Remember flying British Midland? Or trying to get a decent reception beyond the M25 on your One2One mobile phone? I’m afraid I do, because my first foray into contract publishing (as it was then known) was as deputy editor and editor, respectively, of those Dodo-esque brands.
But that was back when social media meant propping up a bar with your colleagues in Soho. And a liquid lunch was half a tuna sandwich and a bottle of Pino Grigio (each), rather than intermittent fasting on Matcha tea.
Since then ‘contract publishing’ transmogrified into ‘customer publishing’, then more recently become ‘content marketing’, and now I’m here to persuade you that it’s time to re-think your marketing-speak lexicon again.
Because at Wonderly we’re out to make waves as an ‘owned media’ agency.
And by that we mean our mission is to help brands take back control.
So many channels, so little time
We can’t help but notice that a disturbing number of organisations and brands are in a constant state of ‘chanxiety’. So anxious to get their messages across the latest channel that they don’t give themselves time to think if it really is the right response.
That desire to be always on, always on every channel, overwhelming consumers with more content than their attention levels can consume is what marketing guru Mark Shaefer identified as ‘Content Shock’, advising that: ‘eventually, a “cover the world with content” marketing focus will not be a long-term sustainable strategy for many businesses’.
That was back in 2014, when content marketing was still the must-do marketing trend, and conventional linear multi-channel thinking was the default approach.
At Wonderly, we believe Shaefer’s ‘eventually’ is happening right now. And those lines of communication have become so numerous that unless brands adopt an approach that puts owned media first and foremost, they are in danger of losing sight of where their content and digital strategy begins and ends.
So why owned media?
Google ‘What’s the difference between owned, earned and paid media’ and I guarantee you’ll be faced with multiple iterations of the same Venn diagram showing 3 equal and intersecting triangles with the sweet spot in the middle. And we’d like to disagree.
Because all media is not created equal. And as soon as you release your content into the digital realm it will either die unnoticed or take on a life of its own through the attention it garners from the empowered public. If it’s brilliant, and offers a value through the information, inspiration or entertainment it delivers, then hurrah! You’ll be rewarded by the likes and shares that help boost loyalty and unlock growth. (That’s where ‘earned’ media comes in). If it’s unauthentic, untrue (or just a bit rubbish), then they’ll be baying for your blood.
That means you’ve got to put owned media at the top of your marketing priorities, and get it spot on from the start. You’ve got to be confident you are sending the right message to the right audience (‘paid’ for, if you like) at the right time and through the right channel. And that’s what so many conventional multi-channel strategies are failing to do.
So how do I be brilliant at it?
You know you’re brilliant at owned media when – well, frankly you just don’t need to do anything at all. Your customers will be doing all the work for you – except we prefer not to think of them as customers but as fans. People who are so passionate about your brand that they tell all their family and friends about you, so they become customers too.
It’s what we call the Wonderly Way, mobilising audiences into a proactive community that generates its own gravitational pull. And its secret is simple. We put insight at the heart of everything we do – understanding what people love about our clients’ brands and the truths that bind them together.
Just pick up the phone or send us an email – we’d love to tell you more.
(For some awesome – and surprisingly eclectic – examples of brands who are nailing owned media, read our Digital Strategy Director Ed Marriage’s blog.)