Generally, marketing is defined as promoting and selling a product or service. Although there is a lot of diversity in marketing, I want to focus on two very specific types of marketing and the mindsets behind them.
One of the most influential books I’ve ever read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, does a fantastic job of outlining what having a proactive versus reactive mindset can look like in your personal life.
To summarize being proactive means that you don’t sit back and let things ‘happen’ to you. But you are actively choosing what you want in your life. You make moves to produce positive results. To contrast, being reactive means that what happens to you is determined by outside forces, while you sit in the passenger seat. I see the reactive mindset most commonly displayed by a lack of action on most people’s part. But how do these mindsets affect marketing?
If I’m making a sale, anticipating demand and taking whatever action necessary to help create a positive outcome, is this a proactive or reactive approach? Clearly, this is the mindset of someone who is proactive. I believe that more than anything else a proactive mindset will increase your efficiency and success in marketing, here is why.
Proactive marketers take action to predict the future based on data. Instead of reacting and blaming the failures of past campaigns on poor vision and execution, they take steps to make improvements. In contrast to complaining about the lack of tools in the toolbox, they make the most of the resources available. The idea of trying aimless and scattered strategies doesn’t appeal to them. A proactive marketing mindset is one that spends their time focusing on things they can control. They have a can-do attitude, if you don’t have permission to run an ad you ask, if you have an idea you pursue it. Having long-term strategies and brainstorming ways to anticipate customer needs is key to proactive marketing.
Reactive marketers merely respond to what’s happening. Whatever is happening is not something they are responsible for. Reactive marketers wait for the audience to find them, to see the value in the product, to take action. The entire process is out of their control and in the hands of the consumer. After all what choice do they have in what is really going to happen?
Now it’s up to you, which mindset do you think produces the best results.