Home > resources > Passive vs. Active Marketing: Are Your Relying on the Wrong Type of Marketing?

Passive vs. Active Marketing: Are Your Relying on the Wrong Type of Marketing?

February 16, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Elgé Premeau, eMarketing Strategist, and MCNW Seminar Presenter.

Check out her blog and upcoming seminar on Internet Marketing Basics here.

Do you market actively, or passively?Most business owners think the only way to get customers from the internet is to put up a website and get it to show up on the first page of the search results in Google and other search engines. While this is a way to get customers online, it’s not the only way. For many businesses, especially service based businesses, it’s not even the best way to get customers online.

Building a website and optimizing it for the search engines is hard work so you might be surprised to learn that this is really Passive Marketing. Why is it passive? Because in order for you to get paying customers, you have to rely on people you don’t know to decide they need you, look for you online, land on your website and then contact you. There are a lot of points in this sales process where people can bail out which is why it’s an inefficient way to grow your business.

There is another approach to internet marketing that has the potential to be much more profitable in the long run. Instead of waiting for customers to find you, you find them. I call this Active Marketing. With Active Marketing you figure out what websites your customers visit, what blogs and publications they read, and what experts they pay attention to.

Websites, blogs and publications are moving from static, brochure websites to interactive online communities. So once you figure out where your target markets are spending their time online, you engage them there by providing helpful or entertaining information.

As you interact with the various online communities, you get a sense of what kind of content is appropriate for that setting. Most people don’t realize it but website and blog owners are constantly looking for new content. As long as it’s not too “salesy,” website and blog owners are usually glad to publish your articles or other content.

Writing is hard work and you might be wondering why you would give your content to another website or blog. I’ve seen in my business and my clients’ businesses that writing articles for others sites and then linking back to your own site is the single most useful method for increasing traffic, getting newsletter subscribers and generating leads. A few years ago I wrote an article for a print journal that got me 4 new consulting clients which translated into almost half my revenue for that year. Not bad for one article!

While Active Marketing can be more productive than Passive marketing, it’s more challenging too. Active Marketing requires you to know your customers on a much deeper level than Passive Marketing. You have to get inside their head, understand what is compelling to them and why they buy what you’re selling. Thinking about your customers in this way is an acquired skill and it really helps to talk this though with a friend or colleague.

Active Marketing is one of the topics we will discuss in the Internet Marketing Basics class. So join us Monday, March 14th from 6:00 – 9:00 PM and be sure to bring your questions with you.


  1. February 21, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Great article on a very important topic – active approach. I’d also like to bring up the last paragraph about getting to know your customer. This is called a marketing strategy – determine who your customer is and how to “approach them”. Next is a communications strategy, “how do I talk to my customer and what tools will I use?(ex. active or passive – websites, blogs, feeds, etc…) Again, these are tools and in order to use those tools effectively you must know who your customer is and how they want to be “talked to”. If you’re a small biz (small enterprise or even large) and you don’t do this internally consider a marketing agency to develop these strategies for you. My company does this as well as other agencies around the Portland area. Feel free to continue this conversation of getting active. Personal relationships build leads that will generate revenue and loyalty as well as a positive experience which leads to repeat purchases. Thank you, Elge for covering a topic so important for business to remember that “SEO” is not always the only and best answer for generating sales. What a valuable conversation to start!

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: