20 dimensions of paid, owned & earned marketing

20 dimensions of paid, owned & earned marketing
This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Dimensions of POE

20 Dimensions of paid owned & earned marketingYou have undoubtable heard or read about paid, owned & earned marketing over the past few years. I’ve published on this topic quite a few times in 2011 (Paid Marketing, Owned Marketing) and earlier last year.

I recently refined my models for each of the 3 types of marketing while building an integrated marketing course for the Institut de Leadership en Gestion which offers certification 5-6 day seminars in leadership, applied marketing and sales team management.

Paid, owned & earned are fairly simple concepts, but behind each is a world of possibilities and options in each of which most anyone can get distracted.

My new models identify and explain 8 dimensions for paid marketing, 6 for owned and 6 for earned.

paid, owned & earned

As a quick recap, paid marketing is actually media, or advertising. Any opportunity you have to pay for to communicate a message to a specific audience in a particular geography at a particular time, its advertising or paid marketing. There are 8 specific dimensions for paid marketing, each of which opens into a breadth of possibilities.

Owned marketing is all the marketing opportunities the brand could possibly do itself in-house. Often-times many such tasks are handled through an agency or an expert of some kind so yes the brand has to pay for these, but it is still owned marketing. These include their own website, store and logo, newsletter, social media accounts and eCommerce among many others. There are 6 dimensions for owned marketing.

Earned marketing is essentially word of mouth. It is everything the brand cannot pay for or control as it doesn’t own it. However the brand has tremendous influence over earned marketing as it controls its brand image, the buying process and actual consumption experience. There are 6 dimensions for earned marketing.

8 dimensions of paid marketing

There are 8 dimensions in paid marketing. Each is essentially a category of questions that need to be asked and answered before moving on to the next. Their purpose is to ensure you always select the best option(s) to further your objective, instead of systematically trying out the newest shiny option. They are:

  1. Campaign objective (very specifically)
  2. Campaign KPI (which 1 piece of data & how it will be collected)
  3. Media pricing model (by which the media vendor will optimize)
  4. Ad format (broadly, best suited to deliver the message and achieve desired performance)
  5. Ad environment (editorial context and consumers’ state of mind when there relative to being exposed to the ad)
  6. Technology platform (device on which the consumer will see the ad)
  7. Ad targeting (to reach the right consumer, at the right step in the process)
  8. Ad creative / message (to convince the consumer)

6 dimensions of owned marketing

There are 6 dimensions in owned marketing. Each has direct impact on all others. None are optional. Having a strategy and plan in place for each allows the brand to properly align its tactics with its objectives while measuring their impact. They are:

  1. Main objective (what do you want to achieve as an endgame with your marketing effort)
  2. Marketing KPI – how will you know what you’ve done worked?
  3. Website – your home base online
  4. Mobile – ensuring you’ve considered all your consumer no matter their preferred device
  5. Social – are you present and active where your consumers are?
  6. Email – another important communication method

For the last 4, you further need to determine what and how you will measure success to optimize your efforts. You will need to consider your SEO efforts for each tactic across points 3 to 6.

6 dimensions of earned marketing

There are 6 dimensions in earned marketing. Each is independently important while also having some impact on the others. They are:

  1. Presence – what do consumers find if they look for you here?
  2. Strategy – what do you say, when and how?
  3. Community management – how do you engage your audience, how do you respond to them?
  4. Reviews – has anyone reviewed you? Are they good? Are they recent?
  5. Social listening – are you paying attention to people talking about you online?
  6. Influencers – are you taking advantage of them?


As you can see, digital marketing isn’t complicated, it’s complex. Still, if you have a well thought out strategy, and properly navigate the dimensions of paid, owned & earned marketing, it can be straightforward. Over the coming weeks I will be publishing individual posts on each of these topics in much more detail.

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