Push vs Pull Marketing: The Marketing Tug-of-War

When implementing a marketing strategy for your business, the idea of developing a sustainable marketing plan can keep any business owner up at night.  It's always good to start with the basics, so you can have a fundamental understanding of certain marketing methods, and if they could benefit your business.  In this article I want to break down marketing into 2 main categories, "Push" vs. "Pull" marketing. Each bucket contains marketing techniques that have been around since the dawn of business, and others that are emerging technologies that evolve every day.

Let's approach this chronologically, and begin with the age-old techniques of Push marketing...


Push Marketing: knocking on as many doors as possible

 When you get in your car in the morning and turn on the radio, the billboards you drive by on the way to work, and TV commercials you endure every night while watching your favorites shows.  What do they have in common?  They are all considered Push marketing techniques.  Since the dawn of commerce, businesses have spent exorbitant amount of money advertising their brand in front of as many people as possible, essentially "pushing" their brand, services, and products onto the consumers. The most common forms of Push marketing include:

  • Television
  • Radio
  • Billboards
  • Print Advertising (Mailers, or Junk Mail)
  • Social Media

Pros and Cons of Push Marketing

There's a reason why corporations and businesses, locally to world-wide, rely on Push marketing to drive their advertising. It's a constant challenge to keep their brand out there, and stay relevant.  The most large-scale example is with Super Bowl ads.  According to a January 2018 report from the Business Insider, the cost for a 30-second commercial during Super Bowl 52 STARTED at $5 million.  An incredible amount of money, but worth it to giant corporations considering the amount of viewers their ad will be exposed to. 

So what can we gather so far about Push Marketing?  Well, companies that engage in TV, radio, and other forms of Push advertising are paying higher advertising costs to get their brand in front of as many people as possible. So yes, the main benefit is the larger exposure. At the same time, some companies are paying upwards of 7+ figure advertising costs for more exposure, so the costs are extreme. And most importantly, how many consumers that see the ads will turn into customers? A very small percentage.  


  • Exposure


  • High costs
  • Inefficient
  • Low customer acquisition


PuLL Marketing: opening the door when customers knock

So there's this cool thing called the internet, ever heard of it?  It's ALL the rage nowadays.  Why? Because it's an open source platform used by billions of people worldwide.  Within this seemingly infinite network are consumers looking for goods and services, and businesses looking for new customers.  Pull marketing is the practice of catering to consumers that already have interest in your company or service, and the internet is the purest form of "Pull" marketing (with Google in the driver's seat).  Search engines like Google allow consumers to conduct specialized searches according to their needs, and at the same time allow relevant businesses to be visible in the search results based on those needs. In summation, Pull marketing gives businesses the ability to only engage consumers already interested in their brand, services, or products, therefore generating higher quality leads, with less costs!

Pull marketing is primarily digital or high-tech marketing techniques, including:

The ability for businesses to capture their target audience without spending a fortune is the reason a growing number of businesses are devoting more of their resources to Pull marketing.  Internet marketing professionals continue to have a growing value to businesses, as they know how to help companies engage customers with better efficiency and ROI.  

Pros and Cons of Pull Marketing

There isn't many bad things you can say about Pull marketing, as it continues to be the most efficient and proven method of customer acquisition. Ofcourse, you aren't going to have the same amount of exposure as a large-scale Push marketing strategy, but that doesn't mean you can't integrate both into your marketing plan.


  • Ability to target relevant consumers
  • Higher quality leads
  • Lower costs & better ROI
  • Flexibility. Advertise where, when, & to whom you want
  • Better marketing data. Internet marketing gathers more in-depth consumer, and competitor analytics


  • Less exposure


The marketing techniques covered within Push and Pull marketing are all strategies that are proven to work, when integrated properly.  The most successful businesses have a healthy balance of Push and Pull methods in their marketing repertoire, but we will always give Pull marketing the nod when it comes to engaging your target audience and generating the best ROI.  At Spider Web, we are open to having a dialogue with any business owner that would like to learn more on how internet marketing can help them reach their marketing goals!

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