Push-Thru vs. Pull-Thru Marketing

David Burstein, P.E.
Posted on: 05/31/18
Written by: David Burstein, P.E.


There are two ways you can make contacts with potential new clients: push-thru vs. pull-thru marketing.

1. You can find out who has a project coming up and seek to be selected for that project. We call that “push-thru marketing.”

2. You can create an environment in which the client seeks you out. We call that “pull-thru marketing.”

Here are some examples:

Push-thru marketing

  • Cold calling

  • Tracking project announcements (e.g., Fed Biz Ops)

  • Submitting qualifications statements

  • Responding to competitive requests for proposals

Pull-thru marketing

  • Making presentations at conferences

  • Sending clients useful information

  • Client outings—without talking about business

Both methods are necessary, but the more work you bring in through pull-thru marketing, the higher your hit rate and the higher your fees.

About the Author: David Burstein P.E. is Director of Client Services for PSMJ Resources, Inc. As part of his responsibilities, he provides consulting and training services on the subjects of strategic planning, marketing, project management, human resources, quality, finance and ownership transition. He is a lead instructor for PSMJ's AEC Project Management Bootcamp. He can be contacted at 770-723-9651 or dburstein@psmj.com.

ae-business-development-estudy-4In PSMJ's complimentary report, A/E Business Development Study: How Today’s Most Successful A/E Firms Keep Their Clients Happy and Win New Work, we asked a range of questions relating to firms’ business development efforts, including: If firms have a full-time business development staff and how it functions, and how they train their full-time business development staff.  Then we overlaid that data against firms’ financial performance, proposal performance, and client satisfaction, i.e. their business development effectiveness.

Download It Here!

For more advice on A/E marketing, following is a list of related blog posts:   

14 Marketing Resolutions A/E/C Firms Should Make in 2018

Attract Ideal Clients With An Inbound Marketing Strategy

Get Your Team in Marketing Gear

5 Tips on How to Survive the Marketing Tech Madness

Marketing Spend: Are your budgets targeted for growth?



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