Blurring Media Categories
As a marketer, you place digital media in three distinct categories:
- Paid: Traditional ads that require a media buy
- Owned: Content created by your company
- Earned: Press coverage and user-generated content
Increasingly, however, customers ignore such distinctions. They're looking for the "right" media, and they tend to find it in a converged center—where categories intersect.
Success in this converged environment requires consistency across all media. And research by the Altimeter Group suggests that most of us aren't there yet.
"Paid, owned, and earned integration is in a state of early maturity across the ecosystem," write Rebecca Lieb and Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Group in their just-released report titled "The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Will Combine Paid, Owned and Earned Media."
Succeeding in a Converged Media Environment
The Altimeter Group has these convergence tips:
- Strategy. Acknowledge changing consumer patterns, and plan a stable foundation that integrates paid, owned, and earned media.
- Organization. For paid and owned media, align internal and external teams with a 360-degree view of your initiatives. Earned media is outside your control, for the most part, so maintain consistency with strong content marketing that stays firmly on message.
- Production. Align content and creative with real-time capabilities and channel flexibility. Carefully nurture key influencers to achieve earned media on a large scale.
- Analysis. Monitor conversations, measure pre-established KPIs (key performance indicators), and adjust according to results.
The Converged Media Workflow in Action
Once you implement a converged media program, you'll have a straightforward cycle that propels you from success to success. And remember: It's not optional.
"Rapid journeys across multiple digital devices will increasingly blur the lines until almost all distinction between paid, owned, and earned media dissolve," note Lieb and Owyang.
"Companies that don't prepare for this convergence now in digital channels will be at a marked disadvantage."