Editorializer view #1: Power of Owned - How owned-led thinking will improve your brand effectiveness

by Baptiste Picard-D, Content Strategist at Publicis Media France.

Introducing the Owned First paradigm

Source : Publicis Media Touchpoints — Skincare, France

A recent study conducted by Publicis Media between 2007 and 2015 showed that online brand experience shares on skincare category are more and more driven by owned media experiences than paid ones.

Skincare clients and prospects are increasingly developing direct relationship with brands: this is why it’s going to be critical for brands to have a credible owned destination for a quality user experience. Such results can be encountered on many other macro-categories such as fashion, automotive and travel.

Following this new paradigm, Publicis Media launched some years ago its strategic motto Owned First— a new planning approach that structurally challenged the conventions of paid, owned and earned media and the way clients need to allocate budgets on different channels.

“The principle is that if you’ve got assets that deliver genuine value in the digital space to consumers from an owned perspective, then the strategies that you undertake in your paid investment can become subject to them rather than disconnected from them.”
Sean Healy, Head of Comms Planning Worldwide at Publicis Media.

In the following story, we’ll explain how owned strategy is a great driver to build brand equity, to generate conversions and maximize customer lifetime value.

1. Owned First to craft content with a purpose: the HomeAway case.

“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.”
Craig Davis, Chief Creative Officer at JWT.

This quote from Craig Davis really embodies the Owned First thinking. Brands now need to stop disturbing audiences with messages they’re not waiting for, but be what people are expecting. When traditional paid formats such as display, SEA or TV ads interrupt media experiences, the owned channels, as part of native properties of the brands, represent the be what people are interested in.

We all know that in the digital era, thanks to adbocking, people can easily avoid messages and ads they don’t want to see. In this context, as a brand, betting on owned media experiences is clearly the best way to embody the be part and deliver real value exchange to audiences. With owned touchpoints, brands have the ability to control 100% of their messages and the way it’s going to be distributed. As agencies, our role is to be more agile, close to user needs and dynamic to unlock paint points in real time basis.

Here is a concrete example of what I just said. Relaxnews, AFP and Blue449-Optimedia recently developed for Publicis Media clients’ HomeAway an on-site editorial content platform during the Euro 2016.

As with every content strategy, it always starts with an insight. Or rather two.

  • 67% of travelers feel more loyal toward a travel company that shares information during their trip that improves their travel experience. (Source: Google Think Insights 2016)
  • “Tickets are very expensive and hard to find, I finally got 2 tickets for the game against Romania but I’ll stay in France during the whole competition,” said Alexander, Swiss fan, 6 months before the Euro. (Source: PublicisMedia eListening Audit 2016).

Fans came for a 90’’ game, but they stayed 10 days. We needed to bring additional experiences before and after the game. Here is the key question: How could HomeAway extend the Euro 2016 experience and fill the hours out of the stadium? We created more than 100 pieces of geobased and contextual content regarding the specificities of each hosting city and client: such as the “5 public parks to play football in Paris” , “top 5 pubs in Lille in which to cheer on your team”. By delivering contextualized owned content, HomeAway improved its users’ experiences.

Beyond engagement, we’ll see in the following section that owned media also improve downstream conversion, lead generation and make the brand business grow.

2. Owned First to deliver downstream outcomes: the Mareuil Hotel case.

Source : Publicis Media Online Touchpoints — Automotive, Europe, 2015

The chart above shows the influence on sales of paid, owned and earned touchpoints at each step of the Automotive online journey. What we can easily say is that owned touchpoints have a very high level of influence on users at the consideration and buying stages, especially in comparison to paid media, which dominate the begi­­nning of the pathway. That’s why paid media needs to drive users into efficient owned environments, as quickly as possible.

If owned media is a great destination to generate conversion, we need to constantly improve owned user experience, and content seems to be one of the best solutions. For instance, by scaling user generated stories and/or additional functional information close to a product sheet on e-commerce platform in order to extend on-site experience, and above all, answer to a precise moment of need.

By providing editorial pieces close to the reservation section, Publicis’ editorial agency Relaxnews improves the Mareuil Hotel online conversion rate to increase revenue by 188% (source: Google Analytic).

Tomorrow: an integrated marketing mix

The Owned First revolution presents an opportunity to reinvent the way brands, media and their audiences interact.

The first thing is that owned touchpoints volume is increasing: where the consumer relationship is concerned, this entails adopting a fundamentally audience-first based approach.

“Today, in a media landscape where 8 out 10 people think that there is no coherence between the different advertising messages sent out by advertisers, Owned First thinking is clearly the solution.”
Jérôme Doncieux, co-CEO of Relaxnews and member of the Publicis Media content council.

The second thing is that the adtech market has become too complex, the landscape is fragmented between hundreds of actors. A realtime and technologically integrated approach is essential: all owned content produced must be able to provide insights — through first party data — almost instantly so that you can deliver a constantly improving experience. The way in which content editors, agencies and advertisers work together around data collection, aggregation and learning needs to be reinvented by creating tech platforms. Managing owned data is not only the matter of the brand, it also depends on actors such as Google or Facebook. We need to work closely and integrate our expertise for many reasons, such as these two:

  • For instance, how could it be possible to optimize on-site data without Google Analytics? That’s why customizing GA to a client’s owned hub architecture and business goals are essential first steps. Failure to do this results in not just bad data, but that will also impact your ability to deliver your owned first strategy.
  • As social media is part of owned channels, it’s unthinkable to imagine owned first strategy without partners like Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat. 9000 snaps are sent per second and more than 80 million photos are uploaded per day on Instagram. In 2016, we can find endless data on consumers on social media sites, it’s through social media that we can learn the most about prospects. But that’s a huge amount of data to analyze, we need to find solutions to centralize those insights and make our capabilities evolve to follow networks’ updates and new social behaviors.

Good news is that we’re now at the signs of a new model led by agencies thanks to their global vision and client knowledge.

At Publicis Media, those signs are already running on through initiatives as Vivaki Operating System, Publicis ID or the on-going improvement of in-house tools as Socialtools (with a recent new feature for influencer marketing). The idea? Designing a POE platform - an integrated model stack to learn more about data and deliver individual, seamless brand narratives where the message and creative are crafted to the environment.