Monday, 6 June 2011

Paid Owned Earned - how it works [image and video]

Paid Owned Earned is a framework that can be used for classifying different types of marketing activity, the key though is understanding how everything links together and nothing works in isolation. My original thinking around this was using a model of 'Destination' and 'Conversation' which I presented at Adtech in 2009, but in the last 18 months I have redrawn this in the context of Paid Owned Earned:

Paid Owned Earned

The Paid Owned Earned ecosystem and how it links together

- Paid is the traditional method of paying to place an ad, a 'go here now' message.

- Owned was traditionally a store or product packaging, then encompassed websites and microsites, before more recently becoming social network pages and apps.

- Earned was traditionally conversation around a watercooler or journalists being persuaded to write nice things. Earned has grown in importance as it now covers a whole range of digital channels too, like blogs, forums, YouTube, social networks and so on - the idea that anyone can post, comment, link to or share.

The key to this new ecosystem is the arrows between each bucket though. Paid drives Owned which can drive Earned, but things are more complicated than this.

- Owned Media presence (for example a YouTube video) can aid visibility on Search Engines and can also be used to drive back to the main site (for example Alexa currently shows that 44.64% of visitors to come from YouTube.)

- Conversation can also produce activity that aids SEO (through creating an increase in both Search results and links) with this helping Paid Search ads to work harder.

- Nielsen Research ('The Value of Social Media ad impressions') produced various data that showed that incorporating social / Earned actions into Paid Media placements increased their effectiveness on Facebook - Earned helps Paid to work harder

- Conversation can amplify the effects of offline Paid Media advertising too and this can change the approach to Paid Media strategy. Traditional frequency of three thinking was based around Paid Media being used to drive all impacts, but the scaling of the conversation means that the second or third impression can now be delivered through the sharing actions of the so-called 'People's Network.' (Yeo Valley is a great example of this.)

- The Conversation can also be a great source of insight, surfacing trends that can be harnessed, providing focus group type insight, facilitating customer service or providing data for measurement - with everything then fuelling other parts of the Paid Owned Earned ecosystem.

(There are clearly many more nuances and mechanics, but getting everything to work together can produce a whole that is greater than the sum of it's parts.)

I have recently presented this type of Paid Owned Earned thinking in a number of places, a video of my session at the recent IAA Digital Download event in London is here:

Paid Owned Earned - Nick Burcher presentation at IAA Digital Download

Paid Owned Earned is therefore more than just a collection of attribution buckets for media. Everything is linked together and the newer players (like Facebook and Twitter) are appearing in all three meaning it's very difficult to work in one area without having an understanding of the other aspects of the ecosystem (which is made up of everything from customer service to product to marketing and advertising.)

More examples of Paid Owned Earned thinking can be found at, with everything aggregated at - and check out the book!

paid owned earned
Paid Owned Earned by Nick Burcher

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