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Blending Paid, Owned and Earned Media for Branding

The medium and the marketing message

September 21, 2010

Some of today’s greatest success stories in branding blend ingredients from the three kinds of marketing media: paid, owned and earned. Paid media is advertising inserted next to another’s content; owned media is brand-created content; and earned media is getting someone else to provide content about a brand.

“Each medium offers distinct advantages, and it is important that all work together,” said David Hallerman, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report “Brand Marketing Online: Paid, Owned, Earned.” “The best approach is holistic, where each channel supports the others, as when paid advertising produces earned word-of-mouth, which stimulates traffic to owned microsites.”

While online has been primarily a direct-response-focused space, the trend toward more brand-focused spending is clear. By 2014 nearly 42% of online ad dollars in the US will be spent on branding.

US Online Advertising Spending Share, by Objective, 2009-2014 (% of total)

Within the display bucket, the focus on branding also comes through: Spending on online video advertising—a prime branding vehicle—will rise faster than display spending as a whole, while substantial dollars will continue to go to banner advertising, representing a more economical way to effectively shore up a campaign’s overall objectives.

US Online Display Ad Spending, by Format, 2009-2014 (% of total and billions)

Video and banners, along with search, make up the major paid-media online formats, with which marketers can spread their messages far and wide. Company websites and blogs, along with in-house email lists, provide the owned component, where marketers have complete control over messages and can offer content that fulfills their overall goals. And while word-of-mouth has always been a key driver of purchase decisions, earned media also has new importance with the rise of social media.

“The mix of techniques required and the advantages marketers get from paid, owned and earned is far greater online than offline,” said Hallerman. “They must learn to construct campaigns that rely on all three types of media to engage with consumers and amplify brand messages. Paid, owned and earned media all contribute to the whole and to one another.”

Check out today’s other article, “Consumers Want More Cause Marketing.”

The full report, “Brand Marketing Online: Paid, Owned, Earned,” also answers these key questions:

  • What is the strong suit for each marketing media?
  • Is there an online ad format that is best for branding?
  • Is a website alone sufficient for a brand’s owned media presence?
  • How can branded content have greater reach than advertising?
  • How do the overall requirements of earned media differ from those for social network marketing?

To purchase the report, click here. Total Access clients, log in and view the report now.

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