Understanding Push and Pull Strategies
Companies, both B2B and B2C, engage in a range of marketing strategies to get their message and product to customers. One way these strategies are categorized are as Push and Pull or Outbound and Inbound marketing.
What are Push and Pull Strategies?
Simply put, a push strategy is to push a product at a customer, while a pull strategy pulls a customer towards a product. Push strategy is a quick way to move a customer from awareness to purchase, while pull strategy is about creating an ongoing relationship with the brand. Both serve a purpose in moving the customer along the journey from awareness to purchase, however pull strategies tend to be more successful at building brand ambassadors.
While some companies decide to adopt one or the other it is important to find a complementary balance between the two. Choosing your marketing strategy and tactics should be done carefully and with a thorough understanding of your business, current brand awareness, and target audience. For example, launching a new unknown product would require more push than an established brand.
Push and pull tactics within the larger strategy should work together seamlessly to move the customer through their journey. For example, the impact of a flyer in the mail is lost without a website for the customer to visit to learn more. Modern consumers are savvy and require several interactions with a company and product before engaging.
Facebook: Using Push and Pull within the Same Tool
Facebook continues to be one of the most popular social media sites with 1.94 billion monthly users worldwide (March, 2017). As a platform, Facebook provides an easy to understand model of how to create a complementary balance of push and pull marketing strategies. For example, drawing users to your page can take a combined approach.
Push Strategy: Facebook Advertising and Boosted Posts
One of the necessary tenants of push marketing is to know your audience. Once you have established your audience you can target them through Facebook advertising and boosted posts. Facebook allows you to specifically target users by age, demographic, location, socio-economic status, and interests. An ad that runs in a potential customers feed will push them to your Facebook page and/or website to make a purchase.
Pull Strategy: Search Engine Optimization
Potential customers who have a need will search keywords. If you have a robust Facebook About description and an active presence on Facebook, top hits will pull users to your Facebook page.
Now You’ve Got Them: Keep Them Engaged
Once potential customers have been pushed or pulled to your page, the next step is to keep them engaged with your company or product and convert them into brand ambassadors. Avoid broadcasting to your followers, but instead start a conversation that pulls them to you. A strong conversation and interesting content will generate word of mouth.
Watch other social media channels and track trends to know which conversations to have and how to keep things relevant. Cultural commentary can often be just the thing to pull others to your brand.
Analytics Are Your Friend
Traditionally, push strategies were targeted and pull strategies threw a wide net in the hopes of catching the right prospects. Online or on Facebook you are still throwing a wide net, but digital mining and analytics help to understand who is engaging with what you put out there. Use these analytics to better understand your audience and then apply this knowledge to your push strategy by further targeting your ads.
Facebook analytics will help you to understand who comments on your posts and most importantly who clicks to purchase as a result. These analytics are key in understanding what works and what does not.
Like any marketing strategy or initiative, push and pull strategies require planning and consideration of the audience and the marketplace. Each tactic and campaign should be monitored, reviewed and revised on a regular basis. Digital analytics enable marketers to develop a comprehensive understanding of their audience allowing them to determine the best possible push and pull strategies to move their customers from awareness to purchase and beyond into raving fans and ambassadors.