Own it, earn it or pay for it: how to get the right customers in your hands

Digital marketing image

Digital marketing image

Everyone wants to get their brands in the right consumer hands, in order to have that demographic trial, purchase, or emotionally connect with the product or service.

The tactics that the majority of communication agencies — that play in the digital space — follow the owned approach, but it is imperative that as brands evolve with customer behaviour, so too do their digital considerations for influencer marketing and digital PR (earned media), as well as content remarketing and social network bought media (paid media).

Owned pertains to all the platforms that are your brand’s developed collateral. Websites, microsites or social media pages / profiles. Paid is what you do to drive traffic to your owned spaces, and earned is the conversion that takes place online from a reputable source that convinces the customer that it is in fact a great idea to buy your product without fear of post purchase dissonance.


A social network launches, gains traction, mainstream adoption occurs and agency or brand world follows suit to construct its own real estate; like the large monolithic beast that is built to obscure your beach front view. You originally joined Facebook to snoop keep tabs on your friends, not to be sold stuff.

Owned pages hit a ceiling of organic growth and then brands have to resort to paid media to secure more fans, follows, or subscribers. This comes to the next point:

Paid online media — if strategic — can deliver the most affordable ROI for your brand


This diagram illustrates the difference between spray and pray, above the line mass marketing, versus the exact targeting that the web offers us in terms of engaging with known demographics and psychographics.

We will break this down into more detail in a follow up post.

Banners are boring. They don’t have to be

There was a time when everyone hated banners. Some still do. Once you start using them in conjunction with content remarketing though, they become effective again.

It’s quite simply really, all you need to do is embed a remarketing code into the YouTube videos that you produce for clients. You are then able to save a list of those people who consumed the content, in order to serve them targeted banner ads on other sites that utilise the Google Display Network (GDN) as they travel from one website to the next on their journeys across the net.

Influencer marketing

Traditionally, advertisers could have opted to take a pic of say David Beckham sporting a pair of streamlined underpants, slap this image on a billboard and stick it parallel to your morning battle with gridlock. The problem is that not all of us sitting in traffic are in the market for a pair of DB undies.

According to a recent study, peer to peer recommendations of products or services account for 70% of online purchasing decisions. So the advice from your favourite ‘Mommy blogger’ regarding the best nappies to use on baby is a stronger driver to convert you from view to purchase. Also, you were already in the market for nappies based on your search behaviour.

In a sea of online noise and the rise of countless, diverse communities, it has become increasingly difficult for brands to keep tabs on the influencers who are important to champion their products or services within the various social nicheworks.

As with all marketing communications’ activities, it is imperative that tactics are integrated and do not live in isolation.

Don’t just earn it, pay for it, or own it – it’s non negotiable to consider all three.



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