Thursday, August 23, 2012

Paid, Owned and Earned Media: From The Consumer’s Perspective


Those of us in the business talk about paid, owned and earned media all the time.  But I wonder how much of that time we talk about it from the consumer’s perspective?

Paid media is media we purchase in which to run advertising to drive traffic and increase awareness.   From the consumer’s point of view, this is intrusive media.

Owned media is websites, corporate blogs, stuff we don’t need to pay a publisher to run.  From the consumer’s point of view this is informational media.

Earned media is media that gets distributed organically because consumers find it interesting enough to share it with others.  From their perspective this is inspired media.

From the industry’s perspective, media is paid, owned or earned.

From the consumer’s perspective, this same media is intrusive, informational, or inspired.

Both paid and earned media drive consumers to the advertiser’s owned media so that they can gather more information about the brand.  Which means the advertiser can intrude on, or inspire, consumers to find out more.

Currently, budget allocations go from highest to lowest in this order – paid, owned, earned.

But when looked at from a consumer’s perspective, the budget allocation should probably be reversed.  So instead of an advertiser spending most of their money to intrude, they would spend it to inspire.

Earned media is mostly a byproduct of paid media.  You first need to pay to run a piece of communication before it can be shared.  That said, paid media doesn’t always have to run in an intrusive format.

Yes, the impressions for that piece of communication will be lower when it doesn’t intrude.

But, the sharing of that piece of communication might increase.  Which means the impressions will come through earned rather than paid media.

Inspiration and information are the hallmarks of success in the digital marketplace.  Intrusion and impressions are left-overs from the analog marketplace.

The question we should all be asking isn't is this the future?

The question we should all be asking is which advertisers will get there first?

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