What is Push and Pull Digital Marketing?

Push and Pull Marketing in the Context of Online,
Mobile, and Big Data Business Models

When most people say “marketing”, they don’t include the entire range of activities that exist within marketing. They simply include the acquisition of customers, retention of attention, or prospecting. The reason for that is simple. Most people are already used to receiving advertisements that are trying to convince them to buy things. And those advertisements are their only source of contact with the world of marketing.

To be clear, that reasoning is not wrong. In fact, that concept of marketing is the traditional concept known as “push marketing”. The driving idea behind push marketing is introducing marketing messages about new products to the audience. And almost everyone has at least one piece of push marketing in their email inbox.

The popularity of push marketing has led to the fact that many people believe that is the only way to market. So an average person is ready to characterise any form of marketing as push marketing. In push marketing, the advertisers are targeting their consumers by using certain parameters. Most common parameters are gender, spending power, demographics, and geography.

However, marketing approaches are always evolving. And thanks to that evolution, we can see a rise of the pull marketing. In this method, marketers are no longer pushing products to customers. Instead, advertisers are using the predictive capabilities of Big Data to “pull” their customers to them. That approach makes the customers feel like the decision was solely on them, and it generates more brand loyalty.

Pull marketing, as such, is a lot more complicated than push marketing. It starts by having marketers take or create a consumer database. From there, they can categorise the customers in several classes. Once they do that, they can use Artificial Intelligence in conjunction with Big Data to predict what the customers would be willing to purchase in the future.

So to put it simply, it is the opposite approach to push marketing. Push marketing is all about creating a product and then targeting consumers that might want it. On the other hand, pull marketing starts by identifying potential buyers. The production of new products only begins once advertisers predict how the consumers will react.

Modern advertisers and marketers are going beyond just pushing their products. Instead, they are trying to create their own customer universes. In those universes, they can create estimates on the customer wants and needs and react accordingly. That is why pull marketers are capable of creating advertisements that target specific audiences very accurately.

The ability to predict customer behaviour is something advertisers have been dreaming of for decades. After all, the entire process of marketing is all about intuition and guessing the reactions of the consumers.

The big shift that gave the marketing community the ability to make pull marketing a reality came in the form of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence. The sophisticated tools that came with the new age of technology are empowering marketers to move the bar higher than it ever was before.

However, even with the Big Data analytics and the Artificial Intelligence doing the grunt of the work, pull marketing wouldn’t succeed without the proper channels of communications. Pulling the consumers in through the use of pamphlets, radio ads, or tv commercials is very difficult. All of those forms of advertisement are generic in nature. They can’t target specific customers at all.

So that is where the Internet and the evolution of smartphones step in to save the day. Marketers no longer have to broadcast the same commercial to all audiences. Instead, they can reach their consumers through handheld devices in a micro-marketing manner.

The fact that people have powerful computers in their pockets that they use for hours each day has given the marketers the window into the lives of people that they needed to truly leverage the power of the Big Data software and combine the information they get that way with the media channels at their disposal.

By definition, push marketing represents a very static, one-way approach. Conversely, pull marketing is all about customer interactions and dynamic solutions. Modern technologies are allowing customers to directly interact with most marketing campaigns these days. They can finally communicate their desires and preferences to the advertisers in an efficient and effective manner.

Advertisers that enable their customers to communicate with them can reap multiple benefits from that. Taking in feedback allows them to personalise their campaigns. And in turn, that allows them to pull the customers into their brand’s universe. They are effectively creating brand loyalty without the customer having to even purchase their products beforehand.

One of the main differences between the two methods is the scale of segmentation. Push marketing creates large customer segments and advertises to each segment. On the other hand, pull marketing uses a granular approach. The targeting in pull marketing goes down on a personal level. And as we have said, it is all possible solely due to the fact that technological advances are giving new channels of contact and new abilities of data analysis to marketing agencies.

We should probably mention that some experts see the new method of marketing simply as push marketing, but with extra technology. However, seeing the differences between these two approaches makes it so that the term “pull marketing” seems to suit the method a lot better.

In the end, we can see that the power of the Big Data is still growing and the same can be said for the utility of mobile phones. For those reasons, we believe that the future of marketing lies in dynamic and interactive campaigns. Marketers will start using real-time updating and customisation of their campaigns in order to maximise the effectiveness. Over time, they will be able to fully rely on high-level market research to lead the way.