Explain the Difference Between a Push and a Pull Strategy in Marketing. Under Which Conditions Would Each Be Appropriate?

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1. Explain the difference between a push and a pull strategy in marketing. Under which conditions would each be appropriate? Most producers do not sell their goods directly to the final users; between them stands a set of intermediaries performing a variety of functions. In managing its intermediaries, the firm must decide how much effort to devote to push versus pull marketing. A push strategy uses the manufacturer’s sales force, trade promotion money, or other means to induce intermediaries to carry, promote, and sell the product to end users. Push strategy is appropriate where there is low brand loyalty in a category, brand choice is made in the store, the product is an impulse item, and product benefits are well understood. A good example of "push" selling is mobile phones, where the major handset manufacturers such as Nokia promote their products via retailers such as Carphone Warehouse. In a pull strategy the manufacture uses advertising, promotion, and other forms of communication to persuade consumers to demand the product from intermediaries, thus inducing the intermediaries to order it. A good example of a pull is the heavy advertising and promotion of children's’ toys – mainly on television. Pull strategy is appropriate when there is high brand loyalty and high involvement in the category, when consumers are able to perceive differences between brands, and when they choose the brand before they go to the store. For years, drug companies aimed ads solely at doctors and hospitals, but in 1997 the FDA issued guidelines for TV ads that opened the way for pharmaceuticals to reach consumers directly.
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