Ashley has taught college business courses and has a master's degree in management.
What is Marketing?
Almost everywhere we look we can find an example of a marketing technique. Such overexposure may lead some of us to feel a little cynical about the businesses behind all these promotional efforts. To overcome this issue, businesses have taken on a new approach. This approach involves using marketing techniques to gain a better understanding of customers and pull them in rather than chase them.
Marketing is used by companies to identify and communicate with their audience. There are four different categories found in the marketing mix: product, price, place and promotion. In this lesson, we will discuss an area of promotion known as pull strategy.
What are Pull Strategies and Tactics in Marketing?
A pull strategy is a technique used to bring the customer to you. Rather than pushing your business on the customer, pull strategy involves the use of pull tactics, or the communication of information, to attract the customer. Often these customers will start to market the business for you. For example, if you decided to open a local restaurant you might implement some specific tactics to pull in customers.
First, you might use advertising and mass media promotion, such as placing radio or television ads, distributing flyers, sponsoring sports teams or using social media to communicate with as many consumers as possible. Your restaurant may want to start small by developing a social media page and hanging flyers. As the business grows, you could put money into a few more promotions. This strategy often takes up a significant amount of a marketing budget. Your restaurant may want to start small by developing a social media page and hanging fliers. As the business grows, you could put money into a few more promotions.
The strongest, yet typically the most difficult tactic to get started would be word-of-mouth referrals, which involves your customers telling others about your product or service. If your restaurant has good food and service, you are likely to get word-of-mouth referrals. Some businesses offer incentives to customers for referring new customers, which typically include discounts on future purchases.
Another tactic you might use a lot during holidays or the end of a season is sales promotions and discounts, which involves offering the product or service to the customer at a discounted price. For example, your restaurant could offer free kids meals on Tuesdays to draw customers in on that day of the week. If you have a slow time of day at the restaurant, you might also consider running a special during that time.
A final tactic you could use is customer relationship management, which shows customers that you understand and care about what they want. Many companies are using database systems to gather and track customer information. If you are using a computer system, you can track your customers' previous orders, or whether the meals were purchased on an eat-in or to-go basis. This makes it easier on the employee to input the order, such as a particular person's usual, and helps the customer feels special.
Examples of Pull Strategy
While your restaurant found a way to implement each of the pull tactics. Other industries may be better off by only implementing one of them. Let's go over some additional examples of how to use pull strategies.
One example is using newspaper ads. For example, the $7.99 pizza with two toppings ad caught your eye as you were flipping through the newspaper this morning. You yell to the kids, 'Guess what's for dinner tonight?' without even realizing how the company has pulled you in.
Another example would be online banner ads. Let's say you sit down at the computer to checkout your favorite blog and see a banner ad about a huge sale at your favorite store. It reads, 'TODAY ONLY!' How exciting! You immediately click the ad, find a few items you want and place an order before acknowledging how the company has pulled you in.
Customized computer operations is another pull strategy. As an example, you're in the market for a new computer. You know what you want, but you're not sure about all the technical terms that go along with this purchase. To make sure that you get what you want, you choose a company that customizes your needs with the product. By simply calling the company and telling them what you plan to do with the computer, you receive the computer that is the best fit for you and this is designed to pull you in.
The last strategy is consumer sales s ervices. Some of us choose to sell our unneeded or unwanted items through online auction services and ship them out of our homes. Or, we can send our previously used products to companies that specialize in auctions and have them take care of the sale process. These companies do not come after you. They pull you in by simply advertising their services and waiting for you come to them.
Let's recap all we learned. Companies use marketing techniques to identify and communicate with their audience. A pull strategy is a technique used to bring the customer to you. Rather than pushing the business on the consumer, this technique finds ways to get the customer to seek out the business, thereby marketing the business themselves.
Pull tactics include advertising and mass media promotion, word-of-mouth referrals, sales promotions and discounts, and customer relationship management. Advertising and mass media promotion involves communicating with as many consumers as possible by placing ads on the radio or television, producing flyers, sponsoring sports teams or using social media. Word-of-mouth referrals involve the customers telling others about your product or service. Sales promotions and discounts include offering the product or service to the customer at a discounted price. Through customer relationship management techniques, you show customers that you understand them and care about what they want. The other tactics we discussed were newspaper ads, online banner ads, customized computer operations, and consumer sales services.
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