The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

How and Why to use Pull Marketing instead of Pushing Them Away

marketingFor years while going to school for business I wanted to avoid marketing classes.  Why?  Because I actually hated it when companies would bombard me with advertising, cold calls, spam mail…  You get the drift.  Then I found out that that was what is called “push marketing”.  I felt that for me it “pushed” me away to another company.  That is when I became interested in the marketing technique of “pull marketing”.  Especially since social media and the internet has made pull marketing so much easier and cost effective to achieve than traditional marketing campaigns.


Pull Marketing

Pull Marketing

Reason #1 to pull marketing

Cost effectiveness.

Have you seen the prices of advertising lately?  I recently looked at an article from the Business Insider that talked about television advertising rates for the Super Bowl.  The prices have only increased 11% to $5 Million for a 30 second commercial during the Super Bowl (O’Reilly, 2015).  Think about that for a second.  Actually, think of it for 30 seconds.  It is not that long.  And that does not even begin to account for the production costs of the commercial.  While the hype for the commercials during the Super Bowl can also turn it into pull marketing, it is still only there for the big dogs, not for the rest of us small businesses.  By comparison television advertising is a bargain, but is still outrageously priced, and again you still have to produce the advertisement.  Even a small classified ad in the newspaper begins getting into the hundreds of dollars for just 10 days, and who actually reads the print newspapers anyway? (, 2016)

Saving money

Saving Money

Reason #2

More attractive.

You see, we all like to be liked.  But what do we think about when that telemarketer calls during dinner or our favorite television show?  We grumble and gripe.  I have been known to make mental notes about not using them, but their competitor instead.  But, when we are online doing whatever it is that we do, and see a banner advertisement on the side for something that you were just thinking about (you gotta love Ad Words), you are more inclined to click the banner and go to the advertiser.  This is pull marketing.  It sits there unobtrusively in a place that catches your eye when you need it most.  It is the same thing when you go to the grocery store at Thanksgiving and see that there is an end cap that not only has the cream of mushroom soup that you need for your green bean casserole, but also the green beans and the fried onions.  This is pull marketing.  It lets the customer come to you (, n.d.).


Pull Marketing

Pull Marketing

How can you, the smaller business utilize the pull marketing phenomenon to your own benefit?

Way #1

Creatively and effectively create your brand online to create awareness.  This includes developing a killer website, writing white papers to give information regarding your company and/or its products, consistently and effectively write a blog that engages the customer and makes them come back for more.  Blogs and white papers give something for the customer to want to visit and attain information from you.  This builds trust and a relationship with the customer that if cultivated nicely can bring a strong loyalty.

Brand Formula

Way #2

Design your campaign to be delivered through things like Google AdWords via search engine optimization and key words and tags that ensures that the customer sees your ads when they need it.  This means that if you are a pet store and the potential customer has been searching dog food, pet treats, or other similar product, the customer will see your banner or your company website will be near the top in their web search (Lolk, n.d.).

Read More About Push and Pull Marketing

References (January 15, 2016) “How Much Does It Cost to Advertise in Newspapers?” Retrieved from

Lolk, Andrew (n.d.) “The Proven AdWords Strategy by White Shark Media” Retrieved January 18, 2016 from (n.d.) “Pull Marketing” Retrieved January 19, 2016 from

O’Reilly, Lara, (August 6, 2015) “Super Bowl ad prices have soared 11% to $5 million for just 30 seconds” Business Insider Retrieved from

By Cassandra McDonald @cattycas

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Category: Social Media Marketing 201

6 Responses

  1. Laura Holt says:

    Social media is creating a way for companies to bring people in the door a lot like the window displays did for department stores a few decades back.

  2. Rosanne S says:

    Hi Cassandra,
    Thank you for including the two examples on how to integrate pulling marketing into my small business. Blogging is a great way to build relationships with consumers and provide valuable free information.

  3. Sean M says:

    These are some good tips for a small biz starting up using social media or a company that wants to integrate social media into their business model. Spam can be irritating for some consumers and you may discourage them from becoming loyal to your brand. It is not a great storytelling method.

  4. Cassandra M says:

    Thanks, guys!

    Laura, you are exactly right. Drawing in customers with storefront display windows is exactly how pull marketing works. And when it comes to blogging like Roseanne mentioned, it is a great way to give someone a reason to want more. Everyone wants something for nothing, so if you give them some tidbits that pique their interest or helps them out, it can be the difference between your company and the other one. Sometimes the price does not even play into it. Customers want who they can trust. If you give without asking for payment in return, it encourages them to trust you over the competition.

  5. Joanna M says:

    I am a huge fans of blogs and agree they are a great way to aide in building your brand and online presence.

  6. Heidi says:

    This is great! No one wants brands pushed on them. You are exactly right. It more often pushes us away! In my opinion, pull marketing is more effective.

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