Push, Pull & Profile Strategies

Push, Pull and Profile are the 3 P’s in an organisations marketing communications strategy.

A Push Strategy promotes a product to retailers/distributors in order to force the product down into the distribution channel.

A Pull Strategy – involves communicating with the end customer or consumer to attract them to the retailer/distributor in order to purchase the product.

Profile Strategy – this third component of an overall communication strategy is all about satisfying the needs of the stakeholders.

When to use the Push Strategy?

The main aim of the Push strategy is to get the product into the hands of buyers with little or no advertising.

This strategy involves personal selling to acquire a customer. Trade shows are a good place for many Push marketing strategies as there’re plenty of opportunities to “sell” to interested industry related people these types of events.

Characteristics of push strategies;

  • Product categories where there’s low brand loyalty
  • Where many acceptable substitutes are available in the market
  • Relatively new products are to be launched
  • The product purchase is unplanned or on impulse
  • The consumer is familiar and has adequate knowledge about the product

Pull Strategy

With Pull strategies, marketing efforts are ultimately directed at the consumer or end-user and are loaded with a lot of promotional offers to support the campaign such as; contests, coupons, free samples etc.

If companies add on advertising into this strategy then the cost of marketing associated with this approach can usually be quite high.

Characteristics of a Pull strategy;

  • The product demand is high
  • It’s possible to differentiate the product on the basis of real or emotional features
  • Brand consumers show a high degree of involvement in the product purchase
  • There is reasonably high brand loyalty
  • Consumers make brand choice decisions before they go to the store

Profile strategy

Characteristics of Profile strategy is to build awareness, perception, attitudes and reputation using;

  • Public relations
  • Sponsorship
  • Corporate advertising

In some international markets, the nature of the market structure that already exists may determine the degree to which push, pull and profile strategies are used. This is likely to mean adopting different strategies for different markets – some are highly fragmented while others are concentrated.

What do these strategies achieve?

A “pull” selling strategy is one that requires high spending on advertising and promotion to build up consumer demand for a product. If the strategy is successful consumers will ask their retailers for the product, the retailers will ask the distributors and the distributors will ask the manufacturers if they can stock their products.

A “push” promotional strategy makes use of a company’s sales force and trade promotion activities to create consumer demand for a product. The producer promotes the product to distributors, the distributor promotes it to retailers, and the retailers promote it to consumers.

A “Profile” strategy takes time and isn’t something that can be changed overnight. Your profile is linked to positioning and identity – it is how your stakeholders view you. Good or bad. A good profile usually means strong brand-equity. Organisations with a good profile and strong brand-equity can leverage this as part of their communications strategy.

Key steps:

  • Decide overall marketing objectives
  • Create Push/pull strategy (identify marketing communications, channel management etc)
  • Decide if a Profile strategy is an option
  • Communicate the message to all channel partners
  • Evaluate the outputs

Top Tips:

Having just one strategy may not give you as good of a return as you wish for. You might need to balance all strategies to create a satisfactory marketing mix that entices customers to buy your products. Some customers react to one type or the other depending on their stage in the decision-making process.

The bargain hunters might react to the Push marketing tactics while the socially aware buyers might respond to the Pull marketing. Corporate companies may be swayed by associating themselves with organisations that have strong Profiles such as Apple. If you have a product that requires a lot of convincing to buy, then mixing the strategies up will help to ensure that consumers can’t resist your offer.

Please get in touch if you would like any further information on how Push, Pull or Profile strategies can help you.

push, pull and profile strategies

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