Always-on marketing – all you need to know

Marketing can be a pretty buzzword-busy business, but the chances are you’ve caught wind of the term ‘always-on’ in the last few years. It can sound pretty daunting, like your marketing team might have to camp out in the office and draw straws for who takes the night watch. But, thankfully, that’s pretty far from the reality.

In the spirit of getting closer and making the complex simple, here’s a quick overview of always-on marketing and the opportunities for your business.

Traditional marketing techniques mostly involve broadcasting a message, by whatever channel, and hoping it hits its intended audience in the eyes or ears. Of course this can, and has been, very successful.

But it can also be very wasteful.

And, in the worst-case scenarios, it can annoy and discourage potential customers by hitting them with the wrong message in the wrong way and at the worst possible time.

Time to AOM higher

In contrast, always-on marketing (AKA AOM) offers a more sophisticated approach.

But first a note about what it isn’t: it’s not simply ‘more marketing’. The admittedly somewhat misleading name might make you think of indiscriminately crop dusting customers with more messages, through more channels. Thankfully it isn’t anything as disconnected and chaotic as that.

Done well, always-on marketing follows the customer’s lead. By carefully monitoring and learning from their behaviour, you stand a much better chance of serving up what they want to see, when they want to see it. Often this comes from analysing search, site and social activity, as well as any CRM data you may have. Good digital customer data is vital for always-on marketing to work.

Context is everything

It’s also based on a more thorough, genuine understanding of consumer behaviour. The patterns, similarities and nuances that help you anticipate what their next need will be.

So, if you know someone often orders takeaway pizza online on a Saturday night, you can target them with a relevant offer during Saturday afternoon. Making sure that, like the pizza, it’s (ahem) fresh in their mind.

Or, suppose a fashion retailer knows that a potential customer has added wellies to their basket in summer, but abandoned the purchase. It’s a fair bet they’re interested in the product and, given the time of year and assuming certain demographics, most likely for a festival. Armed with this information it’s possible to send them targeted emails about wellies, perhaps with a secondary push towards general festival gear, like tents and sunscreen.

Of course, this is only possible because of two things. Firstly, a clear picture of the customer base: who exactly they are, and what they really want, consume, follow and buy. And secondly, accurate insight into what motivates them to act and when.

But assuming you do have the right data, always-on marketing can be very powerful. To find out what it could do for your brand, just get in touch.

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