The Paid Owned Earned Ecosystem


Paid Owned Earned

Our old friend Nick Burcher has reframed his Destination and Conversation model in terms of Paid Owned and Earned:

The media landscape is now being bucketed into three distinct areas – Paid Owned and Earned.

  • Paid is the traditional method of paying to place an ad, a ‘go here now’ message.
  • Owned was traditionally a store or product packaging, then encompassed websites and microsites, before more recently becoming social network pages and apps.
  • Earned was traditionally conversation around a watercooler or journalists being persuaded to write nice things. Earned has grown in importance as it now covers a whole range of digital channels too, like blogs, forums, YouTube, social networks and so on – the idea that anyone can post, comment, link to or share.

The key to this ecosystem is the arrows between each bucket. Nothing can be thought of in isolation now, Paid drives Owned which can drive Earned, but things are more complicated than this. A Paid execution can also drive Earned conversation which can then drive Owned which can then drive further Earned, Earned conversations can show up in natural Search results that then help Paid Search to work harder etc etc. There is also a huge feedback loop now which allows the conversation to be mined for insight that can assist in the formulation of channel specific or overall strategy.