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What is Always-on marketing?

By Dave Chaffey 08 Jan, 2014

Are you practising always-on marketing, and if not, why not?

The opportunity to dynamically update and test digital media and experiences to improve effectiveness has always been claimed as a key benefit compared to traditional media, but does this happen in practice? So in our new research report on managing digital marketing we were interested to see to what extent companies have processes in place to manage optimisation continuously.

Dynamic personalisation and structured testing and improvement of digital experiences is a key feature of Always-on marketing, a term which has emerged to show a change in emphasis from burst marketing campaigns to generate awareness and response to investment in marketing activities which continuously drive and meet changing demand. This is what Google has called the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT).

For Always-on marketing to be effective, efforts should be made to increase the effectiveness of different digital channels through testing, review and optimisation. In the research we explored the use of digital marketing optimisation through a question which reviews the use of testing across channels. The responses showed a core group of leaders have moved beyond intermittent to more regular structured testing and optimisation programmes across different digital media and experiences (sites and mobile).


A relatively small proportion (around a quarter to a third of companies) have embraced optimisation with these leaders running frequent tests or continuously optimising. The percentage of leaders who optimised individual channels using continuous optimisation or structured tests were:

  • Website (Desktop experience) 32%
  • Mobile (Mobile site and/or apps) 20%
  • Landing pages 32%
  • Email marketing 40%
  • Social media marketing 35%
  • Content marketing 32%
  • Paid digital media 31%

Email marketing is the technique most regularly used for optimisation, a little higher than that for the web.

Do you find it surprising that landing pages and websites are not optimised by more frequently. I don’t since we asked a similar question on site update / design refresh frequency:


It would be good to see more people move to what Chris Goward calls evolutionary site design. The question is what is stopping businesses investing in optimisation? What are your experiences?

Optimisation interval

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of marketing publisher and learning platform Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ digital marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. To learn about my books, see my personal site Digital marketing books by Dr. Dave Chaffey. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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