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Updated Feb 16, 2024

Turn It Up: Aggressive Marketing Strategies for Startups in Any Industry

Aggressive marketing pursues consumer engagement actively. Here's how to do it right.

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Rachelle Gordon, Senior Writer & Expert on Business Strategy
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Nothing fuels a startup like sales. Even if the product isn’t perfect, selling a good item now is better than forgoing sales to sell a perfect offering later.

Besides, updates to a product line down the road create excellent opportunities to earn repeat business from early adopters. Plus, new product releases are great public relations opportunities for building buzz and increasing market exposure. So, if you’ve got a decent product ready to go, how do you market it to sell as many as possible in as short a period as possible?

What is aggressive marketing?

Aggressive marketing is a marketing tactic that emphasizes communicating directly with potential customers and actively pursuing their engagement with your business.

In contrast, passive marketing means making product information available but leaving it up to consumers to take action if they want to engage with your business.

FYIDid you know
You can adapt aggressive marketing methods to your e-commerce marketing strategies, digital marketing strategies and local marketing strategies. The key is directly communicating with consumers and encouraging them to act.

Examples of aggressive marketing

Aggressive marketing can take many forms as you solicit potential customers who’ve never engaged with your brand. The goal is to pique their interest in your offerings. Here are a few examples of aggressive marketing tactics on various platforms: 

  • Cold-calling: Cold-calling is a classic way to generate sales leads
  • Email marketing campaigns: Email marketing campaigns can efficiently serve product information to your target audience.
  • Digital ads: Online advertising efforts can be aggressive. Large banner ads, pop-ups and video ads on platforms like YouTube bombard the audience with information. These digital marketing materials are often segmented, appearing on relevant websites and alongside content the target customer already engages with.
  • In-person engagement: Assembling a street team to hand out flyers or acquire email addresses can be draining. However, it’s a great way to connect with people who otherwise may not know about your company ― if you can handle all the rejection.
TipBottom line
If your email marketing campaign includes cold emails, ensure you abide by CAN-SPAM Act regulations and use email personalization tactics to establish a connection.

Aggressive marketing strategies to boost your sales

Here are some specific aggressive marketing strategies to help rev up your sales from day one.

1. Reach influencers and cultivate relationships.

People who interact with your target audience frequently are crucial marketing allies. For example, TV and radio personalities, YouTube channel hosts, Instagram influencers and TikTok stars can be invaluable partners. If your target customer pays attention to them, getting influencers to market your product can be a huge win.

Identify relevant influencers in your space and contact them via email, direct message or phone. Offer them free products to get them on board and treat them like your best customers. The right influencer enthusiastically endorsing your products can help your startup skyrocket.  

Many startups have found success via influencer relationships. For example, Happy Feet enjoyed significant success working with Snooki from the MTV reality show Jersey Shore. She tweeted about the company’s oversized sneakers and slippers and garnered much enthusiasm. In return, she received a commission on every pair sold.

Get creative and find ways to develop relationships with the influencers your customers follow and respect.

Did You Know?Did you know
According to Shopify, influencer marketing has the second-highest digital marketing return on investment among current marketing trends, only behind short-form video content.

2. Create a sense of urgency about your product.

Many marketing campaigns contain an element of fear. For example, ads may imply that you’re not as attractive as the model unless you buy the perfume or cologne they’re wearing. They may also warn that your home needs a security system because robberies are rampant. 

However, successful aggressive marketing provides a sense of urgency without being malicious. For example, retailers may have weekly sales and clearance events to build a sense of urgency in the buyer. They don’t want to miss out on a great deal or a scarce product. When something is scarce or only available for a limited time, consumers are more inclined to purchase it.

3. Get the online buzz going.

Social media buzz is invaluable. The more consumers talk about your brand or service with their friends, the more free advertising you get.

Tech-savvy companies use social media marketing tactics on Instagram, Facebook, X, TikTok and more to generate buzz. Engaging content that suits the platform is key. For example, you can conduct a Facebook Live Q&A to share product launch updates and behind-the-scenes happenings. Alternatively, share your brand’s story via Instagram with photos and captions detailing your product’s inception. 

Invite your social media followers to engage and share your posts and comment, like and respond to brand mentions online to keep the buzz going.

TipBottom line
To best engage your audience on social media, create compelling content with attention-grabbing headlines and use images and videos to get more views.

4. Use emotion over logic.

Strategies that involve both facts and emotions can be enormously successful sales tools. However, emotion is particularly essential in aggressive marketing. Don’t be afraid to appeal to your audience’s deepest priorities with emotional content. 

For example, a Whirlpool ad that emphasized the challenges parents face in raising a family went viral. It showed how a simple washing machine can minimize the headaches of laundry and give families free time to spend together.

5. Attack the market leader directly.

Even when you’re smaller than your industry’s market leader, you can gain high visibility by calling them out. Well-known companies tend to have well-known faults and disgruntled customers. Address these consumers’ pain points by showing how you’re better than the juggernaut. 

To differentiate yourself from the competition ― particularly from a market leader ― you must show where you hold a distinct advantage beyond price. 

For example, in its early days, Apple gained attention by contrasting itself with market leader Microsoft. It didn’t focus on processor speed or tech specs. Instead, it emphasized the relative “coolness” of Macs vs. PCs. One of Apple’s iconic ads cast Microsoft as Big Brother and Mac as the choice of individualists. You may also recall the “Hi, I’m a Mac” commercials that portrayed the Mac as cool and laid back in contrast to the nerdy, uptight PC.

Pros and cons of aggressive marketing

Pros

Cons

It gets immediate results.

It alienates certain groups.

It increases brand recognition.

It may be flagged as spam.

It’s a quick and easy way to sell.

It lacks focus.

Before engaging in aggressive marketing tactics, consider if this approach is right for your business. Think about your ideal customer: Would they respond better to being approached directly or would passive marketing strategies compel them to act? 

Here are the pros and cons of aggressive marketing.

Pros of aggressive marketing

  • Aggressive marketing can elicit an immediate response: There’s an old saying that goes, “The world belongs to the asker.” For a more modern spin, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Asking candidly a prospect to engage may be a bold move, but it can also lead to instant sales.
  • Aggressive marketing can boost brand recognition: Bombarding your target audience with content will help you boost brand awareness ― as long as your content is compelling. Repetition will put you at the forefront of prospective customers’ minds and help keep you there.
  • Aggressive marketing can provide results with little planning: Cold-calling leads is the most straightforward marketing strategy because all it requires is a list of names and contact information. Once you have the pitch down, it’s off to the races. For businesses that engage in an aggressive digital marketing strategy, the content will likely be fairly easy to develop since it should be short, sweet and to the point.

Cons of aggressive marketing

  • Aggressive marketing may alienate some prospects: While many people appreciate forward communication, this technique may turn others off. It’s essential to consider how your target customer is used to being approached. You get only one chance to make a first impression and if you immediately turn off a prospect, it’s game over.
  • Your aggressive marketing efforts may be flagged as spam: Aggressive marketing efforts, particularly email messages, can walk a fine line between engaging and annoying. Communications should be thoughtful and personalized to avoid being categorized as spam and missing your prospects entirely. 
  • Aggressive marketing sometimes lacks focus: Placing a dizzying amount of ads or partnering with too many influencers can make it hard to analyze your results. If marketing data analytics aren’t carefully monitored, it’s hard to know which strategies are working (or need improvement).

Aggressive marketing can pay off for your startup

When crafting your company’s advertising campaigns, focus on striking an emotional tone that resonates with your audience. If you can parlay the support of an influencer in your market, you’ll reach significantly more people.

Focus your message on why your customers need your product right now to solve a significant problem in their lives and you’ll find new customers rushing to open their wallets for you.

Jennifer Dublino contributed to this article.

author image
Rachelle Gordon, Senior Writer & Expert on Business Strategy
Rachelle Gordon is a business professional who has spent years advising on content marketing strategies, particularly email campaigns and social media engagement to increase brand awareness and drive sales. Deeply enmeshed in the growing legal cannabis industry, Gordon also has firsthand insights into how sectors evolve over time and the challenges involved with unique funding and compliance obstacles. Gordon's work has been picked up by outlets like Yahoo Finance and she's interviewed well-known entrepreneurs such as Kevin O'Leary. Gordon is also an accomplished speaker and has led or participated in panels about crisis management, AI-powered marketing, CEO strategies for success and more business topics.
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