When to Push and When to Pull With Your Marketing

When to Push and When to Pull With Your Marketing

When do I push -- and when do I pull? The old-school approach of “push" marketing works well in the early stages of a business, where you need to get your name out in front of many customers and establish your place in the market. "Pull" marketing normally occurs throughout the life span of an operation, becoming more and more productive as you're able to leverage your brand and positive word-of-mouth to attract more business. I tend to stay away from push marketing because I believe in utilizing the “Five to Thrive” system: Stimulate the interest of others. Those three questions are the essence of marketing a business (or person), and if you express them effectively, you will be able to manage and develop a vision, and then thrive. Thriving will create a pull effect, shifting you from an offensive approach to the defensive side of marketing. You can choose to "pull market" yourself, your product, your service or even your network of relationships. If you ask questions like “How can I be of service?” this will bring you relationships that will allow you to provide value. Some people choose to write a book to gain credibility. Using your marketing skills to ask for and attract business will allow you to have consistent streams of business and a great ROI.

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When determining your marketing mix, look at the reasons, impacts, and capabilities of each approach.

When to Push and When to Pull With Your Marketing

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

When I’m doing business coaching, I’m often asked questions about what marketing approach is best for a particular situation. When do I push — and when do I pull?

The old-school approach of “push” marketing works well in the early stages of a business, where you need to get your name out in front of many customers and establish your place in the market. “Pull” marketing normally occurs throughout the life span of an operation, becoming more and more productive as you’re able to leverage your brand and positive word-of-mouth to attract more business.

Still, it is very difficult to succeed in marketing yourself, your product/service or your brand without the mix of push and pull marketing.

Mixing it up

To find the right mix, do what I call a RIC evaluation. I consider the Reasons to use either push or pull marketing, the Impacts that each approach can have and the Capabilities that I have, want or need in order to execute a given marketing campaign.

I tend to stay away from push marketing because I believe in utilizing the “Five to Thrive” system:

  1. Stimulate the interest of others.
  2. Transition that interest.
  3. Share a vision.
  4. Manage/develop that vision.
  5. Thrive.

In my experience, this combination is the best way to “push” your product, service or yourself.

You can stimulate interest in a variety of ways, but it most commonly comes from simply asking for someone’s business.

When to push

The only time I “push” is when I’m making a specific ask: “Can I help you with this project?” or “Can you introduce me to that person?”

Many business people eschew this kind of in-person marketing, preferring to “push” their product or service using third-party advertising on outlets such as TV, newspaper, radio and traditional signage. Of course, you need to drop some serious coin to participate in most kinds of push marketing.

Other options for push marketing include promotional ads, emailing ads to a database and targeted/paid ads on social media. Paying for SEO (search engine optimization)…

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