Mar 6, 2011 0
I’ve been having more and more conversations about the quickly evolving role of media in the marketing landscape. Specifically, the role of, and relationship between, “paid”, “owned” and “earned” media. Not just in the digital realm, but also across every medium, channel and context that people are encountering it. It’s time to map this new landscape… so we get down to the business of blurring the boundaries even further.
Each with it’s own unique superpower.
Individually, these media types have can be extremely effective, however, they tend to do certain tasks better then others – a primary function, if you will.
Paid Media, such as broadcast, display, print or OOH is especially good for brand reach – garnering impressions and building awareness. It’s a great for seeding promotions, content and directing people to other media assets. In the case of search, paid is a critical component for lead generation.
Owned Media, such as sites, branded content, apps and events, is the lifeblood for creating engagement, fostering participation and driving consumer consideration. It’s most effective when it leverages common interest with the audience, offering content that entertains, and/or provides utility.
Earned Media, such as editorial, reviews and the many forms social media, is the most influential of the three – providing social proof, which is so persuasive. Once dominated by P.R. firms, this space gone through a seismic shift with maturation of the social graph.
Ah, the lovely three-headed hydra.
More interestingly then how paid, owned and earn media function separately in the ecosystem, is how they work together. Not just as additive components, with one leading to the next, but as multipliers.
Recently, I’ve worked on some very successful programs in which we’ve bypassed established planning methodologies and rethought how launch a new product into the market. They’ve come in a few different flavors so far, but they certainly have common threads.
One key has been creating branded content around audience interests in conjunction with, and designed to fit seamlessly with established content publishers. Another is partnering with genuine influencers, incenting them to create and disseminate participatory content. Both of these generate organic engagement that’s authentic – and the roll of paid media is to supercharge spread.
It has required a mystical mix of traditional planning, digital savvy, classic PR as well as secret handshakes and slight of hand. Activities favoring nibble, scrappy agencies that are aware of, but unfazed by, what they don’t know.
It’s clear we’re at the midst of some big changes in the media planning landscape.
Long overdue if you ask me.