Social Media

Should Owned Media Join Paid and Earned Media?

April 24, 2009
starbucks red cup 2008
Image by lilivanili via Flickr

Forrester’s Marketing Forum offered a bunch of thought-provoking subjects we’ll probably be chewing on for awhile. One that should spark more conversation is the Starbucks and Blast Radius presentation on the (STARBUCKS) RED holiday campaign that melded the complementary hobbies of caffeination and philanthropy.

The presentation referenced how Starbucks considered paid media (search engine marketing, display media, offline media buys, etc) and earned media (blog posts, comments, video uploads – exposures that aren’t bought directly) (see our coverage of Fred Wilson’s Ad Age presentation on earned media earlier this month). There was a third bucket included here: owned media – all of the assets that the marketer owns that can be used in a campaign, from websites to brick and mortar locations. (Here’s coverage of the presentation.)

Is this breakout needed? Should it be included with ‘earned’ and ‘paid’ in marketing plans?

Probably. Owned media comes up earlier and later in the process. You can’t plan a campaign unless you know what your owned media assets are, and the better you make use of owned media, that’s one more major factor working in your favor.

Most of the time, owned media is also where the campaign experience is fulfilled. It’s where you’re driving people to, so it has to be optimized for that conversion. That can mean optimizing the website to create the most meaningful experience, or in the case of Starbucks, creating signage and coffee cups in stores to fuel new and repeat purchases.

Owned media isn’t anything new, of course. It runs the risk of adding more jargon to the lexicon, to the point where it can be easily dismissed as more marketingspeak. But it is an important part of the equation to remember, and whether you lump that in with asset management or owned media or your Venn diagram of choice, it should come up somewhere along the way.

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