This post originally appeared on tBL member Joshua Lyon's blog Joshua Lyons Marketing Blog and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.

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The other day I went to the Cordova Mall, here in Pensacola, and decided to grab some lunch at the food-court. There are several Asian restaurants in the food-court and they are all great about pushing their samples in front of your face. I like that. =) I tried the yummy teriyaki chicken sample, and ended up purchasing the double chicken teriyaki meal. It was really good and I highly recommend it. If you’re ever at the Cordova Mall, you should check it out.

Push marketing is a very popular, and traditional, method of promotion. Here’s how it works. Someone has a product or service Push Marketing Examplethey want sold, so they go out, and they “PUSH” the product to the public. They make it so you see their product, whether you wanted to or not. That doesn’t mean you are interested in actually buying it, but they pushed it in front of you, so at least you know about it. Examples include advertising through commercials, newspaper ads, pop-ups on websites, people in the food-court who shove food in your face and tell you to sample it, etc. In all of those examples, you are being interrupted from what you’re trying to do, because someone is pushing their message to you.

Push marketing frequently targets the general public. The target audience can be more specific, but it usually has more of a shotgun style approach. The person in the food-court offers samples to everyone. They don’t know if the people walking past just finished eating, just started eating, are just passing through the food-court, are going to the restrooms, if they are vegetarian, etc. They simply want to get the message out that they have great chicken teriyaki. If they get the message out to enough people, it will hopefully stick with someone, and result in sale for them. Who is push marketing supposed to target? It’s suppose to target anyone who could be a customer. Yeah, it’ll get pushed to people who don’t care about what you have to offer, but at the same time, it will most likely be pushed in front of your ideal customer or client.

You use push marketing because you want people to know you exist and have something worth buying. Does the public know what you’re selling? If they don’t know you’re out there, then you may want to “push” that information out. Push marketing is usually more expensive than the counterpart, pull marketing. However, if you have a good marketing budget, you may want to invest in a push marketing campaign. Push marketing is definitely a good option if you want to work on general branding and getting your name out there.

First, do a little investigation to see where you can promote yourself without having to break your bank. Is there a news source your potential customers or clients frequently visit? If so, see if you can advertise with them, without having to break the bank. If you can’t find a good inexpensive option, and you don’t have thousands of dollars to throw into advertising via television, magazines, billboards, radio and other push marketing platforms, perhaps you can focus your marketing efforts with a “Pull Marketing” approach. It just so happens that countless businesses have been perfectly capable of becoming successful via pull marketing, rather than just push marketing.

Absolutely not! Push marketing pushes marketing messages upon people and tries to push the people to make a purchase. Alternatively, pull marketing focuses around the concept of having your potential customer or client come to you. You pull them in. You don’t push them in. Remember when I told you about the samples at the food-court in the Cordova Mall in Pensacola, Florida? Well, I recommended them to you. Maybe you’re reading this, and as a result of my recommendation, you’ve decided to go find the Asian restaurant I talked about, and you’re going to become their customer as well. You didn’t discover them and learn about their double meat teriyaki meal because they pushed it on you. Rather, they pulled you in, through word-of-mouth marketing from me. Pull marketing is sneakier than push marketing. With this style of marketing, you make it so people want your product or service. You position yourself in a way that will make people come to you. Building a word-of-mouth campaign isn’t the only way to execute pull marketing. In a future post, I’ll give you more information about pull marketing, which is usually much more cost efficient than push marketing and can be done by anyone, regardless of industry or marketing budget.

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