In yesterday’s post I looked at Forrester Research’s view on the changing role of Advertising. Today, using the same chart from their report as my guide, I’ll discuss the Benefits and Challenges of “Owned Media.”
First off: “owned media” – whuzzat? Well, Ms. Corporate Marketer, that’s your stuff. Your blog, your tweets, your Facebook Fan Page. That’s the Content Marketing, “company-as-publisher” model that’s turned our world all topsy.
According to Forrester analyst Sean Corcoran, the benefits of owning your own media channels and assets include Control … Cost efficiency … Longevity … Versatility … and, Niche Audiences.
In other words, cuz you own it — and cuz the quality expectations are relatively low — the brand doesn’t need to spend a ton of $$ on outsiders, production or distribution in order to engage in on-going relationship-building across lots of different audience segments/channels. You can throw up a 90–second Flip video about your new product, then tweet that link and share the video on Facebook. Nice.
But let’s delve into the challenges of Owned Media. Corcoran points to three challenges, and we can quickly deal with 2 out of 3: “Company communication not trusted” and, “Takes time to scale.”
Of course “company communications are not trusted.” After knocking us all upside the head for the past 50 years with crappy ads and disingenuous PR spam, most companies will need to demonstrate uber levels of authenticity, transparency and humility to win consumer trust.
And, this needs to happen thoughtfully, scaling incrementally across any and all major channels in which consumers care to engage. (BTW this part can suck for the marketer: regardless of the company’s diligence, consumers rule, i.e., a company that did an awesome job on MySpace may need to — ruefully — lighten up there and move to just-as-good communications on Facebook).
But now let’s move to the third and trickiest of Forrester’s stated Challenges of Owned Media: “No guarantees.”
Having not paid the $500 to read the full report, I shouldn’t speculate about what Corcoran & Co. meant by “no guarantees.” It likely means, “You do as good a job as you can with Owned Media … but still no one seems to care.”
This is why the title of the Forrester report, “No Media Should Stand Alone” is critical. We still see too many Social Media zealots suggesting that the rise of self-publishing models mean, “Advertising is Dead” or “PR is Dead” or “Journalism is Dead.” That’s utter B.S.
If the corporate marketer does a good job with Owned Media, its brand enthusiasts (and their own immediate social circle) will applaud.
But, no one else (who doesn’t follow ‘em on Twitter nor considers “fanning” them on Facebook, etc.) will know nor care.
It’s the next concentric circle of audiences — let’s call ‘em the Convinceables — that the marketer must reach, and they’ll do so via more “traditional” avenues of PR and Advertising.
Having used PR & Advertisements to motivate these Convinceables to do a Google search, those new prospects can be delighted by the level of content and conversation that the brand’s well-cultivated Owned Media have spurred online. Lo! A new fan/follower/customer is born!
But, there are no guarantees.
Posted on: January 5, 2010 at 11:46 am By Todd Defren