Paid, Owned, and Earned Media
In 2012, Jeremiah Owyang, then of the Altimeter Group, and Rebecca Lieb published an Altimeter Group report, Converged Media: How Brands Must Combine Paid, Owned, and Earned Media.
In this diagram from the Converged Media report:
- Paid media is traditional and digital advertising.
- Owned media is all the content we produce on various platforms and in multiple media.
- Shared media is organically produced and shared by our audiences and markets, separate from us, and as they interact with our content and other content in social media.
The Converged Media report summarizes:
Consumer behavior is undergoing a rapid change. The person who surfed the web, today moves quickly across an impressive array of screens, sites, channels, and devices, often simultaneously, or very near so. Logos pervade consumers’ lives, from the programs they watch to the billboards they pass, to the clothing they wear. The average person sees some 3,000 brand impressions every day.
The media and information they consume might originate in traditional media, social media, advertising, or with increasing frequency, a hybrid of all three. Consumers rarely pause to take note. Media are a veritable blur. The primary quest is for information, entertainment, or shopping.
For marketers, the goal is to find the “right“ media, be it paid, owned, or earned, along this highly dynamic customer journey.
Brands are challenged to intercept this elusive customer and cut through the media clutter, regardless of whatever channel or medium consumers are engaged with.
Converged media will happen and is happening. If marketers do not take action, the effectiveness of their marketing efforts will suffer.
As a Marketing and Communications team, we understand that we are in the content business. Our job is to create and deliver paid, owned, and earned content that will cut through the media clutter and engage the consumer.
In a graduate/adult college search market where, according to Google, 61% of website visitors take at least 30 days to convert (fill out an inquiry form), and 53% take at least 60 days, and in a traditional undergraduate market that is months and years long,
- our owned content must attract and sustain interest while our prospects go through the “highly dynamic customer journey” we call the college search process.
- And if our branding is authentic, our earned content will be supporting what our owned content says about us,
- while our paid content will be reminding prospects about our brand and driving new prospects to our content.