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Push vs. Pull Marketing in Healthcare

As marketers, our role is to understand what strategies will be most effective in reaching what our goal at hand is. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness or brand loyalty, the marketing strategy you decide to implement can have a major impact on the success or failure of your main objective. Luckily for you, I’ve taken the time to bring to light two kinds of marketing strategies that can get you started in picking the right approach: push and pull marketing. According to Meltwater.com, “Push and pull marketing are key elements of the promotional mix strategy, yet sometimes these terms leave marketers feeling puzzled.” Well, keep reading for a quick guide you can use to determine which strategy works best for you.

Push Marketing

Push marketing is exactly what it sounds like. It’s when you push your brand or product to your consumers. Push marketing happens when you are proactively advertising and promoting your business towards a specific audience. It typically consists of paid advertising that helps get your brand in the face of customers quickly. The push marketing strategy is a good fit for you if your goals are to: 

  • Bring awareness to a new product or service
  • Get the word out about a new direction for your business
  • Quickly generate sales 
  • Share a new promotion or seasonal campaign

In healthcare, push marketing can be used when you are trying to get the word out about a specific service being offered during a short period of time. For example, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many healthcare facilities offer women in their primary service areas (PSA) or secondary service areas (SSA) a discounted price towards getting a mammogram. As a healthcare marketer, you may want to initiate a paid social media campaign or a paid search campaign announcing the seasonal promotion. 

Pull Marketing

Pull marketing involves naturally pulling in consumers towards your brand. This is typically achieved via earned media or organic strategies (although not always) that will allow businesses to stand out amongst competitors on their own. Pull marketing also increases consumer interest in your brand based on the relevancy and the quality of content you put out. You will want to implement a pull marketing method if your goals are to:

  • Increase brand loyalty
  • Focus on long-term growth rather than a quick approach to generate sales
  • Connect with consumers and build relationships with customers
  • Increase visibility amongst competitors with interesting online content

In healthcare, pull marketing is an important marketing strategy to consider because in healthcare we are selling a service most people don’t want to buy however they need. Having your facility stand out amongst its competitors via word-of-mouth, organic positive reviews or patient testimonials shared on social media will give you a competitive advantage. Most patients look at online ratings and physician referrals to make decisions about their health. By increasing social media traffic with positive stories that make your brand stand out, you will be helping consumers take the next step in their marketing funnel towards action. 

There is no right or wrong marketing strategy between both push and pull marketing strategies. However, one strategy may work best for your business and its goals than the other. As a marketer, understanding what decisions to make to reach your overall marketing goals is essential. If you made it this far, you’re already ahead of the game in understanding the difference between push and pull marketing!

Did you enjoy this post? Learn more about increasing healthcare brand awareness with earned media on my last post.

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