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Always-on vs. Flighted Campaigns for SaaS

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When building up your marketing strategy, it’s useful to keep in mind the different use cases for event-oriented vs. always-on paid marketing campaigns.

Understanding the Difference Between Flighted and Always-on Campaigns

Traditionally, flighted or event-based marketing campaigns a viable option if you are looking to maximize returns during a specific period (e.g., Black Friday).

Flighted marketing campaigns have predefined start and end dates, meaning that they run for a limited time. Typically, they are measured in weeks and centered around offline campaign bursts such as TV spots. They are handy for further awareness and echo your offline campaigns. Flighted Google ads campaigns are most commonly used to reach direct response and branding goals.

In essence, many digital advertisers tend to utilize cost per thousand impressions (CPM) flighted campaigns when launching a new product or service. Such campaigns may also be used to boost brand awareness.

Always-on campaigns, on the flip side, keep running indefinitely. They are specifically designed to deliver performance goals, such as traffic, lead generation, form completion, and trial starts.

Because they work with the algorithms of digital marketing platforms such as Facebook and Google, always-on marketing campaigns become better and more valuable over time. To help you achieve the best results possible, those platforms need to feed data into their algorithms.

By running short, flighted campaigns, you are starving the data system. In turn, this can lead to poor predictions about potential customers, along with inferior and more expensive results.

How an Always-on Approach Can Benefit Your SaaS Brand

The biggest advantage of maintaining always-on campaigns is that you can best leverage Google and Facebook’s artificial intelligence.

Always-on campaigns leverage all the historical data the algorithms have accumulated to make smarter bids. While your campaigns are running, both the algorithm and the marketer collect valuable data on the target demographics that can later be used to refine, retarget, and optimize campaigns.

Even more, because you can’t pinpoint precisely when a customer will be ready to make a purchase, you want to make sure you reach them with the right message at the right time. Running always-on campaigns is one of the most effective ways to keep top of mind, without being limited to a specific time frame.

What Happens if You Stop the Campaign (And When You Should)

If the campaign is interrupted or terminated, the learning process gets cut off. That means that even if you restart the campaign later, this will force the bidding algorithms to start the learning process from square one.

Sometimes, though, you may notice that your Google ads campaigns are persistently underperforming. Before you decide it’s the right time to kill a campaign, make sure you have:

  • A clear baseline
  • No external factors (e.g. seasonality or big social events that have spread online)
  • A sufficient (often large) amount of data

Start Working With the Algorithm With Always-on Campaigns

Always-on campaigns leverage the automated bidding power of Google and Facebook’s algorithm and the historical performance data to optimize conversions.

While you can always add event-based campaigns to the mix to match your digital marketing with TV or direct campaigns, consider carefully if you need to stop a campaign so you don’t interrupt the algorithm’s learning process.

Customers want – and expect – to be able to access the information they need in real-time. This has made it incredibly important to be where your prospects are, whenever they are ready for you.

But what happens if you’ve satisfied the existing search demand? Head to our blog for tips on creating demand to generate new leads.