What is a Push Marketing Strategy?
A push marketing strategy, also called a push promotional strategy, refers to a strategy in which a firm attempts to take its products to consumers – to “push” them onto consumers. In a push marketing strategy, the goal is to use various active marketing techniques to push their products to be seen by consumers, sometimes right at the point of purchase. One of the main objectives with push marketing is to reduce to as small as possible the amount of time that elapses between the customer seeing a product and making a purchase decision to buy the product.
Push marketing strategies are commonly used to gain and increase product exposure. Push marketing relies mainly upon traditional avenues of advertising/marketing, such as a series of television ads or a series of direct mail pieces. Again, a primary goal is simply making as many consumers as possible aware of the product and its benefits. “Push” refers to the fact that the company that sells the product is continually pushing it into the potential customer’s purview, their field of vision, so to speak.
Although virtually every company seeks to establish and nurture relationships with its customers or clients, push marketing is more concerned with gaining an immediate sale than with fostering relationships that create brand loyalty. Establishing a brand identity and building a loyal customer base falls more under the heading of “pull marketing”. Therefore, it is quite commonplace to see a company utilizing both push marketing and pull marketing to create a more complete, overarching marketing strategy with maximum effectiveness in terms of expanding the company’s market share and increasing revenues and profitability.
Examples of Using a Push Marketing Strategy
With a push marketing strategy, the firm takes the product to consumers. Consumers are introduced to, or reminded of, the product through any of several available push marketing methods:
- Direct selling to customers – e.g., a car salesman who meets customers in the company’s auto showrooms
- Point of Sale displays (POS)
- Trade show promotion
- Packaging designs to encourage a purchase
Illustration of a Push Marketing Strategy
A push marketing strategy is illustrated as follows:
With reference to the illustration above, a production company may try to convince a retailer to stock its product. Once the retailer stocks the product, the manufacturer or wholesaler may further “push” the product at consumers with an eye-catching and informative point-of-sale display.
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Practical Example of a Push 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 the room to the desired temperature.
To market this product, Colin prepares to present and sell his product at an upcoming trade show. Creating visibility is a top priority, so Colin aims to persuade major retailers to display the Fanner 3000 near check-out counters. In addition, he ensures that his product is stocked and abundant as customer demand rolls in.
- Push marketing is useful for manufacturers that are trying to establish a sales channel and are seeking distributors to help with product promotion.
- It creates product exposure, product demand, and consumer awareness about a product.
- Demand can be more forecastable and predictable, as the producer is able to produce and push as much or little product to consumers.
- Economies of scale can be realized if the product is able to be produced at scale due to high demand.
- It requires an active sales team that is able to work/network actively with retailers and distributors.
- Poor negotiating power with retailers and distributors; the producers are the ones asking retailers to stock their products, and the product may be a new one and, therefore, not yet established as a profitable item for retailers to stock.
- Again because the product may be new, it may be difficult to accurately forecast demand.
- Initial marketing efforts are likely to be expensive, and because they are more focused on securing a one-time purchase than on building customer relationships and loyalty, the results may be short-lived.
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