Paid, Owned & Earned Media

In the last blog, digital marketing measurement was ascertained as the collection of data used to prove accountability, measurability, efficiency and ROI.

However, in order to do this effectively, having a digital media plan in place is essential. A simple way of doing this is to use the POEM model (Paid, Owned & Earned Media). According to Séan Corcoran, POEM is a simple way to develop one’s digital strategy by categorising media channels and identifying what to prioritise based on your objectives as well as budget. By integrating these “touchpoints” between buyer and seller, a more holistic experience can be achieved.


owned media

Owned media encompasses all channels which your brand controls, for example a website, blog, mobile apps or social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Through such channels, the marketer can establish the brand’s presence and control brand messaging. According to Séan Corcoran, the role of such media is to build long-term relationships with consumers who want to engage with your brand. Brian Solis suggests that social media has become invaluable to this process in that the marketer can go beyond their own website and participate directly in the communities in which potential consumers gather. In doing so successfully, this also has the potential to contribute to Earned Media.


gangnam style

As posited by Séan Corcoran, Earned Media is when “the customer becomes the channel”. It can be defined as ‘viral’(think of ‘Gangnam Style’, pictured above) or ‘word-of-mouth’ media, whereby your brand has done something of interest that causes people to talk about it and share it through their own media i.e. blog posts, tweets, comments, status updates. According to Séan Corcoran, Earned Media is often the result of well executed Owned and Paid Media. Daniel Goodall, who works for Nokia, is of the opinion that ‘Earned Media’ is the best kind of media there is. As the consumers of today find themselves living in a media-saturated world, they have a tendency not to trust advertising, but they do however, trust peer reviews.


paid media

Paid or ‘Bought’ Media is in the name, it is that which the marketer has paid for. Examples would be banner ads (such as the one pictured above), paid search and sponsorships. According to many, such advertising is on the way out, however both Séan Corcoran and Daniel Goodall agree that it has its place. When paired with Owned and Earned Media, it provides visibility and awareness and can act as a ‘catalyst’ to drive engagement at key moments within a campaign.


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