Moving from Reactive to Proactive as your Primary Marketing Strategy

Proactive origami boat leading other boats in a race

How are you currently marketing your company? That question is among the many foundational questions we ask whenever we start talking to a new prospect about engaging Scheffey as a marketing partner. During this discovery phase, it’s quite common to learn that the marketing strategy is not strategic, but rather a more reactive approach to promoting the products and services of the brand. Reactive marketing is marketing without a plan and without the guidance of analytics to determine what the plan should be. While there are times when a company needs to be reactive due to an unexpected market change or incident, a proactive approach offers the best return on investment – in terms of money and time.

For many businesses, it’s easy to fall into the path of reactive marketing. Luckily, it’s also relatively easy to move from reactive to proactive marketing.

The primary difference between the two marketing methodologies is planning. But before you start to plan you must first identify your goals, which then gives you something to measure to determine your ROI. Without a strategic plan, communications are often randomly placed without regard to consistency, impact, or how to stay in front of the competition that is communicating to the same people in the same markets.

Ways to identify if you’re being reactive in your approach to marketing include:

  • You know your target audience, but do not have a written strategic plan guiding your communications month-by-month over a sustained period of time.
  • Your marketing efforts are individualized and tactical, lacking a cohesive strategy aligning them to an overarching set of goals.
  • You lack measurement to help you evaluate the effectiveness in reaching and motivating your target audience.
  • You abruptly start and the stop campaigns, deeming them ineffective after just a short period of time.
  • You have not built a marketing budget into your business plan and only market when you have a little extra money.
  • You have difficulty calculating how much money was spent on marketing over the course of a year.
  • There are multiple marketing decision-makers within your company who independently initiate or commit to marketing tactics.
  • You lack a consistent messaging strategy to ensure all communications are relevant and aligned to the established goals.

If you answered yes to some of these, there’s a good chance you’ve been working under a reactive marketing model. If you’d like to learn more about how to start the transition to proactive marketing, contact Hope Graby at or 717-869-4269