What promotion strategy should you use: push or pull? The answer might be both.
A pull strategy is defined as managing your promotional mix to encourage your customer to demand the product from the distribution channel such as a store or a distributor. The pull is driven by things such as advertising, coupons, or even publicity; thus, the customer is persuaded to buy the product.
An alternative to pulling is “pushing”. Push strategies are used when your target is the market channel itself. In this case, you direct your promotional mix toward the channel to encourage them to order and stock your product. Thus, a push strategy helps the channel “push” the product to the customer. This is achieved through a variety of techniques including personal selling, discounting, or special inventory incentives.
You may wish to reach both your customer and your distribution channel with a combination of push and pull promotion strategies. For example, Coca-Cola advertises to the consumer about the many benefits of Coke using television advertising. They also will push the retailers to stock Coke on the best shelves with special wholesale pricing. With both push and pull strategies at play, a lot of Diet Coke gets sold.
Promotion strategies have a common goal—to sell more products.
John Bradley Jackson
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