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Digital Marketing Strategy: Push vs. Pull? A Guide for Local Small Businesses

Digital Marketing Strategy: Push vs. Pull? A Guide for Local Small Businesses

by Lee Ming Zhe May 19, 2020
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Digital Marketing strategy

It is not new to say that digital marketing strategy is the key to getting business in the know-how. However, what approach the business takes is an important point of discussion because it determines how far it will go and reach potential customers resulting in sales and business growth.

Digital Marketing Strategy: A Mainstream Marketing Strategy

Recently, marketing & business school, as well as other think tanks, are no longer regard digital marketing as its own spectrum, but consolidated marketing strategy as part of the mainstream marketing studies. This means that we cannot classify ‘digital marketing’ vs ‘offline marketing’ anymore.

Digital marketing is now the mainstream & it’s just another strategy in the overall marketing implementation for your business.

As more of these ideas started to spread, we can see that many small & local businesses that previously reluctant to adopt digital marketing, started to take the initiative to try out some of the digital channels.

Social media like Facebook & Instagram is among the favorite for small businesses as they’re cost-effective & has a very low entry barrier. Basically, if you have a Facebook personal account, you should be able to start your own Facebook business page.

A simple website with a few pages would be the next most adopted strategy for businesses with a little budget for their digital marketing. This company’s website would then be the ‘Hub’ of all digital marketing activities as they slowly expand their digital presence & initiating more strategies.

The Introduction: Push Marketing & Pull Digital Marketing Strategy

In general, we can categorize all marketing strategies to push marketing & pull marketing. TV & radio commercial is more of a push marketing, it creates interest & demands toward a product or service. On the other hand, a local kiosk would be a pull marketing, where allow prospects to easily access the offering when they’re interested to do so.

A good marketing strategy is to combine both of these push marketing & pull marketing.

First, you will need to create some interest, either toward your offering or the brand, using a push marketing strategy. Putting up a billboard or spreading flyers on the street would help that.

Then, you will need to make sure that your product is accessible, where the prospect can get to the store & grab your product.

That’s the idea of how push marketing & pull marketing happen without the internet. Today, however, relying only on these offline channels would not be effective anymore for all businesses.

Whether you’re a B2B, small local business, or a large brand, you cannot escape the paradigm shifts, leading toward the digital world. Your customer would want to learn more about your product on their smartphone, get in touch with you on social media, and purchase your product directly online & have them shipped to their doorsteps.

Now, let’s look into how push marketing & pull marketing happens online & what’s the available strategy that can be adopted by small & local businesses.


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Push Marketing Strategy: A Simple Digital Marketing Strategy Guide to Get Started

What is push marketing?

When comes to push marketing, social media advertising is the strategy that easier to get started. With just a little budget, you can easily serve your offering to thousands of people on the social platform. The ads campaign usually comes together with a promotional strategy to increase its effectiveness.

In general, the push marketing is a digital marketing strategy meant to reach out to consumers through various means and so it requires some advertising budgets. The goal is to make the consumer desire the product or service.

Who uses push marketing?

Push marketing is a digital marketing strategy used by start-up businesses and companies who are looking to introduce new types of products. Marketers who use this kind of digital marketing strategy are those who focus on getting the consumer.

It is often used by companies with the following aims:

  • Brand awareness
  • Advertising a new kind of product
  • To create the need for a product which is not used by a lot of people

How to create a push marketing strategy?

To begin creating a push marketing strategy, you need to first identify who is your target audience? Identifying your target audience means understanding the demographics of the customers you want to target.

Some target audience demographics to get you started are:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Race
  • Income level
  • Gender

Next you must determine what kind of media channels do you want to use? Will you employ print ads, or TV ads, online ads, etc.  It is necessary to determine you media channel because a push marketing strategy would essentially use all or a lot of media channels in combination.

Next is the final step to begin designing your ads. Whether it is with a team of graphic designers, copyright experts, and other or it is individually, your advertisement must be:

  • Authentic
  • Unique
  • Visually appealing
  • Intriguing
  • Have a theme
  • Have a story

Push marketing strategy on Facebook

Let’s say that you want to promote your offering on Facebook using the Ads service, you can easily use this to create your digital marketing strategy in just 15 minutes

  1. All you to do is go to your Facebook page & publish a post with your offering (with image & ad text) and hit the ‘Boost’ button to get things started! Here’s a list of what you need:
  2. A visual/graphic – this could be your product image (make sure the image is presentable & clear)
  3. A group of the target audience – age, gender, location, language, & interest.
  4. A short paragraph to ‘sell’ your offering (on the ad text section) – use some emoji to attract attention!
  5. The total budget to be spent & the schedule (how long you want the ads to run)

Voila, you have your push marketing done on Facebook! That’s how simple to get started.

Pull Marketing: A Simple Guide to Get Started

What is pull marketing?

The pull marketing strategy takes the approach of putting the product in direct reach of the audience. The audience’s interest in the product is already known so the product is put in their path as they are already looking for it. The aim of this digital marketing strategy is to establish a strong brand image so the customers can reach out whenever they are looking for something.

To put it in a simple word, it’s to set up digital channels on the internet & readily to serve the prospect who’s interested in your product & brand. These digital channels are also the place where you want to build up a brand image & identity. This form of a digital marketing strategy involves strategy such as website, SEO, blog content and social media.

Who uses pull marketing?

Pull marketing, is used by brands and businesses that are well-established in the market. This kind of digital marketing strategy is used when a product being sold is well-known by all people.

It is often used by companies with the following aims:

  • Brand loyalty
  • Advertising a well-known kind of product
  • To sell a product a lot of people are already interested in

How to create a pull marketing strategy?

Since social media is the most adaptable digital channels, we would definitely suggest these channels to local small businesses to start with. Here’s what you need to do to get started, all you need is 45 minutes to get everything done:

  1. Prepare your logo image & cover photo (could be your product image, company exterior photo, or just a general photo)
  2. Create a Facebook business page
  3. Complete as much business information as possible under ‘About’
  4. Create an Instagram business account
  5. Complete your Instagram business account info & write a short sentence on your description (use hashtag)
  6. Connect your Facebook & Instagram account
  7. Create a Twitter account for your business & complete your account info
  8. Create a 1x post with an image & short text to publish on all 3 social media platform

That’s all! You now have 3 social media profiles for your business & your customer can now reach you online! Login these social media accounts on your smartphone.

So, whenever anyone messages you or like your page, you will get notified. Always reply to the message promptly! We’re living in this digital world that letting customers wait for replies is the worst thing to do in business.

For a B2C business,

You’re expected to respond to the message within 60 minutes for the best customer impression. Enable the notification on your phone, so that you will get the ring when someone connects with you.

Once you have all the platform ready, make sure you create content on a consistent basis to build up your brand identity & engage with your fans. To better manage your social media, use social media management tools like Ubercircle to create & schedule your content.

Ubercircle will then post your content on all the social media account connected. You don’t have to go to every platform & publish the post anymore!


Social Media Marketing

Taking the Balanced Approach to Pull Marketing & Push Marketing

You need to have a good mix of push marketing & pull marketing to drive your business forward. A new business that no one knows about cannot just rely on pull marketing. You need to bring your product to your target market.

Letting them know about your brands & create interest in your offering. If you’re selling a generic product that everyone is searching online, then you can surely focus on pull marketing by building up your social media & website with SEO. Letting customers come to you.

However, don’t forget that your competitors probably recognized that as well & using this strategy. So, your new goal is to create something better than them! In that case, focus on giving a better user experience, through brand & optimizing your website for a better shopping experience.

There’s no secret formula to help you determine which one you should spend more to make a balanced combination of pull marketing & push marketing in a digital marketing strategy. At first, you can check out what’s your competitors & leader approach & try to take their lead. Of course, you cannot always follow their strategy.

Otherwise, you will always walk behind them or having yourself to compete in the ‘Red Sea’.

Collect data along your way as you build a campaign for your digital marketing strategy. See which approach works best for you & look for a way to get out of the competition. Don’t forget to combine those marketing strategies that you’re implementing offline.

Never treat digital marketing as a separate entity from your main marketing effort. Having them run together can increase effectiveness & often help you to save more cost!

Outsourcing Your Digital Marketing

For businesses that grow fast, you will want to consider outsourcing your digital marketing campaign to a professional agency. With that, you can save more time & focus on your core business. Moreover, you can also expand your digital marketing strategy to more than just social media posting & Facebook ads.

Explore the digital marketing strategy today toward other push marketing & pull marketing strategy types such as website, SEO, Google Ads, influencer, video & content marketing can definitely level your business success.

If you’re a business in Malaysia & looking to expand your business with digital marketing, talk to our experts at FiveDot – a digital marketing company in Malaysia – for more details.


What are the strategies of digital marketing?

Here are some of the digital marketing tactics we employ: 1) Search Engine Optimization (SEO) 2) Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Marketing. 3) Webinar Production. 4) Content Marketing (Blogging & Article Writing) 5) Downloadable Content Offerings (eBooks, Whitepapers, Webinars) 6) Email Marketing. 7) Social Media Marketing. 8) Video Production

How successful is digital marketing?

More and more small businesses are implementing digital marketing tactics to effectively reach and engage their target consumers online. In fact, U.S. digital marketing spend will rise to about $332 billion by 2021. Digital marketing tactics has proven to be the most cost-effective way to reach potential customers.

Is Digital Marketing the future?

The Future of Digital Marketing. From banners to big data, digital marketing has continuously adapted to meet the needs of customers and brands alike. With an estimated $46 billion going towards programmatic advertising in 2018, it's predicted that 86% of all digital display ads will be presented via automation by 2020.

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Lee Ming Zhe

Digital Marketing Specialists from FiveDot – a digital marketing company in Malaysia – helping businesses to succeed in digital strategies.

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