What Is Always-On Marketing? Everything You Need To Know
We live in a world where customers want and expect to receive customized and personalized service from brands 24/7.
No matter where in the world they are, polls show it 75% of smartphone users expect instant information when they open a new tab, and 51% believe businesses should be contactable anytime, from anywhere.
So what does this mean for brands looking to grow? This is where a marketing strategy that always works can help.
What is enduring marketing?
Also referred to as “continuous marketing activities,” perpetual marketing operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Through continuous availability to customers around the world, enduring marketing allows brands to build customer retention and acquisition throughout an individual customer’s life cycle.
Still confused? Think of it compared to a campaign:
- military campaign = “explosive” marketing; Hard sales and marketing pay for a set period of time.
- always available= “drip” marketing; Consistent marketing effort that lasts indefinitely.
So how does it work?
The goal is to reach the maximum clarity and persuasiveness of each individual client by showing up at any possible moment.
Think paid search, SEO, or social media – your marketing team doesn’t need to be online the exact moment a customer finds you, and the opportunity for someone new to learn about your brand is always there.
Once a customer has reached the peak awareness stage thanks to your online advertising or SEO work, you can move them into the relationship nurturing stage with content and email marketing.
All of this can and should be automated, which means you’ll need a lot of data to be successful.
Since continuous marketing is about the individual customer journey, an emphasis on dynamic personalization in marketing materials is critical and should always be tested and improved.
Google calls this “Zero moment of truthContinuously driving marketing actions and fulfilling customer requirements in a never-ending cycle.
There is no “one size fits all” approach to enduring marketing, and it often includes all aspects of your strategy, both in-store and online. The goal is to always be available and available to your customers, wherever they are.
Why you should consider a strategy that always works
Enduring marketing is a big commitment but it’s worth it. Using automation allows you to personalize your marketing content in a new way and create brand-relevant touchpoints for each individual customer.
You’ll be able to connect with your audience faster, more often, and at the most relevant times to help move them through the sales funnel.
Automation also allows you to extend the manpower of your existing marketing team, creating a system for growth that requires little effort on your part, but feels high touch for your customers.
Really, it is useful for any marketing team of any size.
Perpetual marketing allows you to gain momentum and awareness in the market throughout the year, unlike a campaign where you operate in cycles of intensification and expansion.
Instead, you can be more consistent with an always-on approach and direct your team’s resources to supportive, sales-focused campaigns when you need them.
Why Do Brands Find It Difficult With Marketing Plans That Always Work?
As with all things worth doing, enduring marketing is not easy. Here are some common challenges.
lack of data
It may seem obvious now, but when you’re looking to implement a marketing strategy that always works, you need data. After all, what else would automation do?
To create the most relevant marketing materials, you need to know as much as possible about your audience. And it all comes from the data. Without data to back you up, your relevance drops quickly.
Data is also essential to the ability to test and improve your business, which is a key component of continuous marketing. Without this, you are really throwing the business into the dark and hoping for the best, instead of crafting effective, well-planned and strategic moves.
Lack of content
When you engage with your audience more frequently, that means more content must be in the pipeline.
This is something internal teams often struggle with, especially when they are small and people are wearing several marketing hats at once and managing a number of different channels on their own.
Skills need to be re-evaluated internally before you decide to move forward with a permanent approach.
If necessary, you may need to bring in additional support with a new employee or by working with contractors in order to create the additional content your strategy needs.
Lack of infrastructure
If the systems are not talking to each other, valuable data may be lost along the way.
There’s nothing to fall back on if your infrastructure isn’t powerful enough to handle all the new data you need to collect and be able to share it across your organization quickly and efficiently.
Ideally, software should be able to recognize behaviors at the individual customer level and pass this information on to the relevant points in the system, whether it be customer service, sales, or marketing.
This will help you create relevant and highly targeted data and message chains that flow between all relevant departments.
Tips for permanent marketing success
1. Start small.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither should your marketing strategy.
Start by focusing on the small details and experiences your customers have with your brand every day and think about how it can all add up to your growth and success on a larger scale.
Create mini strategies that you can customize based on customer segments. This is a great way to dip your toes into ongoing marketing and start capitalizing on some of your new data.
Take this opportunity to test, think, and reboot at various points on a smaller than brand scale and find out what works best for your customer base.
2. Think about where you can make connections.
Nothing in your marketing plan should run in silo. Think about where you can make connections between your platforms using an omnichannel approach.
Messages should stay consistent and relevant to the brand, but there’s nothing stopping you from taking the data you already have and connecting it to a different part of the customer experience.
For example, is there a way you can do a mobile shopping or in-store experience for an individual customer and tie it in with your email marketing?
You should also think about where you can create points of contact with customers. Remember that an overall look can tell you more than a fully segmented look. Use this data to come up with creative ways to engage your audience.
3. Plan for long-term success.
Every customer is unique, which means everyone has different expectations of your brand and their experience with you. You need to plan to consistently meet those expectations and in ways that work for each customer segment.
As with anything involving large amounts of data, you must be willing to continually test and modify your approaches, and improve them as much as possible, based on the information you have to deliver.
This is not a one-way street. Review customer behavior and feedback as often as possible, and base your changes on your audience’s most important wants and needs.
The more you focus on building and nurturing your customer base, the more loyal they will be to your brand.
Although enduring marketing is a huge demand for many businesses, the rewards you can see from this type of approach can be both profitable and long-lasting.
It’s definitely an investment, but it’s worth it.
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Featured image: Shutterstock / William Potter