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Differentiate between the push and pull promotional strategies. Explain the factors that determine whether the push or the pull strategy is appropriate in a given marketing environment.

International Business: The Challenges of Globalization

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 There are two general promotional strategies that companies can use to get their marketing message across to buyers. They can rely completely on just one of these or use them in combination. A promotional strategy designed to create buyer demand that will encourage channel members to stock a company's product is called a pull strategy. In other words, buyer demand is generated in order to "pull" products through distribution channels to end users. Creating consumer demand through direct marketing techniques is a common example of a pull strategy.
By contrast, a push strategy is a promotional strategy designed to pressure channel members to carry a product and promote it to final users. Manufacturers of products commonly sold through department and grocery stores often use a push strategy.
Whether the push or pull strategy is most appropriate in a given marketing environment depends on several factors:
Distribution System-Implementing a push strategy can be difficult when channel members (such as distributors) wield a great deal of power relative to that of producers. It can also be ineffective when distribution channels are lengthy: the more levels of intermediaries there are, the more channel members there are who must be convinced to carry a product. In such cases, it might be easier to create buyer demand using a pull strategy than to persuade distributors to stock a particular product.
Access to Mass Media-Developing and emerging markets typically have fewer available forms of mass media for use in implementing a pull strategy. Accordingly, it is difficult to increase consumer awareness of a product and generate product demand. Many consumers in these markets cannot afford cable or satellite television, or perhaps even glossy magazines. In such cases, advertisers might turn to billboards and radio. At other times, gaining wide exposure can be difficult because existing media have only local, as opposed to national, reach.
Type of Product-A pull strategy is most appropriate when buyers display a great deal of brand loyalty toward one particular brand name. In other words, brand-loyal buyers know what brand of a product they want before they go shopping. On the other hand, push strategies tend to be appropriate for inexpensive consumer goods characterized by buyers who are not brand loyal. Low brand loyalty means that a buyer will go shopping for a product, not knowing which brand is best, and simply will buy one of those carried by the retailer or wholesaler. A push strategy is also suited to industrial products because potential buyers usually need to be informed about a product's special features and benefits.
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