Proactive marketing also known as predictive marketing is a marketing approach that helps businesses develop marketing strategies based on data analytics. Companies that follow proactive marketing usually evaluate the performance of a marketing effort through data analysis. Based on the data, the company will then optimize its marketing plans and strategies with the objective of maximizing their marketing efforts. They will also monitor the performance of the marketing efforts throughout its course.
Proactive marketing usually goes beyond the principles of the traditional marketing and service marketing. It allows marketers to make predictions and meet their customers’ needs. Proactive marketing extracts their latent requirements and future actions or behaviors.
Illustration of Proactive Marketing
Steve Jobs – the founder of Apple Inc, is often considered as the father of proactive marketing. The introduction of the iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc. was at a time when people actually didn’t realize they needed those kinds of products. With the help of data analytics and research, Apple was able to develop these products catering to the latent requirements of their customers. They predicted consumer behavior and its response to the product before actually launching the product officially, in the market. Nevertheless, all these products turned out to be game changers in the tech industry.
Reactive marketing, on the other hand, is a marketing approach that is taken in response to the ongoing trends. Marketers create contents capitalizing on the trending topics or current events with the hopes of associating with their customer base. Reactive marketing is not just limited to making trendy contents. It can also be applied by marketers in response to their competitor’s marketing campaigns and efforts. Reactive marketing strategies are mostly applied in social media platforms where the algorithm boosts contents that gain more traction through engagements. With the rise of apps like Tiktok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. more and more businesses opt to choose reactive marketing methods to build their brand presence in the market.
Oftentimes marketers tend to take a reactive approach towards their marketing efforts. While reactive marketing may be a good option in some cases, it may not be applicable to all marketing scenarios. Hence, it’s important to be clear when to use the right kind of marketing approach in order to get optimum results. Let’s start off with an example.
Illustration of Reactive Marketing
When the COVID crisis happened, a lot of businesses were scratching their heads in order to figure out a way to keep operations running. Remote working was popularized after people were compelled to stay indoors to prevent the spread of the virus. Businesses and organizations were hopping into the bandwagon of creating informative contents related to hygiene and COVID prevention methods. This particular approach can be considered as a good example of reactive marketing.
Similarly, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) changing the name of its flagship fairness cream from Fair and Lovely to Glow and Lovely over a backlash they faced on disrespecting people of color is also another relevant example of reactive marketing. In Nepal itself, you can notice a lot of brands taking a reactive marketing approach in their social media pages to present their products and services in the form of trending memes.
Proactive Marketing Vs. Reactive Marketing
Proactive marketing allows marketers to be agile, data-driven, and adaptable to the changing demands of the market whereas reactive marketing allows marketers to be more of an opportunist. It’s often applied to overcome unforeseen challenges and events. An effective marketing plan can be achieved through proactive marketing. Along with predicting customer behaviors through data analytics it also helps companies assess the strengths and weaknesses of their marketing efforts. This gives them a brief overview of what to do and what not to do while planning out their strategies. Companies that usually rely on proactive marketing usually don’t miss out on emerging trends and opportunities in the market. It can also be used to address the customers’ needs and demands in an efficient manner.
Reactive marketing usually depends on external factors, hence it usually involves less planning and analyzing. Rather than anticipating any trends or opportunities, reactive marketing takes more of an urgent approach. Hence, monitoring and evaluation of the actions taken is also absent in this approach. In addition to that, companies that usually rely on reactive marketing fail to anticipate any emerging opportunities. It mostly deals with reacting to competitors’ strategies and actions.