Today’s digital strategies need to recognize that digital is a ecosystem

Great image found in Mats Hernvall's presentation

Ecosystem is word that I’ve started to use a *lot* lately to explain how paid, earned and owned medias must work together when creating digital strategies for big brands.  

The media classification – paid, owned, earned – is a well accepted marketing framework first articulated, to my knowledge, by Forrester research’s Sean Corcoran (@seancor) in his report “Defining Earned, Owned and Paid”.  This lovely classification outlines how brands may have strong control on the content and channel in owned channels, control on content but ‘renting’ in paid medias but in earned – the brand has neither control over the content nor the channel.

This distinction has been helpful for clients to understand the role of the three media and its suitability toward achieving certain marketing objectives.   Interestingly, some of the benefits have been changing namely paid media’s increased ability to affect conversion goals.

Where the “ecosystem” comes into mind – is not just understanding the overall benefits of a media but delving into what the organizational weaknesses in the various medias.  If a company has no mobile solution and turnaround is not timely, then how can owned media support this gap?   It can be damaging to the business to wait for future development of large owned media and digital strategies need to examine how the other medias will bridge the gaps.   Owned media is just the example.  Downfalls exist in all medias which can supported by the other medias.

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