Differences Between Active and Passive Marketing

I can hardly believe it, but 2020 is (almost) officially upon us. Are you making plans to improve your marketing strategy for the upcoming year?

You can set a solid marketing foundation by taking time to understand popular marketing trends. Active and passive marketing are both commonly used vocabulary in the marketing world. But what exactly do they mean?

And which one is right for your business? Is one more effective than the other? Should your marketing plan be a healthy blend of both?

Ultimately, that’s up to you as a business owner. But here’s a short article to define these terms. Hopefully, by the end, it will make your future marketing decisions a little easier.

Active Marketing 

Active marketing means networking with other businesses and customers. It’s a conscious engagement in opportunities to promote your business. Cold calling and pitching potential clients. Working with the community. Reaching out to your target audience through social platforms like Instagram. All are examples of active marketing strategies.

Pros of Active Marketing

Faster results.

Active marketing campaigns see an influx in traffic initially but steadily decrease over time if not maintained. It can be a good option if you’re looking for faster results over a long-term plan.


Taking the time to respond to customers adds a layer of connection that customers appreciate. A quick visit to your website doesn’t offer this opportunity. In 2020, the consumer is all about personalization and authenticity.

RELATED: 5 Digital Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2020

Cons of Active Marketing

 Strong networking skills required.

Active marketing requires businesses to reach out in ways that make the common introvert’s stomach turn. While networking as an introvert is completely possible, it’s a skill that comes naturally to some people more than others.


What you save in paid advertisements, you pay for in time. Actively engaging with your target audience can be a real time-sucker. An effective marketing plan involves a balance of both active and passive strategies.

RELATED: Ways to Engage with Your Followers

Not sustainable alone.

Unless you don’t like sleeping, business owners HAVE to use passive marketing strategies to reach potential customers. Personally responding to hundreds of emails a day sounds exhausting, monotonous, and downright dreadful. Create a website with store hours, location, mission statement, and promotions easily accessible to viewers. Trust me, it’s a much more efficient use of time.

Passive Marketing

Passive marketing is the process of setting up different outlets for the customer to come to you. Examples of passive marketing include creating business accounts on social media, developing a website for people to visit, or writing content just like this blog.

It takes initial effort and requires the ability to anticipate marketing trends. However, correctly implementing passive marketing strategies can save you time (and money) once in place.

3 Steps to a Successful Passive Marketing Strategy

  1. Understand the needs of your target audience
  2. Create content that will answer potential questions they might have
  3. Update content as needed

RELATED: How to Make an Instagram Account for Your Business

Pros of Passive Marketing

Higher ROI.

Active marketing campaigns are typically short-lived. Networking only works when you work it. Passive marketing involves more long-term strategies, making your return on investment higher.

Ability to outsource.

If you struggle with finding time to manage it all, passive marketing allows the option to outsource projects. You can hire a web designer once and have a professional website for your business. Or hire a content writer to boost your Google rankings and website traffic.

More flexibility.

Passive marketing allows creative, more flexible options. Between outsourcing and automation software, you can spend a lot less time talking about your business and more time running it.

Cons of Passive Marketing

Slower progress.

While there may not be as much of a radical difference at first compared to active marketing methods, passive marketing is in it for the long haul. It may take some time and patience to build a following.

Marketing in 2020

Active marketing is still very much alive. But the boom of influencer and social media marketing has many businesses turning to more passive marketing strategies.

Business owners now understand the importance of digital word-of-mouth advertising, whether it’s an online review or Instagram post. Third-party advertisements from satisfied customers are the single most effective marketing strategy to date.

Want to grow your online presence through passive, word-of-mouth marketing strategies? Find local influencers in your area.