Digital marketing has revolutionized the way businesses target audiences and engage with customers. Although there are a variety of different marketing tactics out there, most businesses utilize one of two distinct strategies. They either use a reactive or proactive marketing strategy.
So what’s the difference between reactive and proactive marketing? Reactive marketing is when marketers launch campaigns and then analyze the data to see how well their campaign performed. They then use this data to try to improve the next campaign, and this process repeats itself.
With proactive marketing, you take the behavior patterns of the consumer into account to try to create engaging marketing opportunities, rather than relying solely on the data of past campaigns. Instead of asking the question, “What did this person want?” and then adjusting your strategy to meet that need, proactive marketing encourages you to find out, “What will this person want next?”
Proactive marketing can help you more efficiently identify and reach your target audience, and allows you to engage with them in meaningful ways. It’s a strategy that can make your brand more adaptable and up-to-date in terms of understanding customer preferences. So let’s take a look at three approaches that can assist you in building a proactive marketing strategy.
Use Real-Time Data
To get a better grasp on the needs and preferences of customers and potential customers, tap into the data you already have — that is, the data collected by website publishers and vendors. You can use this data to see how individuals are interacting with your website in real-time.
Analyze the data as it comes in and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. Using an analytics dashboard, such as the one offered by Google Analytics, can make it easier to track and understand the behavior of users in real-time.
Invest in Content Marketing
When done right, content marketing can drive more users to your website, increase engagement, and encourage brand loyalty. That’s because good content provides users with something of value, something that they want to see. Whether you’re using articles, blogs, videos, or some other type of content, its goal should almost always be to help the reader solve a problem.
When you start creating content that potential customers want to see, you’ll likely see a jump in your organic traffic. Organic traffic, where people discover your content on a search platform such as Google or YouTube, is often superior to traffic that comes from other sources, such as search engine ads or email marketing campaigns. That’s because the people who come to your website through organic traffic are actively seeking out what you have to offer — they don’t have to be persuaded or incentivized through direct marketing tactics to visit your website.
In order to create an effective content marketing strategy and drive organic traffic, there are a few things you have to keep in mind. First, create content that’s relevant to your brand. For instance, 1Dental is a company that offers dental savings plans and connects users with qualified dentists, and they maintain a blog where they post articles about dental health and other topics. This article about flossing is a great example of relevant content — after all, someone who seeks out an article about keeping their teeth clean very well may be interested in professional dental services.
In addition to creating relevant content, make sure you create high-quality content. You’ll likely have more success if you write for humans rather than bots. It’s always better to avoid tactics like keyword stuffing, and instead create content that will make people want to read your other articles, watch your other videos, and return to your website in the future.
Personalize Your Marketing Materials
By now, consumers have come to expect that platforms and advertisements will be tailored to their unique tastes. They’re used to seeing personalized recommendations while scrolling through Netflix and targeted ads while browsing social media channels. Ultimately, they would rather see timely, relevant content — such as this personalized happy birthday email from Sephora — as opposed to random content aimed at the lowest common denominator.
Perhaps the most effective way to personalize your marketing materials is to segment your audience. Audience segmentation is when you separate people into groups based on certain shared traits. As a marketer, you can determine how to segment your audience and separate people into groups by leveraging the customer data at your disposal. You might segment your audience using a variety of factors, such as age, gender, income level, spending habits, or even their general hobbies and interests.
To take a closer look at how segmentation works, let’s use a more specific example. One of the most valuable pieces of data when it comes to audience segmentation is geographic location. Why is an individual’s geographic location an important piece of information for you as a marketer? Well, it gives you insight into things like:
- Physical location – when marketing to people who live in a particular area, you can make your ads more personalized to their community and provide them with local updates related to your products
- Climate – while advertising a pair of skis to people in Tucson, AZ probably wouldn’t generate much business, advertising the same product to people in Park City, UT could be very impactful
- Cultural preferences – different cultures have different values and preferences, and you need to know what these are in order to create a successful marketing campaign
- Time zone – it’s essential that you’re aware of the time zone you’re advertising in, because if you end up sending out emails or posting to social media when it’s 4 AM in the area you’re targeting, you probably won’t garner much engagement
Marketing tactics seemingly become more sophisticated every day. To stay competitive as a marketer, you’ll have to keep up with the most current trends and take advantage of the tools, technology, and strategies available to you. You’ll also have to anticipate the quickly changing needs of your audience. By utilizing a proactive marketing strategy, you can help your brand engage with current customers and, at the same time, expand your audience. Start with one or all of the three approaches listed above and bring in the new year by designing a marketing strategy that really works!
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is the managing editor for 365 Business Tips as well as runs a personal blog, Mixed Bits Media. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.