1. Is owned media more valuable than we think?
Invariably yes, we did our own study last year that showed 96% of marketers use their owned media for communication, but 9 out of 10 don’t know the value of their assists. So they're flying blind in terms of the value of their owned assets. Establishing an accurate value is important because it completely changes the way a business views their owned assets. The problem is, until recently, there has never been a way to measure your owned media asset value.
And when you think about your digital audiences, your store foot traffic, transport, customer databases, packaging… these are all owned assets that have incredible value and potential.
Plus, consider that 100% of growth will come through an owned channel.
2. How do I leverage my owned media?
Start by putting accurate value to your owned assets. You need to audit your assets and crystallise how they are being used in the context of paid and earned media.
To make best use of owned assets, a business must step back, look at how they are using owned in the context off all their communications and then develop a clear strategy and guidelines that put owned at the heart of communications. We call it inside out planning and essentially means you start with the people who are closest to your business (i.e. customers) rather than those furthest away (i.e. TV audiences).
Once a business is using their assets well for their own communications, they can explore more exciting ways to leverage their owned channels. Recognising the value of owned assets in supplier or partner negotiations is one way to leverage owned assets powerfully. Where it’s relevant and appropriate, a business can look to monetise their owned assets by creating an advertising channel that other relevant brands can utilise.
This must be done sensitively and with great care and consideration to your brands audiences, but it is possible. We’ve done it recently with George Weston Foods where we unlocked the power of their packaging. George Weston Foods have audiences similar to traditional media owners. We created a simple and highly targeted way for relevant brands to advertise on bread packs. We call it Bread Connect and it has a commercial potential of $8m per year. Owned assets like these are going under the radar and are prime examples to be tested and and utilised in a smart and sensitive way.
3. How do I stand out from the crowd with owned media?
Right now it’s really easy to stand out from the crowd because businesses in general have done so little with their owned asset leverage. Simply putting a value on your assets will have you ahead of the majority of businesses. Invest more time and energy into the experience a customer has at an owned asset, rather than the minutia of an advertising commercial. And once you know the value of your assets, orientate everything around them first before considering earned and then paid.
And if you really want to shake-up your category then start thinking of yourself as a media owner. Create solutions for other brands and you will unlock highly profitable revenue streams. We’re seeing a big focus on the commercial side of marketing in the USA right now and I think it will filter down to Australia very soon. CEO’s and boards will be putting more and more pressure on the marketing function to demonstrate new revenue streams and owned is a highly profitable one.
The secret code if you’re going to do this is to improve the customer experience through the creation of an advertising channel, create an effective marketing channel for another brand and generate highly profitable revenue streams. The thing is, you can’t have 2 out of 3. You need 3 out of 3 to be sustainable.
4. How much should I invest in owned media ?
Most businesses don’t really need to invest much more. It’s not about spending more, it’s about capitalising what you already have. In these early days progressive marketers are spending 20-30% of their budgets in owned media. It’s about recognising the customer experience you create through owned media assets and ensuring that it is congruent with the advertising promise which minimises the expectation gap that can occur when an experience doesn't match the advertising… what a brand advertises itself as and the interaction with the brand. It’s not about changing your advertising. It’s the focus you put on your own assets. Orient your owned channels first before paid advertising.
Get your house in order, before customers come to your owned media.
The more you spend in advertising, the more you need to orientate yourself to owned channels first, otherwise advertising becomes a wasted investment. The IPA in the UK recently did an analysis of their recent effectiveness awards submissions and found that there was a 13% increase in effectiveness when owned channels were strategically planned with paid and earned channels.
To find out more about Owned Media contact Angus Frazer at Sonder Communications. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
If your Media Policy, Media Strategy, Media Planning and Media Buying are in need of an overhaul, Media Futures recommends you contact an independent media specialist.