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The seeds of paid and owned convergence are starting to bloom

The seeds of paid and owned convergence are starting to bloom Jennifer Vlahavas

My dad is 70 years-old and retired in Arizona and has never really understood what I do. First it was "computers," and now he tells his friend I "do the internet." When I came into my current role almost three years ago, I used a direct mail example and said, "OK, Dad. Let's say you get only two pieces of mail in the mailbox tomorrow. One is a 50-percent off coupon for a tub of Enfamil formula, and one is $50 off a round of golf at Pebble Beach. Which is junk mail?"

He enthusiastically raised his hand and shouted, "The formula coupon!" I told him, "No, they are both junk mail because they were both unsolicited. But because one aligns with your life stage, lifestyle, and passions, you don't perceive it as intrusive. That's what I do -- help deliver advertising that is more relevant to consumers."

Tapping into the various data signals from across first-, second-, and third-party data has become crucial to making marketing more relevant to consumers. In the recurring marketing mantra of "Right person, right time, right channel, right message," this is "right person." The convergence of your paid and owned media, plus integrated audience management and execution at scale, is how you get to the rest.

This probably sounds like stuff you're heard before, but the transformation possible if we get this ideal future state right is enormous. It can change how brands interact with customers for the better by bringing the full customer experience to life. Using my dad as an example, he may get an email from Pebble Beach for $50 off but not respond because he's distracted or busy (like most of us). But when paid and owned media come together, my dad might then see a video ad from Pebble Beach with a shot of the scenic views from hole 16 with the same offer.

If it's the "right time" and because he's 70, he will likely pick up the phone to book a round. The convergence of paid and owned marketing channels allows for Pebble Beach, in this case, to track my dad's ad exposure sequence across historically disparate channels. And the use of audience management tools allows Pebble Beach to attribute the phone-based sale to my dad, closing the loop -- and also ensuring he doesn't get another $50-off offer.

Think of the current state of many marketers' worlds:

  • Data applied in a siloed way, without one view of the customer. Why can't, for instance, a Millennial mom not also be a high-value customer? Shouldn't your customers be able to exist in overlapping segments to maximize their chances of converting?
  • No way to compare the various measures of success to understand what is and isn't working in your marketing efforts. How many app installs equal one video complete, for instance?
  • The absence of owned marketing channels, which is almost like stopping a conversation with a target customer mid-sentence.

And then consider a marketing landscape where you can:

  • See and better understand customer behaviors across a broader range of marketing touch points.
  • Deliver more relevant messaging to these customers to improve business outcomes across all channels.
  • Reduce media waste by, for example, ensuring that a marketer isn't paying to show an ad for a product a user has already purchased.

We already have clients seeing the benefits of connecting their technologies in this way. One major brand identified high-value audience segments from their email system and exported them to our TerminalOne operating system to boost ROI and execute media at scale. Both campaigns we ran saw better CTR and CPV compared with other email-only segments. We expect our clients and other marketers to increasingly test the waters of these paid and owned integrations. Competitive advantage lies with those marketers who unify their advertising and marketing to deliver on the promise of seamless relevancy for consumers wherever they are. Not to mention, connecting owned and paid strategies can actually make marketers' lives easier by reducing workflows such as extra pixeling and better controlling data proliferation.

Marketers must integrate their martech with their adtech to boost ROI across all of their marketing-related investments, to better understand customers across touch-points, and to deliver stronger, more personalized experiences to end users across channels, formats, and devices. Those who don't do this will falter longer-term.

As VP, Account Strategy, Jenn’s responsibilities include partnering with existing brand and agency clients to drive performance and grow their business via the application of MediaMath’s enterprise technology platform.  Immediately...

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