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What is always-on marketing?

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 24 Aug, 2020
Essential Essential topic

Are you practicing 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 optimization continuously.

Dynamic personalization and structured testing and improvement of digital experiences is a key feature of Always-on marketing, a term that has emerged to show a change in emphasis from burst marketing campaigns to generate awareness and response to investment in marketing activities that 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 optimization. In the research, we explored the use of digital marketing optimization through a question which reviews the use of testing across channels.

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The responses showed a core group of leaders have moved beyond intermittent to more regular structured testing and optimization programmes across different digital media and experiences (sites and mobile).


A relatively small proportion (around a fifth) have fully embraced optimization with these leaders running a continuous, structured program. The percentage of leaders who optimized individual channels using continuous optimization or structured tests were:

  • Digital media 19%
  • Digital experiences 14%
  • Content 22%
  • Outbound messaging 16%

Do you find it surprising that digital experiences are not optimized 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 optimization? What are your experiences?

Optimisation interval

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher 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. My personal site,, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. 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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Always-on communications

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