Keep up with new consumer mindsets by elevating your always-on marketing with always-on branding for earning trust and confidence from your key audience.
“Always-on” marketing is a strategy that has been around for nearly two decades since the dawn of digital advertising in the 90s and the launch of Google AdWords in the early 2000s. The main principle of always-on marketing means creating a continuous loop of campaigns, including paid search ads, social media posts, content marketing, email marketing, and automating it to run 24/7.
The return on investment from this strategy started off extremely high. Digital advertising was novel and more measurable than traditional billboards, print, and TV ads, so now consumers could easily click on ads, and brands could measure the conversion results. However, consumers now see on average 6,000-10,000 ads a day and have learned to ignore them; therefore the idea of bombarding your audience with always-on marketing is no longer efficient. Conscious consumers now demand to understand the purpose behind a brand rather than just the price and benefits. This is where the extension of always-on comes into play — shifting the focus on branding to continuously reinforcing a company’s purpose.
Branding is more than just a logo and tagline, it is the entire foundation of a company. Branding is the story, the style, and strategy to reach an audience, encompassing the brand’s pillars and values, and its voice, look and feel. Imagine if you could multiply your messaging to be 22x more memorable just by showcasing your story. Humans are emotional creatures, so branding addresses the emotional decision of remembering one brand over another. Think of a brand you love: Exactly what about it resonates with you? It surely isn’t just the price.
In our modern world, branding is everything and everywhere. It’s the aromas of a restaurant when you step in the front door, the lighting and ambiance, the music, the service, the menu design, and every bite in between. Even digitally, with social media being 24/7, news outlets reporting updates at all hours of the night, businesses running chatbots on their website, and CRM automation happening in the back end, your brand is always on, facing the world whether you are controlling the narrative or not. Always-on branding is quality over quantity, taking control of your narrative to create consistent storytelling.
There are obvious times when a company is “off-brand,” such as a random song playing inside a curated boutique or a social media post that uses a different style than a brand's typical content. This interferes with a consumer’s trust and confidence in your brand because no one likes a brand that can’t keep its story or style straight. Think about it in 360 degrees — every moment is a chance to be on- or off-brand. You might think using generic name tags at an event is fine, but have you considered how a branded, eye-catching name tag could delight your audience? It’s not an advertisement, it’s an experience to remember.
The important thing to remember with always-on branding is that it doesn’t mean you need to over labor your brand. Always-on means applying or reinforcing your branding whenever the opportunity arises. It’s very clear when a company is overworking its marketing strategy with constant, bombarding ads that follow you around like a stalker. Stop monopolizing the conversation by shifting from always-on marketing to paying attention to the world around you.
How can your brand talk with your audience, not at them? What can your brand do to be part of current events?
If always-on marketing is automated and robotic, then always-on branding is a lot like being a human. It doesn’t matter if you're B2B or B2C, brands are always made by and for people.