Consistent Branding

Paid, Owned and Earned: Keep Your Marketing Consistent

Happy Lunar New Year of the Goat! Whether you celebrate the occasion or not, we wish you continued success in all your business and personal endeavours. Why not take the opportunity of a New Year to gain a fresh perspective on your existing marketing channels? Enter the concept of paid, owned, and earned.

Chances are, your business is already applying the concepts of paid, owned, and earned. How do you keep your brand consistent across all channels, and what risks do you run by ignoring this concept?

What is paid, owned, earned?

The paid, owned, earned model is the marketing concept that each of your business touch points can be categorized as something you own and control (owned), an advertising medium you paid for (paid), or an advocate that you gained through an exceptional product or service (earned).

In a nutshell:

Paid – Traditional advertising mediums (web banners, television ads) that serve to promote your product.

Owned – Controlled channels (official webpage, blog) that serve to inform customers about your product.

Earned – Uncontrolled channels (discussion boards, word of mouth) that serve to discuss products and services in your industry.

Leveraging Paid, Owned and Earned

Every business has their own ratio of paid, owned, and earned media. Some businesses focus more on their own paid and owned media, while others surf on the positive vibes found in earned social media. The power of these marketing mediums is unleashed when a consistent message is delivered in primary (paid, owned) channels, and endorsed by a third party in earned media.

To highlight the benefits and risks of managing paid, owned, and earned, let’s take a look at some scenarios:

Good Paid and Owned; Poor Earned

Your business has a beautiful website and a plethora of advertisements touting the superior quality of your product. However, product review sites and consumer forums dismiss your product as a “cheap alternative.” You need to focus more on your “earned” media or else all your marketing budget will have been spent in vain.

Good Paid and Earned; Poor Owned

Your business has been generating a lot of buzz recently due to some successful advertisements and product reviews. However, skeptical users that visit your site are disappointed that they cannot find the information they want. After some research, they decide to purchase a competitor’s product instead. You need to update your website to include relevant information and showcase the quality of your product.

Good Earned and Owned; Poor Paid

Your business has a great website and an equally awesome product. Every customer that you sell to raves about your product. The problem is that your competitor is a lot more popular than you, because they seem to own the airwaves with their new commercial. You need to focus on your paid media to leverage your awesome product and reviews.

A business that excels in paid, owned, and earned media will find few issues in selling their product, and will ensure that potential customers are not turned away. The “correct” ratio of paid, owned and earned plays on the strengths of each business, which is why we here at Cucumber offer different marketing solutions for each firm. Depending on your strengths and weaknesses, we may prescribe an update to your website, a boost in social media marketing, or a targeted AdWords campaign. Every brand is different, so why shouldn’t your marketing strategy be different as well?

Want to talk more about marketing? Give us a call, or visit our agency in Vancouver in person! We would love to chat about your business and how we can help. And by the way, we always have chocolate. Always.