From reactive to proactive marketing: what is it?
What is the difference between reactive and proactive marketing? As illustrated in our introduction, reactive marketing is a campaign that is triggered by customers’ behaviour but is limited to this.
Proactive automation means marketing messages that use customer intelligence to pre-empt the best possible message to send in any given moment. Within the context of our example, this would be the shopkeeper taking into account the size of the drink purchases and your usual time gap between purchasing another. Using this information about you, they’ll know when you’re going to run out.
So you’re running low on of your favourite drink again. Just as you’re about to rush to the shop, you hear a knock at the door and there on the doorstep is the drink, kindly left for you by your friendly shopkeeper, who has figured out you haven’t been back to restock on your drink in the expected time and dropped it round for you – this is like predictive marketing. It preempts the needs of the customer based on their previous behaviour or purchase.
However, the key concern for most retention marketers is how to get the customer to come back and engage with their site in the first instance. Why should you continue to get the juice from the cornershop, when you can get it from another across the road from it? This is where predictive makes a standout difference. Ultimately, it creates a beneficial experience without their asking.
So far we’ve talked a lot about sugary drinks, and not a lot about marketing campaigns. ‘Proactive’ marketing campaigns can be roughly grouped into two categories:
- Basic proactive: scheduling fixed static future actions based on events. This looks like setting a fixed wait period or type of content for all customers, for example, ‘send this email to all customers after 14 days if they haven’t completed this action’.
- Predictive proactive: using the full history of the customer to work out the exact products they purchased and their historic purchase patterns to devise a specific time estimate for them as an individual.
Here are some examples of proactive automation campaigns in practice:
Predictive replenishment: alerting a customer, based on their predicted usage patterns and the quantity of the product purchased, that it might be time to think about re-purchasing.
Predictive anti-lapse campaigns: identifying ‘at-risk’ shoppers and engaging with them long before they start to distance themselves from the brand. Instead of being triggered by a lack of interaction over an extended period of time, this campaign sends a marketing message at the time the customer first begins to lessen their engagement based on their individual engagement patterns.
Product-based campaigns: targeting customers based on items they’ll likely want to buy based on their individual brand and product affinity when new products are added to a site or significantly change in price. For more on this, check out our Ometria Labs case study with Feelunique.