These approaches are used as part of a marketing policy to encourage customers to purchase a product or service. Push and pull policies are contrasting approaches and tend to target different types of consumers. A pull policy targets the end consumer, using advertising, sales promotions, and direct response marketing to pull the customer in. This approach is common in consumer markets. A push policy targets members of the distribution channel, such as wholesalers and retailers, to push the promotion up through the channel to the consumers. This approach is more common in industrial markets.
A push policy is where the producer promotes to the next stage in the marketing channel. They promote to the wholesalers, who promotes to the retailers and then they promote to the consumers. In a pull policy, the producer promotes directly to the consumer.