december 05, 2017

[CASE STUDY] Push vs Pull Marketing – What Is Best For Your Strategy?

Push vs pull marketing is an often discussed topic when considering a strategy. With that, we also talk about the two types of traffic – “push” and “pull.” In this Morningscore article, we explore those two terms and how implementing each of them will benefit your company. The data presented here is collected from a survey we ran about what traffic costs, and what type of traffic is the most relevant to use when planning your marketing strategy. Keep in mind, however, that this post serves as an overview – results are not black and white, and yours will probably differ from ours.


Push vs pull marketing infografikPUSH AND PULL TYPES OF TRAFFIC

Alright, you say, let’s dive right into it. But first, what’s the difference between the two? Push and pull marketing differ significantly in the way you approach your customers. Push marketing means you are trying to promote a specific product to an audience you find relevant. Pull marketing implies that you implement a strategy that will draw consumers towards your products – often creating loyal customers or followers. Generally, social media is considered a “push” channel, while search engines and databases like Google, Bing, Youtube, etc. fall into the “pull” category.


Push marketing:

In push marketing, you are trying to bring your products to your customers. Just as the name suggests, you are trying to push a particular product on your target audience. “So,” you ask, “when do I implement this push marketing?” Typically, businesses use “push” marketing in the following scenarios:

  • When launching a new product
  • When operating in a niche market

In both cases, it’s tough to reach your target audience without any “push” marketing efforts. To get a better idea, let’s look at John. After years of R&D, his company has just developed a new frying pan that makes you a wizard in your kitchen. But John’s ultimate problem is that no one knows about this amazing pan. This means before he gets the “Best Pan Of The Year” award, he’ll first have to raise awareness around that new product – and here’s where push channels work like a charm.

Pull marketing:

In pull marketing, however, things look a little different. Your customers know what they are looking for, and they often look for the benefits themselves. In this case, the user engages much more with the product pre-purchase, and goes out and searches information actively. This can, for example, be car dealers, lawyers, and products such as household appliances, beds, computer screens, etc. Businesses will use pull marketing:

  • When the user knows what he or she is looking for
  • When branding is of great importance

Push vs pull promotionstrategi


So how do these two types of marketing perform as pay-per-click campaigns? While search terms are oriented towards users who actively look for information online, social media channels like Facebook push products based on audiences’ interests. By knowing this, we can understand our target market even better. Chances are, after fulfilling his or her end goal, a user moves on (i.e., after the purchase). This means that for most purchase-oriented searches there will constantly be new people being exposed to your marketing. Most of the times, however, niche audiences are sort of fixed. Users get to see your ad several times bringing them to a state of fatigue. With this saturation, businesses are forced to push new and different offers and ads towards the same audience. And this behavior is part of what drives the price difference between the push and pull types of traffic.

Push vs Pull Marketing & Price Difference

Okay, so we understood the difference and some of the factors influencing the prices. And while an actual price can’t be determined until you bid, this will give you an idea:

  • Push traffic is typically cheaper per click. – i.e., $0.5 per click is not rare. This allows for fast testing and adapting.
  • Pull traffic is more expensive and especially dependent on the competition in the niche/branch (i.e., lawyers). To paint a better picture, the most expensive search keyword costs more than $25 per click!
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    Now that you understand “push” and “pull” marketing let’s look at some numbers. Our study across industries shows that pull traffic converts at 68% higher than push-traffic (source). That number makes it clear why businesses are ready to pay a higher price point for “pull” and shows the importance of branding.


    The latest major US survey shows:

    Websites got more traffic from social media (43%) compared to search engines like Google (35%) in 2015.

    This, however, does not apply everywhere. Moreover, we are talking about some 200,000 news outlets. This means the trends are not necessarily the same when websites have other purposes than building buzz around news. For that reason, we decided to test the two channels for Danish companies. You can see our findings below.


    Trafikfordeling i push vs pull promotionstrategi



    We conducted research that shows how the traffic division looks like among Danish firms in 2017:

    • Search engine (pull): 48,7%
    • Social media (push): 8,2%

    So what’s the push vs pull marketing distribution? It is clear from this graph that Danish companies are way more dependent on search engines like Google (pull) than they are on social media (push) marketing. Source: 30 Danish (anonymous) companies with revenue between 1-100 million DKK (15 B2B and 15 B2C)

    Morningscores undersøgelse af brug af socialle medier og søgemaskine


    You might have heard some comments recently that Google won’t last long. But this can’t be further from the truth. Google is not headed down. On the contrary, the purchase-ready Google traffic has skyrocketed with 65% more searches in just two years. (source)



    Now that you understand the current trends shaping the push vs. pull marketing, it’s time to conclude with several take-away points. For the future, consider:

    • Increased traffic does not equal more sales and revenue – the conversion rate for pull traffic is on average 68% higher than push traffic
    • Danish companies are still primarily using pull marketing
    • It definitely pays-off to invest in high purchase-oriented PPC prices on Google
    • Facebook ads and similar “push” marketing campaigns don’t bring purchase-ready traffic directly.
    • Push traffic is an almost infinite amount which makes it an excellent supplement to pull traffic (which in some cases can be completely sucked out with less than $200 per month).

    Start off the right foot, by knowing your marketing platforms before you begin your work. Many are preconditioned towards a channel and jump the gun based on what they think. The facts, however, show that it depends 100% on your industry and your advertising goal so that either one of the platforms fits best for your company

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