiently and transparently.
“Disclose to the public the range cost of each vaccine per dose, disclose the companies that have been appointed to manage the vaccination process at the vaccination centres and how much the government is paying them.”
He also said the government needed to disclose how much of the RM5 billion from the National Trust Fund (KWAN) had been used, and provide a detailed breakdown of expenses.
Johari also said the government must clarify if it was buying the vaccines directly from the manufacturers or Malaysia-based agents appointed by pharmaceutical companies.
“If they were purchased through agents, what is the quantity each agent was allowed to import?”
He also asked Putrajaya to clarify if government-appointed companies were offering to vaccinate employees of shopping malls and charging them RM50?
“Is this service open to employees of all other companies?
“If the vaccination programme is to be a success, people must trust the government and that can only happen if there is transparency.”
Johari said the government should also give a weekly update on the balance of vaccine stocks, how much was allocated to the states and the schedule of incoming vaccine supplies.
He called on the government to allow walk-ins for vaccinations on a first-come-first-served basis, especially in states with high rates of no-shows.
“This will allow us to optimise vaccine stocks. The government must also allow private hospitals to procure their own supply of vaccines. Why aren’t they allowing private hospitals to import the vaccines at their own cost?”
“There is no point in appointing 2,500 general practitioners and allowing private hospitals to carry out vaccinations if they have to wait for the vaccine supply from the government.”
Johari also said Putrajaya must be transparent and stop any special treatment for VVIPs and their families.
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Support the 1821 Appeal
The 1821 Appeal supports our university’s vision to enable talented students worldwide to access a Heriot-Watt education, whatever their background or circumstances in life.
2021 is Heriot-Watt’s 200th anniversary year and we are celebrating our history of widening access to education.
Our bicentenary milestone gives us an opportunity to work together to make a difference to our students’ lives and futures.
To realise this vision, we aim to raise £4 million to provide a programme of new opportunities for under-represented students from our communities in Scotland, Dubai, Malaysia, and beyond, enabling talented individuals to pursue their academic ambitions and achieve their goals.
Malaysia campus student to enter national stage of contest
Speak Out for Engineering (SOfE) competition was established by IMechE to challenge young engineers, promoting excellence in delivering technical ability and communicating engineering knowledge to the public. An internal competition was held on 25 July 2021 in order to select the our representative for the national level.
The internal SofE competition 2021 for HWUM has officially closed, and our heartiest congratulations go to Kiwan Anak Richard for winning the competition with his eye-opener of a presentation.
Let's wish him all the best at the national level!
Launching of BSc (Hons) Computing Science programme at our Malaysian campus!
We are proud to formally launch the BSc (Hons) Computing Science programme at our Malaysian campus! RM5,000 Inaugural Bursary is offered for our September 2021 intake.