A Few Thoughts on Paid, Owned, and Earned Media

In CMO.com, Matthew Schwartz just published a story on paid, owned, and earned media. I shared a few thoughts:

“One of the big reasons for the confusion with PEO is you often have one component in ascendance and another decreasing,” said David Berkowitz, who was most recently CMO of MRY, part of Publicis Groupe’s Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG). “Right now ‘PEO’ is more like uppercase ‘P,’ lowercase ‘e,’ and lowercase ‘o.” [PEO is] increasingly driven by the media model, whereas when PEO started it was driven by the creative. Earned and owned media are still important, but right now paid is in the driver’s seat.”

Marketers should keep their eyes peeled on Facebook’s other digital properties to gauge how long it takes for the social media giant to shift to a paid-media model altogether, Berkowitz told CMO.com.

“You can almost use Facebook as a ‘PEO Index,’” he added. “Facebook News Feed skews almost entirely toward paid, with some earned and little owned. Instagram is moving in that direction. WhatsApp is still open-ended as it has the least brand integration. Facebook Messenger now is all about owned and earned with no paid media, and Oculus is all owned as well, with little earned and no paid.”

I do think an index would be interesting here, perhaps as a kind of barometer. It’s like the Big Mac index showing economic trends by reporting the price of a Big Mac in different countries. Facebook is McDonald’s in that scenario, and whatever they do is consistently mirrored by others (though occasionally others lead, as in Kik leading the messaging bot market but Facebook scaling it and shaping much of the future of it).