What is a Pull Marketing Strategy?
A pull marketing strategy, also called a pull promotional strategy, refers to a strategy in which a firm aims to increase the demand for its products and draw (“pull”) consumers to the product. Pull marketing strategies revolve around getting consumers to want a particular product. A pull marketing strategy can be used by itself or in conjunction with a push marketing strategy.
In a pull marketing strategy, the goal is to make a consumer actively seek a product and get retailers to stock the product in response to direct consumer demand.
Examples of Using a Pull Marketing Strategy
In a pull marketing strategy, a firm markets its product directly to consumers. The consumers then seek out the products to purchase. There are several pull marketing methods available today, including:
- Social media networks
- Word of mouth
- Media coverage
- Sales promotions and discounts
- Email marketing
Illustration of a Pull Marketing Strategy
A pull marketing strategy is illustrated as follows:
As illustrated above, a pull marketing strategy involves a business using marketing activities to pull consumers to its products.
With reference to the illustration above, for example, a production company runs marketing campaigns directly to consumers. Due to the marketing campaigns, consumers seek out a particular product and go to retailers looking to purchase the product. Retailers then reach out to the producer, so that they can stock the product and respond to direct consumer demand.
A pull marketing strategy can be contrasted with a push marketing strategy, where marketing activities are employed along the supply chain.
Example of a Pull Marketing Strategy
Colin recently launched a new product – the Fanner 3000. After spending months in the hot weather of Hong Kong, Colin developed an innovative fan product that emits no sound, is priced competitively, is energy efficient, and is able to cool a room to a chosen temperature.
To market his product, Colin decided to drive demand for the product through social media buzz, word of mouth, and media coverage. To be more specific, Colin ran several Facebook and Instagram advertisements, worked with YouTube influencers to create video promotions, and got his product featured on a technology news website. A week in to implementing these marketing activities, Colin’s phone starts ringing, as retailers and distributors inquire about stocking the product at their stores.
Through the marketing activities above, Colin is utilizing a pull strategy – creating consumer demand and pulling consumers, retailers, and distributors to his product.
There are several advantages to a pull marketing strategy:
- Able to establish direct contact with consumers and build consumer loyalty
- Stronger bargaining power with retailers and distributors
- Focuses on creating brand equity and product value
- Consumers are actively seeking out the product, which removes much of the pressure of conducting outbound marketing
- Can be used to test a product’s acceptance in the market and obtain consumer feedback on the product
Potential disadvantages to using a pull strategy include the following:
- Usually works effectively only when there is high brand loyalty
- Lead time is long, as consumers are comparing alternatives before making a purchase
- Requires creating high demand for a product, which can be difficult in a highly competitive marketplace landscape
- Requires strong marketing efforts to convince consumers to actively seek out the product (they may, instead, just decide to settle for whatever similar product a retailer has in stock, rather than insisting on getting your product)
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