12.07.2023 - News & Insights

Marketing Campaigns vs. Always-On Marketing [with Template]

The world right now is one that’s always on. We want information at our fingertips at all times. We want our customer service to respond as quickly as possible. We have our work emails pinging up on our phone night and day (though we’re not so keen on this last one!). It’s no surprise that marketing has morphed into something to fit our switched-on lifestyles.

Known as always-on marketing, it takes a different tack to the marketing campaigns you might be used to putting into action. But what exactly does it involve, how can it benefit you, and do you really need it?

Over the course of this article, we’ll put the two head to head to give you an unbiased view of the two approaches to see which one is right for the products you’re pushing.

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Marketing campaigns vs always-on marketing

What is a marketing campaign?

You don’t have to look hard to see a marketing campaign in action. They’re there every time we turn on the TV, check our social media or while we’re waiting at the bus stop. We’ve all seen them. They’re the Got Milks, Wassups and Just Do Its of this world. KFC even ran one when they ran out of chicken.

But you’re here for a more technical definition, so let’s give you one. A marketing campaign is an organised, strategised method of promoting a specific company goal, whether it’s to bring attention to a new product or to get feedback from customers. For this reason, they can be deployed across a variety of media including email, print, TV, radio, pay-per-click and social media.

What is always-on marketing?

Whereas a more traditional marketing campaign might be targeted to capitalise on a specific time or date of the year (like Valentine’s Day or at Christmas), always-on marketing ticks away in the background, using ongoing activities that last indefinitely and have the potential to reach customers anywhere, at any time.


Marketing campaigns in more detail

What are marketing campaigns used for?

Marketing campaigns are used in a variety of different ways that allow a business to achieve its goals, whether that’s increasing growth, increasing brand awareness, attracting new customers or generating more sales.

What do marketing campaigns involve?

There are lots of different elements that make up a marketing campaign, all of which have a role to play in what the finished product will look like when it’s time to push things live. Let’s take a look at them in more detail:


    • Goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): What do you want to achieve, how are you going to measure success and what metrics will you use to track your progress?

    • Channels: Will you use emails, social media, or a publication to get your message out? You’ll have to identify the channels you think will be most relevant to your audience and your goals.

    • Budget: Putting the right amount of money into your marketing is going to be vital, so there’ll be agency, advertising and freelance costs to factor into both your campaign and its associated ROI analysis.

    • Content: What form will your message take? Are you sticking with a single format, or spreading your campaign across a range of video, emails and blog posts, for example?

    • Team: Who’s going to help you come up with ideas, put things into action and make sure you pull off everything as smoothly as possible? Whether it’s copywriters, designers, paid media execs or any number of different experts, you’ll need a great team to see things through.

    • Creative Assets: The real meat of your campaign. Will you have a juicy new website, an exciting competition on social media, or a video showing off your new product in the action? Creative assets are absolutely vital.

The benefits of marketing campaigns

A successful marketing campaign takes time and effort to carry out, but the rewards are worth it and they could include some of the following, depending on your goals:


    • Increased sales

    • Enhanced brand awareness

    • Greater audience reach

    • Stronger customer relations

    • Introduction into new markets

    • Increased market share

    • Retention of key customers

    • Increased ROI

    • More leads

    • A greater online presence

    • Increased revenue

Do I need to run a marketing campaign?

If you’re still thinking a marketing campaign has to be an all-singing, all-dancing TV spot with a lot of money funnelled into then, then the good news is they don’t. A marketing campaign can include anything from emails, social media posts, paid ads or pretty much anything under the digital marketing umbrella. So really, there’s no reason not to run a marketing campaign. Sure, you’ll still need a certain amount of dosh to spend, but you can pull off effective, successful marketing campaigns without a huge budget behind them.

Marketing campaigns, compared to always-on marketing, might be the better fit for your business in certain contexts. If you’re yet to understand your target market, then you could run shorter campaigns as a way of “dipping a toe” into those potentially murky market waters. This could lead to quick wins and, as your target market begins to take shape, you can then develop and refine your activities with the always-on approach.

Since they’re dictated by calendar events or certain times of the year, they require far less commitment, but have the potential to make a bigger market impact by taking advantage of particular seasons. This also helps with things if you don’t have the cash to splash since you won’t constantly be flinging money at certain channels.


Types of marketing campaign

Traditional media campaign: Anything that uses traditional media such as TV, magazines, radio and direct-mail advertising to promote a product or service.

Seasonal push campaign: Sales or promotions used in conjunction with certain times of the year for maximum results.

Product launch campaign: Activity that involves increasing awareness of a new product, often using a variety of different channels.

Brand awareness campaign: Used by both big and small companies to both maintain and increase popularity of their brand by promoting product, services and content that are relevant to their target audience.

Rebranding campaign: If a company is introducing a new logo, website or important company news, such as a merger, they’ll use rebranding campaigns to inform their audiences of the change. Likewise, they’re often used when a company no longer appeals to their target audience, often as a result of negative PR.

Brand launch campaign: If a company creates a new brand for a new market they haven’t previously operated in, a brand launch campaign is a great way to get themselves in front of fresh faces.

Contest marketing campaign: Through the use of social media, for instance, contest marketing campaigns are an effective method of increasing both awareness and organic website traffic.

Email marketing campaign: If they want to stay in touch with current customers and keep them up to date with any sales, discounts and new releases, then businesses will fire out emails to anyone who signs up to them. They’re also an effective way of creating more personalised content.

Download your free marketing campaign planner

Free marketing campaign planner

Without proper planning, a marketing campaign will struggle to succeed. Don’t know where to start? No problem, that’s why we’ve created a free Marketing Campaign Planner for you to download and fill in with things like your goals, campaign ideas, target audience info and campaign requirements. Get it here!

Always-on marketing in more detail

What is always-on marketing used for?

Always-on marketing is used for the same things that regular marketing campaigns are. The crucial difference is that always-on marketing is there to pick up the slack of drop-offs that regular campaigns might create. It’s in these moments that customers might notice your competitors, leading to your campaigns getting lost in amongst a sea of similar approaches.

With always-on marketing, you can stay visible 24/7, keeping your customers engaged and informed around the clock, so that you always stay on their radar, even as other brands vie for their attention.

What does always-on marketing involve?

Of course, always-on marketing involves the same elements that regular marketing campaigns involve, like budgeting, assembling a team and channels.

It also makes use of things like search, display, retargeting and paid social advertising – basically the things that can function at all times to target customers all over the world, morning to night. As such, getting it off the ground differs from regular marketing campaigns.

A simplified version of what the process involves might look something like the following:


    • The identification of a few specific buying journeys that are especially important to your company

    • Weighing up opportunities where a personalised content experience would create meaning in your audience

    • Identifying the parts of your processes where you’re particularly strong at making customers feel engaged and connected

    • Working out what you can do based on your technology, resources and budgets

The benefits of always-on marketing


    • Reduced silo-ing compared to regular campaigns

    • Increased influence by reaching audiences at different points through their buying journey

    • An improved experience that means increased loyalty and brand awareness

    • Greater understanding of customer needs, with less resource required to do so

Do I need always-on marketing?

After carrying out regular marketing campaigns to understand more about your target audience, pivoting to always-on marketing makes more sense.

At this point, you know where your target market focuses their attention, what they prefer to buy, when they prefer to buy it and other insights into what makes them tick. Always-on marketing solidifies your presence, making you more of a permanent fixture in your audiences’ minds, and crucially, it all goes on in the background and keeps them warm while you run other campaigns.

Looking for some inspiration and insights to supercharge your marketing with? We’ll get the spark going. Head over to our homepage or call us on 0345 459 0558 to find out how we can help get you growing, improve digital performance and grab you a greater ROI.