Mobile value exchange — advertising that works.

If you read our post about Cooperative Media, that compared it to a ‘traditional’ view of the three Paid, Owned and Earned Media, you may have been left wondering where it fits in the wider picture of media.

And you may not… or you may not have read it… but fear not, here’s a quick summary …

Paid, owned and earned media, particularly when looking at their KPIs of reach and control, do not sit well within personal mobile advertising. However, Cooperative media that places the user in control of brand communication with a clear value exchange, delivers genuine attention for the benefit of all (user, publisher and advertiser).

That post left me with a question when considering the following graphic we included in the piece:

The question is, if the concept Cooperative Media fits into the world of media, then where would it sit in this graph of reach versus control? The outcome of our cogitations is interesting, so we thought we’d share it.

Fundamentally, Cooperative Media revolves around the end user person, at the centre of everything. As we introduced it in our Metro advertising campaign for Qustodian a couple of years ago:

“Everytime you look at an ad, someone profits. Make it you!”

So, if we’re talking about a reach of one and that person controls what they see (eg. if they select ‘dislike’ they can choose to block any brand), then perhaps Cooperative Media sits at the base of both axes as a dot, something like:

Which is all very well, but not very impressive in comparison with the other media metrics and not very insightful either. Apples and pears, guv…

But then we thought about the fact that Cooperative Media is about each person, one by one. It explores the depth of insight into each individual person and the degree to which you can engage them when they’re in control. That led us to understanding that Cooperative Media actually is an extension of each axis in the opposite direction, placing it in a diametrically opposed quadrant from the mass media. If you like, a “4th dimension”, like this:

Which leads us to the idea that cooperative media is all about:

  1. their degree of engagement to your brand — from awareness through to affinity,
  2. a deeper understanding of what an individual person explicitly wants — from propensity through to intention.

Or, without the business speak, the more the person wants to interact with you the more you can understand what they want and give it to them.

Surely this is yet more reinforcement of the bleedin’ obvious… when it comes to the most personal of all media, your mobile phone, look for ways to focus on the user first by deploying the principles of Cooperative Media.

Then true engagement, profiling and money will follow.


John Roberts is the CoFounder and UK MD of iadbox, a mobile marketing platform with a user-controlled inbox.