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Marketing 101: The difference between the pull and the push


There are two ways to market a product, push or pull. Push is what most of us recognize, it means exactly that, being pushy - putting ads in front of people, interrupting things with commercials, being a pushy salesperson. And then there's the pull, which so subtle that many people don't even know it exists. I see it all of the time, and it's marketing at its finest.

Yesterday a friend of mine said, "Did you know that the Ford F-150 is the safest truck made because of its aluminum frame?" Really. Those exact words. And no, he doesn't work at a Ford dealership, he was just sharing what he considered interesting information. And my response was the "pull" - I said, "Why is that? Tell me more" (or words like that). As a consumer, I was pulling information, he wasn't pushing it on me.

Getting people to do your marketing for you is an amazing accomplishment. And I see it all of the time. That's why social media is so important to marketers. And not just because of the "push" - which many people can block anyway, but because of the pull, which can't be stopped by ad blockers, and is ultimately much more effective than the push, and more sincere.