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The Pull Marketing Method: How to Use It

Pull marketing is the latest buzzword among marketers, but what is the pull method and how can it help your business?

Pull marketing refers to the customer actively seeking out your product or service, rather than you pushing it on them using sales tactics. Pull marketing is attractive to brands because it is easier and cheaper than traditional marketing techniques. However, what’s more, it truly works. Pull marketing also takes advantage of growing social media and search engine marketing use, so companies can use their existing platforms to utilize it.

Pull marketing may sound like a dream, but in reality, it can be implemented with very little effort and high success rates, so long as you know how to harness it.

What are “Push” and “Pull” Marketing Methods?

Pull marketing is a method used by companies to generate demand for a product. Push marketing, on the other hand, is intended to sell out a particular supply. The difference between the two methods hinges on how businesses approach customers: push marketing might involve a garish sales display or an Internet ad about a particular product, whereas pull marketing is more about building recognition and reputation, making customers want to come to you.

In a nutshell, pull marketing attempts to create brand loyalty, whereas push marketing is more concerned with short-term sales.

What is the aim of pull marketing?

Pull marketing aims to create buzz and interest around a product; it encourages customers to seek out your company on their own. In an age of targeted ads and data analytics, consumers love to feel they have sought out a product on their own rather than having it “pushed” on them. Therefore, pull marketing involves raising awareness about a product before it becomes available for purchase. A business can achieve this in a myriad of ways, known as pull marketing methods.

Pull Marketing Methods

There are numerous ways to reach customers with pull marketing, but your main goal is to build excitement for a product while also building trust in your brand. Smaller companies might do this by encouraging word-of-mouth advertising (both in person and on social media), gaining referrals or even doing TV appearances to appeal to a mass audience. Pull marketing methods might include:

  • Social networking campaigns
  • Media coverage
  • Blogging
  • Email marketing

How to Utilize Pull Marketing

In all likelihood, your business is already using some form of pull marketing without even knowing it. However, if you want to see a return on your pull marketing campaign, you need to focus down on the individual methods.

Pull marketing methods include:

Social networking

The main rule of social media marketing is not to be too explicitly sales-orientated in your posts. Instead, you should aim to generate interest in your brand and product. You might do this by promoting blog content, writing engaging tweets or sharing snapshots of your company in action. This is all considered pull marketing, and it’s a great way to increase your brand’s visibility online.

Media coverage

If you’re lucky enough to land a TV appearance or a spread in a magazine, you’re not going to use that space to push a particular product. If you did, people would switch off or turn the page immediately. Instead, media coverage can be utilized to raise awareness of your brand and capture people’s interest. You might do this by talking about your company, how it was founded, or your ethos. Your audience makes a choice to consume this information, so it would be considered “pull” marketing rather than “push.”


Blogging is a great way to deliver value to your audience. It can also be the ultimate key to establishing a relationship with potential customers. Blog posts help build exposure and go hand-in-hand with social media and email marketing. The great thing about blogging is that it gives the consumer something for free – such as information or insight – so they don’t feel like they’ve been tricked or targeted. This method builds customer loyalty and works on the basis that once people are on your website and feel connected to your brand, they are more likely to make a purchase.

Email marketing

Email marketing is the single most effective Internet marketing method there is, but how you use that carefully curated email list can make or break your campaign. Resist the urge to email them about products directly or tell them too explicitly how they might benefit from using your service. Instead, consider the impact of pull marketing and send them newsletters instead. Include valuable information about your industry and perhaps mention others who have been happy with your products or details of promotions.

Pull marketing in action

A prime example of pull marketing in action is in the promotion of children’s toys. These toys and gadgets are advertised on TV and in magazines long before they’re available, which draws children (and – most importantly – their parents) in and creates demand. As more children see the toys, retailers begin scrambling trying to stock the product in their stores. In this scenario, the company has successfully pulled customers to them. The same can be seen in the marketing of books and films, particularly sequels that drum up expectation and excitement.

Conclusion: a combined approach is best

Pull marketing isn’t just a buzzword of the flavor of the month. In fact, companies big and small have been using it for decades to sell products and services to a loyal audience.

Today, pull marketing is a smart and effective way to secure sales for your business and encourage people to connect with your brand. The method is cost-effective and requires few resources, plus it increases the longevity of your brand through long-term customer relationships.

Most successful businesses combine both push and pull marketing for different products and purposes. A combined approach might involve making sales calls, targeted ads and handing out flyers when you first start your business or if you have a particular product line to push, while pull marketing methods like blogging and public speaking help to establish long-term custom.

Timothy Kelly
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