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How to Grow your Business using Pro-Active Marketing Techniques

How to Grow your Business using Pro-Active Marketing Techniques

The days of reactive marketing are fading away and pro-active marketing has started to become a much more efficient way to grow your business.

What does Pro-Active mean?  Proactive marketing is researching your marketplace, competitors and customers and then analysing the data. The results are gathered and used to create an effective marketing strategy that helps you gain back control to form a targeted campaign to your ‘ideal’ clients.

Ideal clients can be defined as your ‘perfect’ customer.  Profiling your existing customers will help you decide your primary target and this can be based on a series of factors that you deem to be important to your business e.g. high value customers, low maintenance, industry specific, within 20 miles of your head office…

Pro-active marketing is real-time, data-driven, and metrics focused.

Do you wait for your phone to ring? Or would you rather identify, target and engage with your ideal clients?

That’s the difference between Pro-Active and Reactive marketing. For example Re-active marketing could be a competitor making a successful business move, like trying a new product or service then your business would react and try the same/similar thing. This is different to pro-active as the business is taking control after the events have happened and actively pursuing the clients.

Pro-active marketing can be a beneficial way to approach your marketing strategy.  By predicting what your ideal clients will want next, you will be ahead of your competition. This can be achieved by following the SOSTAC marketing planning framework – a framework which we live by.

The SOSTAC framework follows six steps, including; Situation analysis, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Action Plan and Control.

A Situation Analysis looks at where your business is today in terms of customer perceptions, and competitors etc., whilst identifying external factors that could provide opportunities or pose threats in the future.

To analyse these affects we use the PESTLE and SWOT frameworks.

PESTLE analyses’:

  • Political Factors
  • Economic Factors
  • Social Factors
  • Technological Factors
  • Legal Factors
  • Environmental Factors

These are known as macro environmental factors that track the environment your business is operating in. These factors are uncontrollable, therefore your strategy must adapt to them.

A SWOT analysis looks at 4 things:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

By completing this data analysis you can put together an evolving plan that is targeted and bespoke to your business.

The Objectives in a SOSTAC marketing plan are where you scope out your vision for the future of your business. Your objectives should be SMART to ensure that they’re achievable and fully understood by all members of the team.

Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time specific.

The Strategy is where you define how your business is going to stand out from the crowd and achieve its objectives. Following completion of the situation analysis, you should be able to clearly identify your unique selling points, industry specific opportunities and the strongest target markets.

Once you’ve defined your over-riding strategy, it’s now time to identify the tactics that you’re going to use.   What’s worked well in the past? What are your competitors doing? What communication tools are your audience using?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you should be able to clearly identify tactics that will achieve your objectives.  These could include any or all of the following:-

Social Media; Direct Mail; Events; Advertising; Telemarketing; Email Marketing; CRM; SEO And Action…

You could have the best marketing plan in the world, but if you don’t have the people to manage the workload then it may just be another document that gathers dust.  The ‘A’ in SOSTAC is all about action and who does what and when.  If you don’t have the resource levels to complete the plan, the business will clearly be able to identify this at this stage and the decision needs to be made on whether to take on extra resource or refine the strategy and tactics to ensure that they’re manageable.

And finally, it’s all about Control

As we mentioned earlier, any marketing plan needs to be an evolving document.  When setting out any plan, you need to monitor Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) to showcase whether the strategy is working and meeting your required objectives and if not, they should identify what you need to adjust to meet the performance targets.

To read more about the SOSTAC framework read our marketing planning page to see how we use it in our clients’ businesses.

3 Ways to apply pro-active techniques to your marketing

Social Media

An example of being proactive on social media would be to analyse the peak time your followers are active on the social platform of your choice and then post. This will increase your social engagement and help you create targeted posts to reach them more efficiently.


E-mail Marketing is an ideal place to be proactive. You can still react quickly to the needs of your ideal client, but the key is to get ahead of them by actually predicting what they will be looking for next. Segmentation and dynamic content are cost-effective ways to better target your audiences with more relevant content on products or services.

Sales Funnel

Another way, which is included in SOSTAC is to analyse the sales funnel from the first contact with a potential customer through to the conversion of the sale. Analyse how long each step takes, research ways to optimize each step and find the strategies that are resulting in sales.

If you need help applying pro-active marketing techniques to your strategy the team here at Approach Direct will be more than happy to help. Contact us

About the author

Tracy Marshall Dip DigM

Tracy Marshall Dip DigM

Director at Approach Direct Marketing providing Marketing and Telemarketing services for SMEs, predominately in the East Anglia region.

Over 30 years in a wide variety of industries, both in the private and public sector, instrumental in setting up Telemarketing Departments back in the 1980-1990s and further developed her career by holding various internal & external Sales & Marketing management roles.

In 2007, launched own telemarketing business primarily focussing on the B2B sector. For almost 10 years, the company built up a solid reputation for providing excellent results in all telemarketing services, from cold calling, list building, database management, market research & in-house telemarketing training.

In 2015, gained the IDM (Institute of Digital & Direct Marketing) Professional Diploma in Digital and Direct Marketing qualification and expanded Approach Direct Marketing services to include creating marketing strategy, writing implementing marketing plans through targeted marketing campaigns.

Developed own Marketing Planning Tool 4R's - 'Review, Reach, Respond and Retain' - which works alongside other Marketing Frameworks like SOSTAC to assist clients in actively engaging with their customers, face-to-face.

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