Moving from Paid to Owned & Earned Media

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The terms paid, owned and earned media have gained some importance lately. With the world economy in a recessionary state, brand managers and chief marketing officers are forced to deal with reduced marketing budgets. Consumer decision making process has undergone a transformation, leading to an increased focus on owned and earned media.

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What can a new age CEO /CMO do to transform their organisation’s marketing and sales efforts and align them with today’s economic scenario.  Here are three crucial strategies that your organization can leverage.

 

Hire the right people for the job

Make these critical hires, irrespective of your marketing budget.

  • Social media and online reputation management: Either hire an adept digital agency or hire smart people who can orchestrate your social media efforts. Social media marketing is not a choice, it’s a mandate.  Figure out the people part first, tools for social media and online reputation management are a secondary concern.
  • Search engine optimization: All your owned media – website / blog / mobile site needs organic traffic from search engines. SEO is a low cost, long term alternative to driving relevant traffic to your owned properties.
  • User design: Your owned media needs to be user friendly; otherwise they are a piece of junk. Most organizations lack design thinking and this malaise comes from that fact that top executives don’t understand the science of user design and make decisions based on their gut. Hire a digital creative agency or visual designers that have a reputation / formal education in design.

 

Allocate marketing budgets wisely

It’s a CMO’s job to allocate marketing budgets.  Along with your top marketing team, make rational choices.

  • Consciously decide to invest in long term projects over short term initiatives. Be brutal while ideating. Throw out ideas that don’t fit the following guidelines:
    • Heavy focus on paid media
    • Short term
    • Results cannot be measured
  • Split your marketing budgets between paid, owned and earned media. Pass on this mandate to everyone in your marketing team and to your partner agencies.
  • Forge strategic alliances / barter deals: Invest time and muscle behind forging strong industry relationships.  Structure deals that are mutually beneficial  and long term in nature.

 

Revisit your customer

Your customer has changed. He has moved on with time. Consumers research on the internet before making a purchase. They check and compare product prices before stepping into a retail store. They log on to social networks to get opinions of friends and family.  It’s time to revisit your customer. Unearth the latest consumer behaviour survey (or ask a consumer research agency to do one).

Once you understand how your customer is making purchases today, invest wisely in every step of the consumer purchase cycle. Here are some thought starters:

  • Consumers research on the internet – Invest in SEO and paid search.
  • Consumers seek opinions on social networks – Get on social media.
  • Allow consumers to buy online – Make your site ecommerce enabled.

 

It’s over to you. It time to click on the call for action.

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