I recently stumbled upon an article I saved in 2011 titled, “7 Success Strategies for ‘Always-on’ Marketing”, and the opening sentence read “Like it or not, we are always on. Always plugged in. Always in touch.” At the time of the article I was working for a software company and we were in the early stages of our Modern Marketing journey. As a business, we recognized that our strategy was outdated and our results were diminishing. We purchased Eloqua the previous year with the goal of moving in a new direction, but truthfully we were just executing more sophisticated and automated push-campaigns. Although we wanted to adopt an “always-on” approach, it felt hard. We didn’t have enough content, or resources, and we didn’t know enough about our buyers. During my tenure with the company, we made our way closer and closer to a truly always-on strategy.
What is Always-On Marketing?
For those of you who are not familiar with an “always-on” marketing strategy, Ben Silcox, Head of Data and Technology at Havas EHS offers one of the easiest to understand definitions in his post titled, Always-on marketing (AOM): what it means:
There are two fundamental elements that define always-on marketing:
1.It is ‘pulled’ from the consumer. What does this mean? Here’s a simple example; you can ‘push’ an email or digital banner ad out to the biggest audience you can find, hoping some of that sticks and someone will buy a flight on your airline. Keep doing this over and over again and hope you get enough response. Instead, listen and understand the rhythms of different types of consumers – enable the offer for a discounted flight to be discovered at 8pm on a Sunday evening because previous search, site & social activity you analyzed tell you this.
2.It is anticipatory. It hinges on a deep understanding of consumer behavior; the nuances and the similarities. It is: trying to provide something in advance of the consumer wanting to find it. It is: doing this within a context (time, place, location, emotion) that enables the consumer to easily and simply engage with your products or services.
The always-on models acts like a “pull” model, focusing on finding the specific people who want to know more about what you offer and will thus participate with us in some way. Some of the benefits of an “always-on” approach are:
- Accelerated sales cycle by presenting the right content at the right time.
- Identify the topics that are most relevant to your target audience.
- Improved efficiency of marketing spend.
Implementing “Always-On” Marketing
Figuring out how to be “always-on” can feel daunting for marketers and requires a huge mindset shift for organizations. Key stakeholders are accustomed to having a defined marketing calendar and associated marketing generated lead targets. This shift may make moving away from push campaigns, allowing your prospects and customers to move themselves through the buyer’s journey, seem scary, but it is necessary.
I recommend to plan key push campaigns throughout the year. These could be tied to peak seasons, product changes, events or other situations where your business really has a story to tell. If there isn’t a compelling reason to push content, don’t. Overlay those push efforts with trigger-based campaigns. For example, if you are a bank and someone visits more than 5 pages related to mortgages within a 72-hour period chances are they are shopping for a mortgage and now is the right time to target them with a “how much house can you afford” calculator. Afterwards, based on their interaction with your email and your website, you could continue to communicate to them based on their expressed interests.
My Top 3 Ways to Make “Always-on” Marketing Easy
- Reuse, repurpose, recycle: Developing enough content to fuel an always-on marketing strategy doesn’t have to be time consuming, it just takes a little creativity. For example, a single whitepaper can be turned into a short video, an infographic, a few blog posts, and a ton of social media posts.
- Look outside of marketing for content creation: Content creation doesn’t just have to be a marketing function. Recorded sales demos can be clipped into shorter videos. Responses to client questions from your Customer Service team can be polished and used as short content. Even feedback and social shares from customers can be leveraged as a part of your “always-on” strategy.
- Put the right systems in place: Having a content management system like Oracle Content Marketing and a marketing automation platform like Oracle Eloqua make content creation and dissemination a breeze. Having the right technology in place saves you time, improves efficiency and allows you to connect the dots between all of your content and efforts thereby improving effectiveness.
A lot has changed during my 16-year marketing career. I can remember when fax marketing was a viable marketing tactic, and a successful marketing strategy was filled with carefully planed and masterfully executed campaigns. Campaigns that launched quarterly, or if we were really good, monthly centered around what we as marketers chose to push out to our prospects and customers. If I came to you with an idea to launch a big fax marketing campaign next quarter you’d laugh me right out of your office. If decades old marketing tactics are absurd why are you still using decades old, ineffective marketing strategies?
We can help you and your organization! Your content, our consultants and content strategist; together we can help move you along your journey to an always-on approach. Let’s discuss.