Owned marketing is about taking ownership of your company’s growth by taking back control of the entire customer experience. It’s about leveraging the assets you already possess, such as what you know (and could know) about your customers and prospects, and using this knowledge to both find and grow relationships that last a lifetime. It’s also about the unimpeded use of your creative talents to build experiences worthy of those lifelong relationships right from the start. It’s about building your business on owned revenue, dollars contributed to your business as a result of the relationships you’ve built. It’s the difference between being invited to engage with your customers, verses being dismissed as just another interruption.
Owned channels are channels that allow you the freedom to create the experiences your customers are demanding. Your website, email, and mobile marketing are great examples of owned channels that provide an unprecedented ability to deliver personalized, memorable experiences that reflect your brands’ personality which is a unique representation of yourself. The ongoing delivery of those memorable, brand-rich experiences leads to profitable relationships.
In contrast, channels such as paid search, display advertising, and marketplaces have increasingly become more and more restrictive in how you can engage their audiences, leading to less control and effectiveness of your marketing efforts overall. What is worse, is their ever-increasing, pay-to-play model is the major contributor to skyrocketing acquisition costs.
Leveraging owned marketing channels to build lasting growth is not revolutionary. Most businesses create their online presence and quickly add marketing channels such as email, social platforms, and advertising channels to support their growth. Historically, those non-owned channels have allowed for rapid customer acquisition. In fact, very early on these channels were inexpensive or free, luring you in, and creating dependance. Over time, most of those marketing channels (search, social, and advertising) moved to pay-to-play models with higher and higher acquisition costs. Unfortunately, established businesses were already hooked on these channels and reluctantly had to accept these increasing costs. For newer businesses though, these costs force a real trade-off between advertising and other monetary demands like expanding their product offering, or, at the extreme are simply too expensive and prohibit entry.
Worse, these channels seem to change the rules almost daily, so businesses who have become addicted to paid channels feel they have no option other than to accept these new restrictions.
Businesses are continually losing control over the experiences they seek to deliver. They find themselves significantly restricted in their ability to share their brand, in their voice, to the audience they desire. Simply, they have been forced to accept these channel’s shortcomings all while paying more — for less.
It’s time to take back control and regain ownership over your growth.
Channels such as your website, email and mobile marketing provide an unprecedented ability to deliver personalized, memorable experiences that lead to lasting high-value relationships with your customers. These relationships fuel your growth by increasing individual transaction size, significantly extending the customer lifetime-value. Equally as important, happy, satisfied customers drive brand awareness and new customer acquisition as they eagerly share their experiences with friends.
At the core, owned marketing enables you to ask and answer questions about your customers which helps you know your customers on a much more personal level fueling every future interaction.
Properly achieving a state of owned marketing requires three stages: Collect, Build, and Deliver.
Let’s break these down:
This easy-to-follow framework helps brands grow much faster, more sustainably, and more independently. It’s because owned marketing drives owned revenue which are dollars that are driven through owned marketing channels, free from the high costs associated with advertising and marketplace channels. Owned marketing builds trust and integrity with your customers. It uses the same steps (listening, analyzing, and acting) that are critical to building relationships between all humans and facilitates the same process between brands and customers.
As a brand focused on growing owned revenue, deciding to listen to your customers and understanding their preferences (through their data) will help you delight them and lead to unlocking your business’ growth.
Know your customers — actively and passively, every moment matters, and every engagement is an opportunity to learn more. Don’t rely on 3rd parties to know this information for you.
Ask lots of questions about your customers — dig into your analytics and reporting, look for trends, insights and opportunities. The best ideas will come from exploring the data you already have available to you.
Embrace your personality — your brand should have a personality and it should be present in the experiences you deliver, in the content, in the copy, visually, and always in the format customers want Don’t allow yourself to be constrained by the formats others force you into.
Build loyalty and advocacy — encourage your customers to share your brand’s story with their friends, family, and peers. Sometimes a simple prompt is all that it takes to incentivize someone to share the positive experiences you’re providing.
Experiment and learn — never stop testing new ideas in your owned marketing channels or optimizing the experiences you’re delivering. The biggest technology companies are consistently iterating and optimizing, you should take the same approach to create growth.
Create balance — you should never be dependent on any individual marketing channel. You need to create a balance across channels and a healthy balance between new customer acquisition and customer retention.
Be human and think long term — don’t bet on technologies or trends that are fads, they will pass. Instead, bet on creating relationships, and building strong bonds with your customers to have a longer-term, profitable impact.
Owned marketing is about taking ownership and regaining control of your customer experiences.
The goal of attaining owned marketing is to create highly personalized relationships with your customers. Relationships that drive owned revenue and are free from the costs and heavy-handed control of non-owned channels.
To build relationships we must deliver great experiences. Experiences plural. One great experience does not build a relationship, we must personalize every interaction — only made possible by leveraging data.
For a long time, businesses have had the opportunity to craft creative, visually compelling, marketing. But, businesses have been challenged with a way to seamlessly combine customer preferences and data into their creative execution. Only when you leverage customer data and preferences in creative do you transform marketing into real experiences.
It’s at this point when businesses begin consistently delivering real experiences through owned marketing channels do we start to craft relationships. The types of relationships that turn customers into advocates and ambassadors. Those customers, advocates, and ambassadors are who help you attain owned marketing and sustainable growth through owned revenue.