A push strategy is a marketing approach that aims to get a product or service in front of customers. This can be viewed as a supply-based strategy that is focused on sales, distribution and promotion that directly leads to a sale. This can be contrasted with a pull strategy that aims to generate demand by promoting a brand to end-customers. The following are illustrative examples of a push strategy.
Generating and actioning leads to close deals. For example, a telecom company that sells to business customers with a sales team who build a network of connections in various industries.
Sales IncentivesA firm that is centered around personal selling may be able to increase revenue simply by designing effective incentives for the sales team. For example, a firm that sells farming equipment may be able to boost revenue by increasing commissions for any salesperson who closes deals worth more than $10 million in a quarter.
AdvertisingUnder a push strategy, advertising and other promotion is aimed at closing sales. For example, an ad on an ecommerce site for a tent that appears when the customer is shopping for camping gear. Under a pull strategy, advertising may build brand recognition and seek to establish relationships that don't immediately lead to a sale.
Promotion to ChannelsA push strategy may not engage the end-customer at all but instead promote products and services to sales and distribution channels. For example, a manufacturer of organic peanut butter that promotes the product to grocery stores and ecommerce retailers that specialize in organic products.
Expanding DistributionFirms may focus their efforts on expanding their distribution channels as opposed to engaging the customer. For example, a manufacturer of budget toothbrushes with a goal to get their products on more shelves in drug stores with sales and promotional activities geared at buyers at these retailers.
Sales Channel IncentiveProviding incentives directly to sales channels. For example, a series of financial rewards for reaching sales-volume targets such as a toothbrush brand that offers a $50,000 rebate to a retailer if they sell a million units in a quarter.
MerchandisingNegotiating with retailers to place merchandising displays in locations that increase the visibility of products. For example, a manufacturer of sunscreen that reaches a deal with a chain of convenience stores to include a display that features 18 sunscreen products and a coupon dispenser in 800 locations during the summer months.
NotesPush strategies aren't fashionable as marketing gurus commonly promote the virtues of pull marketing. Nevertheless, push marketing is important to firms that have little chance of establishing a strong brand in a competitive market. In practice, most large firms use both push and pull strategies.
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