Tag Archives: bought

Owned, Bought and Earned (redux)

Seems like Owned, Bought and Earned is getting some press.

See Mark Cridge’s NMA piece here and the good follow-on discussion here.

Also, people got very excited on twitter by the article in which Fred Wilson pointed out that Earned Media isn’t free. The title of that article was a little misleading, as his main point was much more interesting: Brands earn media primarily by having a great product experience, and by doing fantastic customer service. This echoes my point about pro-active customer service being the key to success in this field: making customers happy means solving their problems but also listening and being ahead of the game and delighting them in ways they didn’t expect.

Recently we have had a go at re-drawing our Media Trinityto reflect some discussions we were having about this. We were discussing how the original Venn diagram seems to imply that earning media is somehow a distict set of activities. The redrawn diagram looks more like this:



This is good because it shows that the more interesting you make your content in Bought and Owned media, the more your ideas will spread via Earned Media.

It is also a reminder you that you lose control in this process: when you seed content, you also cede some control to your customers.

We need to stop thinking of Earned Media and WOM as a distinct activity. Now that every media is essentially now social media, we should remember that everything we do has the potential to earn media.

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Owned, Bought and Earned Media

[NB UPDATED POST on this topic: http://danielgoodall.com/2009/05/20/owned-bought-and-earned-redux/]

At Nokia we have been using the following simple model for our Digital Media Planning for about a year now.


Like all good models, it is designed to be very, very simple.

Owned Media
Obviously one of the things available to you is your own web site. With Nokia it gets a bit more complex, since we have so many media that we “own”: http://www.nokia.mobi (perhaps the most visited mobile site in the world?), MyNokia (Nokia’s CRM program), all of our service sites (ovi.com, ngage.com, nokia music), as well as more niche sites like beta labs etc. Quite a few options, before any media has even been bought: my team is currently planning to pull together a kind of internal media bank to keep track of all the options in terms of Nokia’s own media.

Bought Digital Media
This clearly has a role, although often it is overemphasized by agencies who make money out of percentages of media spend. Banners have a role in terms of awareness, but I’m not a fan of buying media in general, except when the creative proposition is great. Mostly, I see it as a necessary evil, except with search marketing, which is more interesting to me as it is less interuptive.

Earned Media
IMO, this is where the action is. This is where you have done something so cool or interesting that people want to use their own media to tell others about it, and hence you earn media. I am currently reading this brilliant analysis of why things spread from the guys at MIT.  They claim that content is shared (and therefore Media is Earned) because of three main factors relating to the dynamics of groups.

  1. To bolster camaraderie and articulate the (presumably shared) experiences and values that identify oneself as belong to a particular community (“bolstering their identity”)
  2. To gather information and explain difficult to understand events or circumstances.
  3. To establish the boundaries of an “in-group”.

Good stuff.

Some people think that Earning Media is about getting free space when budgets are tight. In my experience, Earning Media is a not necessarily a cheap option, and is certainly more time-consuming than buying media with big networks. More importantly, Earning Media is about engaging with consumers on their terms and gaining trust based on genuine understanding. Consumers don’t trust advertising, but they do trust peer recommendation. As long as brands don’t abuse this situation, then this leads to better quality, more authentic and more relevant marketing.

You can of course go into much more detail with each of these. And there are interesting overlaps. But in general, it is a simple model that has been useful in our digital planning.

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