16.1 Paid or earned media?


    As an organization, it is simply a must to know where the digital hangouts of your stakeholders are, “hang out” with them there, and contribute information. You can, for example, make it easy for stakeholders to order through wizards, gadgets, or widgets as a part of other websites. Engage in discussions in these stakeholder hangouts – in other words, do not only talk, but also keep your eyes and ears open – because, especially on these network spots, a lot of information can be found that can contribute to the success of your organization.

    In the marketing world, the following three-part division in media choice is made:

    – Paid or bought media: sponsoring and advertising.

    – Owned media: the own communication channels.

    – Earned media: word of mouth by the target group.

    According to Prahalad’s formula, N=1, you can use this trio for your choices of media to attain a one-to-one form of communication with every stakeholder. Increasingly, lower costs and greater simplicity of digital media have made owned media much more accessible. The effect of earned media has increased exponentially. Paid media are losing popularity: every Euro spent on this is wasted money. In the near future, the average corporate website will be nothing more than a virtual business card. That same corporate website can also show a mix of all product and social information that is produced by your stakeholders. Maintaining such a website, containing lots of dynamic information, requires good organization.

    The American e-commerce giant Amazon.com understands this concept extremely well, and is a prime example of it. The product specifications of every book that it sells is loaded with information, but only 10% of this is supplied by Amazon itself; the other 90% consists of social information from stakeholders. So it is facilitated, curated, and compiled by Amazon.com: book reports, book reviews, discussion groups about the book, book ratings, and much, much more. And because its stakeholders all love a particular book, they are peers, making sure other potential buyers perceive this 90% of the social information as authentic, and so, reliable.

    It is superfluous to mention that the displayed social information is not only of importance to other stakeholders, but also for the organization, itself. In the past, this used to be called customer and market research, and it required the procurement and link of CRM and ERP systems and would cost a lot of money. If you use social tools smartly, that information will come to you automatically, and will be accessible to all of your employees!

    Related Content

    From one way communication to...

    Customer breaks up with advertising