Always-On Marketing: Matt Heinz Explains What It Is and How to Do It

February 13, 2017

Imagine pulling up and, instead of seeing a smorgasbord of goods to buy, there was just a note reading: “SORRY, WE’RE CLOSED. Hours of Operation, 9a-5p M-F.”

It’s a laughable idea, right? How did we survive in an age where we couldn’t order anything from bath towels to construction equipment at any time?

As consumers, we understand the advantages of an always-on world. As marketers, though, we’re still playing catch-up. Our buyers are looking for information 24/7. We need to be where they are, whenever they’re ready for us. In short, we need always-on marketing.

Like content marketing or account-based marketing, the idea of always-on marketing has been around a while. But now it’s possible to do it more purposefully and strategically than ever before.

As part of our Sophisticated Marketer’s Crash Course in Always-On Marketing, we interviewed some of the industry’s top marketers to see how they make always-on work for them. In the following Q&A, Matt Heinz (President of Heinz Marketing and renowned marketing speaker) shares his thoughts on the practice, and his tips for getting the best results.

Q&A With Heinz Marketing President Matt Heinz:

LinkedIn: How do you define always-on marketing?

Matt: This is a world where buyers have more control and more power than they ever did. They are not going to be confined to the 45 minutes of the webinar you’re doing next Tuesday or the 15 minutes your sales team wants to have with them next week to talk about capabilities.

Your prospects are working all hours, and they want to access information in real time. So, your ability to manage that relationship is far more difficult than it used to be, but if you take advantage of the combination of the right content in the right place with the right psychology, you can ensure that your prospects are researching as they’re learning.

LinkedIn: Always-on marketing has expanded from the website to search (you’d never turn either of those off). And now it’s expanded to include display, retargeting, and paid social advertising as components of always-on marketing. Have you expanded your definition of always-on and are you using these additional tactics as part of always-on programs that you’ve worked on?

Matt: Yeah, we certainly have and increasingly so. We’ve got a number of clients that are doing enterprise sales, and they’re doing account-based marketing. We’ve been very successful with using LinkedIn to get in front of the right people at the right time. We are very much engaged in trying to develop a set of targeted awareness with the right prospects, knowing that early stage engagement with prospect is critical.

It’s now starting to build some awareness in connective tissue between our brand, our messages, and a story that might resonate internally for that prospect. So, you know, LinkedIn certainly makes that a lot easier with a pretty precise ability to get in front of the right prospect.

LinkedIn: Tell us a little more how you’re using LinkedIn for marketing.

Matt: We have many clients that are actively using LinkedIn Sales Navigator. I personally use it as a daily part of my process and can’t imagine doing sales without it right now. And we certainly are using the marketing solutions on LinkedIn as well.

If you’re using LinkedIn and putting the right messages in front of the right people, then I honestly think it’s as close to on-to-one marketing as you can get. In many cases we have a very narrow, very precise idea of who we want to target, and we can get very precise with our messages.

Sometimes it’s just getting reinforcement of a particular message or brand or vision or story line, so that (prospects) are more apt to engage in the sales conversation. I think sometimes in B2B marketing, we have lost the art of brand awareness. We’ve lost the idea and the prioritization of earning the attention not just now, but in the future.

LinkedIn: Is always-on a term that resonates with the marketers you’re working with these days?

Matt: We don’t often use always-on marketing as a term, although I like the concept. The way we think about it is just a buyer-centric approach to sales and marketing. We don’t control when we have access to the buyer; we don’t get to control when they have access to us. We need to be ready when they are ready, and ideally it’s not just when they want to learn about your product.

Ideally, you’re creating constant value far earlier than the buying process when they’re simply researching and learning and educating themselves. You have to be ready not just on your own site and your own channels, but be available wherever they may be. It could be searching, it could be on a trade publication, it could be at an event. It’s all part of a buyer-centric, customer-centric marketing program. Clearly, you increase your ability to connect and convert by being always available and always-on.

LinkedIn: What’s working when it comes to being always-on?

Matt: I will say that the commonality is the increased efficiency at generating many opportunities at a lowering cost of new opportunities. In many cases, I am actually seeing my cost really go up. If I am being precise, if I am doing enterprise sales, if I am doing account based marketing, my cost per impression, my cost per lead may go up, but I really don’t care about cost per lead. I care about my pipeline contribution, I care about closed deals.

For more expert advice, download Sophisticated Marketer’s Crash Course in Always-On Marketing.