Always On Marketing: Tips On Ramping Up Your Strategy

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Put your “imagination” cap on and consider how different our modern-day world would be if the eCommerce environment functioned like brick-and-mortar stores. In this divergent reality, when you bring up amazon.com on your laptop, instead of seeing a smorgasbord of goods to buy, there is just a note reading: “SORRY, WE’RE CLOSED. Hours of Operation, 9a-5p M-F.”

It’s a laughable, foreign idea, right? How did we survive in an age where we couldn’t order anything from bath towels to construction equipment any time the mood struck? Only twenty-some years into the internet age and it’s nearly impossible to conceive of a world where our every behavioral buying whim isn’t catered to any and every minute of the day.

As consumers, we understand the advantages of an always-on world. As marketers, though, we’re still playing catch-up. Current and potential customers are looking for information 24/7. To capture their attention and their business, you need to be where they are, whenever they’re ready for you. In short, you need always-on marketing.

Like content marketing or account-based marketing, the idea of always-on marketing has been around a while but executing it has been challenging for many brands. To do it efficiently, companies need to have accurate and actionable data on both current customers and their target audience. After all, if you’re spending a big chunk of your marketing budget on targeted social media messaging and ads, you’ll want to ensure you’re doing so at both the time and in the format most likely to engage your customer base. Luckily, with the advent of comprehensive data platforms like Group FiO’s Insight Marketing Platform (IMP) and with some of the tips we’ve highlighted in this week’s blog, always-on marketing IS possible to do more purposefully and strategically than ever before.

What is Always on Marketing?

The term itself might seem self-explanatory, but “Always on” is a new marketing method developed to meet the needs of today’s digital era consumer. It’s no secret that the eCommerce world is growing at astronomical rates. E-commerce in the U.S. grew 30% in 2020, its fastest growth rate since 2002, according to are port from Forrester. And this wasn’t just an anomaly brought about by a worldwide epidemic. By 2024, retail sales online will account for 25-30% of all retail sales. That means that while eCommerce will continue to grow, Forrester projects that 72% of retail will still take place offline in 2024.

What does this mean for retail brands? It means there will certainly be a need to invest in eCommerce growth, which will include ensuring your marketing efforts to keep up with the competition. Always-on marketing does just that. By adopting an “always-on” marketing approach, consumers have the ability to receive and internalize your marketing efforts at any time. Unlike campaign marketing that delivers a “short burst” of a marketing message, “always-on” marketing provides continuous access to and exposure to your brand.

Always-on marketing utilizes an ongoing strategy that is scalable and is best achieved utilizing automated technology for optimal results. Obviously, it’s nearly impossible to have a marketing team at the ready to deliver messaging 24/7. This is why having the ability to deliver automated marketing content and messaging that is powered by data is crucial.

What’s the difference between always-on and “always available?” Think of it this way — your company’s website runs nonstop. Your content is available whenever consumers want to engage with it. If someone wants to sign up for your newsletter in the middle of the night, they can, and you can thank them with an automated response while catching their first-party data while you’re asleep. That’s “always available” marketing.“Always On Marketing” involves an additional component like AI (artificial intelligence) that’s continuously optimizing your content marketing, ensuring it’s being seen by the right audience at the right time.

With marketing becoming more and more competitive, brands can’t afford a spotty strategy. Only a seamless, always-on content marketing strategy empowered with customer data will deliver the results that can catapult brands beyond the ordinary and into the realm of thought leadership and engaged target audiences.

Key Tips for Upgrading Your Brand to Always On

Are you everywhere your target customers hang out? Do your messages reach them at the right time? Is your brand accessible in some capacity to consumers 24/7/ Investing in an always-on marketing strategy might seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to overwhelm you. With the right platform and strategy in place and some of the tips outlined below, an ALWAYS ON marketing approach can be accomplished.

Start Small and Slow. Ramping up your marketing strategy from 0 to 100 isn’t an easy endeavor and isn’t something you should try to accomplish overnight. The best place to start is to look at what you currently have available. Start by focusing on the small details, like the engagement your audience has with your brand each day and think about how these can all add up to long-term growth and success.

Create smaller strategies that you can customize based on customer segments. This is a great way to dip your toes into always-on marketing and start making use of some of your new data.

Utilize this time to test, analyze, and relaunch with different segments on a smaller scale and find out what works best for your customer base.

Remember Analytics are Your Friend. Data-based strategies are why always-on marketing is possible. Because this approach provides brands with proprietary data about how their content is resonating with consumers, it means they have more data they can use to increase personalization and engagement with each piece of distributed content. This is also specifically helpful now for helping marketers gather first and zero party data with the increasing prevalence of privacy laws like CCPA and GDPR, as well as Google’s removal of the third-party cookie. The best way to gather first and zero party data is through some sort of mutual value exchange, like providing excellent content in exchange for the consumer’s information.

Standardize KPIs. It’s important to standardize must-measure metrics as benchmarks to gauge the success of your strategy. What sorts of business outcomes are you specifically trying to achieve with your digital marketing efforts? Think about whether your overarching goals are to generate leads, increase positive brand awareness or consumer engagement, increase the amount of time people spend on your site, and so on.

Have the Right Tools in Your Arsenal. Consider whether you have the right tools to scale and optimize your always-on strategy, like artificial intelligence or large pools of customer data. It’s always ideal to think “smarter, not harder,” especially when there’s so much information readily available. 

In further support of always-on content marketing, the challenge of capturing consumer attention is arguably at an all-time high: People spent an average of 145 minutes per day on social media in 2020, according to Forrester.

Conclusion

Does all of this mean that it’s time to drop one-off campaigns from your marketing mix? Absolutely not — it’s the opposite, really. Targeted campaigns should still be a part of your overall marketing strategy and be run in combination with an always-on approach to achieve the ultimate marketing machine and get real ROI from your digital efforts.