Reactive Marketing vs. Proactive Marketing

September 21st, 2009

Reactive marketing is a marketing strategy that takes place because of unforeseen competition. It is contrasted with proactive marketing, which strives to plan for fluctuations in the market. It often consists of analyzing real-time, data-driven changes and aims to understand the ever-changing aims of potential customers.

A reactive approach is what most organizations are using today to spearhead their marketing activities. In their defense—reactive behavior is second nature to us as human beings. You see someone driving down the road and you find yourself thinking—I could really use a new a car. Organizations function the same way—word gets out that a customer just landed a new partner or is attending a new event and immediately the executives and marketing team thinks—we need to do that. Right? Wrong.

What your organization needs to do is set its own course. If you have a solid message, your marketing efforts should focus on delivering that message to key audience across a range of mediums. And in today’s world of social media, blogs and video, etc., these new, cost-effective tools must be a part of your overall marketing strategy.

Listen to your customers and the influencers in your market, chart a course and stick to it. Of course even the most proactive plans need to be adjusted, but don’t be too quick to change directions after seeing every move your competitors make.

Being proactive and trusting your convictions (as well as those of your marketing, advertising and public relations agency) will allow you to set the pace and perhaps influence your competition to re-think their approach (and emulate you).

Show a little creativity and you might just notice that you become that trendsetter with the new car that others begin reacting to.

Domenick Cilea

Domenick founded Springboard in 1995. When he is not working on marketing, PR, branding or content strategy, Domenick can be found in a gym, on the road or pool training to survive his next triathlon.

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