MBA Minute: Push and Pull Marketing Strategies

Even though it took me a few years to complete my MBA, there are a number of things you can learn in just a few minutes that can change the way you look at your business. Check back often for more MBA Minutes, where we’ll briefly explore a topic or concept that can help you make better choices for your organization. ~ Keina

When talking about marketing strategies, we can split them into two major categories- push and pull. Both strategies are all about getting your target market in touch with your product.

Push strategies are those that take the product to the target consumer and make sure that they’re aware of it. They include tactics like doing trade shows to get retailers to stock your product, creating point of sale displays, designing your packaging in a way that makes people want to buy it, or direct selling your product at a fair or door to door.

Like when you’re at Trader Joe’s or Sam’s Club, and they’re cooking something right before your eyes and giving out samples. That’s an effective way for them to get the product in front of you, while you’re already at the point of purchase and say “Look how easy this is to prepare. And how delicious! Did I mention it was on sale?” That’s a classic push strategy.

Pull strategies are all about getting the consumer to come to you. They include tactics like advertising, customer relationship management, referrals, and sales and coupons. One of my favorite things is a good Happy Hour. And when it comes down to it, a happy hour is a pull strategy employed by many restaurants. Having specials and discounts during a certain time of the day is a great way to keep people coming back.

As the use of online and social media continues to rise, referrals and word of mouth grow in importance. These days, a public playlist on Spotify, a restaurant review on Yelp, or an Instagram pic from a style blogger is likely to influence purchase decisions more than an advertisement. So what’s the best way to make sure that word of mouth is working in your favor? Every time a consumer comes in contact with your company or your product, delight them. Every time.

Well, that’s a brief overview of push and pull marketing strategies. The balance that is struck between the two will be different for each organization.

Any other examples of push and pull strategies? Which have you found to be the most helpful to your organization? 

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Keina Staley, M.B.A. (13 Posts)

Keina spent years in the non-profit and community service world, so she knows how often those organizations are strapped for cash. That's why she's back now, armed with an MBA, promoting solutions that are valuable and affordable. The internet addict is a managing partner of Civic Grind, Benefit L.L.C, editor of www.civicgrind.com and bakes a mean cupcake.


About Keina Staley, M.B.A.

Keina spent years in the non-profit and community service world, so she knows how often those organizations are strapped for cash. That's why she's back now, armed with an MBA, promoting solutions that are valuable and affordable. The internet addict is a managing partner of Civic Grind, Benefit L.L.C, editor of www.civicgrind.com and bakes a mean cupcake.