In the world of online marketing, aggressive marketing and passive marketing are just like how they sound. The first involves going out and proactively finding and connecting with consumers, and trying to convert consumers to customers. The latter takes the opposite approach by making content and opportunity available and then waiting for consumers to view this content. Many online companies use a combination of both, each one to varying degrees depending on effort and marketing ideas. The question is, however, does one one work better?
Utilizing implanted and embedded tags are one of the most common features of passive online marketing, and a lot of weight is put on these tools to bring customers to a website or online presence. As a result, every time there is a major change in a significant online search engine's algorithm, everyone has to redo their SEO tags and content. This approach of throwing a baited net into the ocean and waiting for fish to arrive can work very well when a business is selling a large number of different products; they find great success with lots of random traffic coming their way. However, it doesn't work as well with higher-priced services or more expensive products.
The proactive approach involves engaging and reaching out to customers online. Just like companies do with sending flyers, cold calls, and canvassing, aggressive marketing involves proactive posts on social media accounts, responding to other commenters, and adding in links to those comments for more information for readers. Backlinking in forums and comment environments are also forms of proactive efforts. However, the most visible and effective approach tends to be email blasts, electronic newsletters sent out by email, and direct communication. These tools work particularly well for businesses that offer services and meet highly-customized needs of customers that mass production cannot address. There is always a risk, however, that being too aggressive can annoy people and drive consumers away. So moderation is always needed.
Which is Better?
A company trying to decide between putting resources into aggressive versus passive marketing must evaluate the matter based on audience. Local companies seeking local customers are probably better served with proactive, aggressive marketing. Many local customers are people who come back again and again, so the sales interaction is often based on a relationship, i.e. the small town feel. Products that are sold in high volume, or to lots and lots of customers, work better with passive marketing since detailed product information, pricing, and distribution can all be addressed with online, static content. As a result, distance catalog-type companies put a far heavier load of marketing on passive connections than trying to connect with every individual customer.
There is no generic, fit-every-business answer to which online marketing approach is better. Company owners and marketing managers have to plan the value in each tool, and use the one that better fits the scenario in front of them. Understanding how both work, however, can help in making smarter decisions and making advertising dollars go farther.