experience brands + the owned media opportunity

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What matters more than social media? Owned media matters more. Owned media means properties and experiences that are unique to the brand. When owned media experiences are good, people use channels like Twitter to share their experience (that’s earned media). Today, smart experience brands are putting greater emphasis on owned media.

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  • 1. EXPERIENCE BRANDS THE OWNED MEDIA OPPORTUNITY

2. WE TALK A LOT ABOUT MEDIA THESE DAYS. It is a truth universally acknowledgedif not fully understoodthat the most interesting advertising medium around today is people talking. People talking is what we really mean when we say social media. We can now talk to our friends, family, colleagues and business contactsthrough social networks and ever-evolving technologiesin ways that dramatically broaden the reach and authenticity of brand and product messages, changing marketing forever. But when we say social media were framing the conversation in the wrong way. We are so focused on all the ways that people can talkthe channels, the technologies, the networksthat we neglect to focus as much as we should about why people talk in the first place.EARNED MEDIA TRUMPS PAID.BUT WHAT DOES THEEARNING? 2010: THE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE BRANDS /2 3. WE SHOULD BE TALKING ABOUT OWNED MEDIA. We believe that instead of talking about social media we should be talking about paid, earned andmost important of allowned media. We think that owned media at its best inspires people to talk, and that smart brands experience brandsare putting greater emphasis than ever before not on social media, but on owned media. Thats what this article is about. Hope you enjoy it, and please share your feedback. Liz Bigham SVP, Director of Brand Marketing (If youd like a definition of what an experience brand is, check out our earlier articles.)2010: THE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE BRANDS /3 4. EXPERIENCE BRANDS PRIORITIZE OWNED MEDIA. THEY REAP GREATER BENEFITS FOR LESS MONEY.2010: THE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE BRANDS /4 5. DEFINITIONS Owned media is typically defined as one part of a media trinity comprising paid media, earned media and owned media. If you asked most people, paid media is advertising; earned media is PR; and owned media well, thats all that other stuff, right? Sean Corcoran of Forrester does a great job of defining these three media types, largely around the extent to which the brand controls the channel used to deliver a message: Owned media: delivered from a company to consumers through channels controlled by the company Paid media: delivered from a company to consumers by paying to leverage a channel not controlled by the company Earned media: passed between consumers as a result of an experience with brand 1 1 Sean Corcoran, No Media Should Stand Alone, Forrester online white paper (December 2009). 2010: THE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE BRANDS /5 6. OWNED MEDIA IS AN EXPERIENCE PEOPLE WANT TO SHARE. I like the definition provided by Bob Greenberg and Barry Wacksman in a recent Adweek article:When a brand creates its own media properties that consumersuse over and over again, such as a popular video on YouTubeor a popular digital platform like Nike+, this is owned media.When consumers share these media properties with each otheras when one person passes along a viral link to another, or blogsor tweets about a brand, or likes a brand on Facebookthisis earned media. 2According to this definition, owned media is a story or experience thats created by the brand, and earned media is when people recommend and share that same experience with others. 2Bob Greenberg and Barry Wacksman, The Shrinking Pie: How digital has changed mass medias investment model, 2010: THE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE BRANDS /6 Adweek (June 21, 2010). 7. WHEN IT WORKS, OWNED MEDIA INSPIRES THE PEOPLE WHO EXPERIENCE IT TO SHARE IT WITH OTHERS.2010: THE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE BRANDS /7 8. Whats important about owned media isnt what it looks like or the form it takes. Whats important is how its usedto create a brand experience that is so inspiring its shared with others. According to this definition, owned media could be something you see on YouTubeor it could be customer service thats so great you tell others about it. And so an owned media Hall of Fame could include a pretty diverse spectrum of experiences: Old Spice Guy Best Buys Twelpforce How Ace Hotels engage their guests Samsungs surprise concert in Times Square And so many more examples of great brands creating distinctive experiences on platforms they control, that then create buzz that spreads across other channels. OWNED MEDIACOULD BE A YOUTUBE VIDEOOR CUSTOMER SERVICE THATS SO GREAT YOUTELL OTHERS ABOUT IT.2010: THE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE BRANDS /8 9. The point is, if you create something special, people will talk about itand so, simply put, owned media begets earned media. Its really important to note that this isnt about a takeover or palace coup: owned media isnt replacing anything. Owned media is inextricably part of that media trinity of owned, paid and earned media, and its more effective the better it is thought through and integrated with them. Its simply becoming more prominent. So what are some of the differences and relative advantages of each?OWNED MEDIA BEGETS EARNEDMEDIA ANDMAKES PAID MEDIA WORK HARDER. 2010: THE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE BRANDS /9 10. NEW WAYS OF LOOKING AT OWNED, PAID AND EARNED MEDIA What HowExamples Benefits ChallengesOWNEDOwned/controlled by Customer service Control Can be hard to build scalebrand MEDIA Physical environment Delivers brandpromise Packaging Cost Proprietary events Retail footprint Staff/culture Brand storytelling/ content Twitter/YouTube Website PAID Brand pays to leverage Advertising Scale High cost MEDIA Paid search Perceived inauthenticity Seeded viral Fragmentation/ effectiveness Sponsored events Sponsorships EARNED People are the channel Grassroots Perceived No control MEDIA PRauthenticity Hard to measure Insight to market Potential negative Social media WOM Viral WOM2010: THE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE BRANDS /10 11. OWNED MEDIA HAS SOME CLEAR ADVANTAGES. There are two clear advantages to owned media:1. ControlDone right, owned media is not just the ultimate storytelling platformitsa great story. And its one where the stage, scenery, characters, costumes,everything has been orchestrated by the brand to position that story in thebest way.Ultimately, its a better way to ensure that the experience delivers on thebrand promise, because the brand literally controls the media. That is asignificant advantage over earned media in which people are the channelin the strictest sense. (Marketers love to be hip to every new trend, but Ihave a suspicion that secretly theyre more nervous than they let on aboutrelinquishing too much control in the brave new world of social media.)2. CostTHE UPFRONTWith owned media, you pay primarily to create contentand you mightINVESTMENT ISpay more to create something truly noteworthy that will engage people andinspire them to reach others. But youre not paying for the media, because IN CONTENT.you already own it. THE PAYOFFThe big potential is in investing in truly differentiating owned media, suchCOMES INas customer service so great people talk about it, or a retail experience soSAVINGS ANDunique people come to you because of it. That may require a bigger upfrontinvestment, but the payoff is huge. Ultimately, overall costs will be lowerIMPACT.and owned media (proprietary events, for example) can actually berevenue generating.2010: THE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE BRANDS /11 12. CHANGING PRIORITIES2010: THE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE BRANDS /12 13. EXPERIENCE BRANDS BELIEVE IN OWNED MEDIA. Based on the relative advantages of owned media, earned media and paid media, brands will, inevitably, adjust their priorities. This is most true of experience brands, which we see at the forefront of elevating the importance of owned media in their brand planning and strategy. Given their emphasis on the experience around their products and services, its a natural fit that experience brands would elevate owned media. This does not mean that paid media will go awayfar from it. Paid media (whether paid search or a Superbowl ad) is the fastest way to build scale and generate greater brand exposure. It does mean that more emphasis will be placed on owned media. If theres any lesson we would draw from media fragmentation and consumer control, its that exposure isnt guaranteed by paid mediaand certainly not engagement. And if theres anything weve learned from living admidst Twitter and YouTube, its that viral success can be sublime but is still supremely unpredictable. So we see experience brands investing in owned mediawhich, done right, provides both engagement and exposure, but with a critical focus on delivering the brand promise at its core. And thats a shift we welcome and are excited about helping our clients achieve.2010: THE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE BRANDS /13 14. SHARE THIS EXPERIENCE If you like this article, please share it with your friends and colleaguesSHARE ON DELICIOUS SHARE ON DIGG SHARE ON FACEBOOK SHARE ON LINKEDIN SHARE ON TWITTER SHARE VIA EMAIL Follow us on Twitter @jackmorton Visit our blog at blog.jackmorton.com For more information, contact Liz Bigham at liz_bigham@jackmorton.com or 212-401-7212.2010: THE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE BRANDS /14 15. JACK MORTON WORLDWIDE IS A BRAND EXPERIENCE AGENCY. WE CREATE EXPERIENCES THAT STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN BRANDS AND THE PEOPLE WHO MATTER MOST TO THEMTHEREBY HELPING OUR CLIENTS BECOME TALKED-ABOUT EXPERIENCE BRANDS. RATED AMONG THE TOP MARKETING SERVICE AGENCIES WORLDWIDE, WE INTEGRATE LIVE AND ONLINE EXPERIENCES, DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA, AND BRANDED 3D ENVIRONMENTS THAT ENGAGE AND INSPIRE CONSUMERS, BUSINESS PARTNERS AND EMPLOYEES. OUR STAFF WORK ACROSS THE US, EUROPE AND ASIA-PACIFIC AS PART OF AN IDEAS-LED AGENCY CULTURE. Jack Morton Worldwide 20102010: THE YEAR OF EXPERIENCE BRANDS /15

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