Video: Shift of ad dollars to “earned,” “owned” media hurts marketers’ ability to reach new customers


August 15, 2012 - Marketers taking dollars away from “Paid Media” (advertising) and putting it into “Owned” (brand content, websites) and “Earned” (social media) channels has dominated many marketing strategies over the last few years (and prompted many media companies to try to retain that business with the launch of dedicated marketing services groups). However, a new study from The Josh Gordon Group suggests that while Owned and Earned Media are great for reaching a marketer’s existing customers, they don’t work so well when it comes to motivating non-customers.

The study, called “Improving Marketing Effectiveness” (available for free download here) looks specifically at b-to-b marketing in the broadcast technology market but challenges some of the current thinking throughout b-to-b marketing and media.

According to the study, current customers are five times more motivated by company (or Owned) marketing than non-customers. Among current customers, 55.9 percent said they are motivated by supplier marketing, compared to just 10.7 percent of non-customers.

“B2B marketers are being hurt by this migration away from third-party media and toward earned and owned media,” says founder Josh Gordon. “We’re calling for a renaissance of b-to-b positional marketing using third-party media at its core.”

Print Undersold?
The study also asked respondents about which media channels they regularly read or participate in for professional information. Trade magazines topped the list, with more than 81.1 percent of respondents saying that read trade magazines at least once a month, followed by trade magazine websites (56.6 percent) and digital magazines/apps (50 percent).

That result mirrors media usage in other media categories. The ABM Agri Council and Readex Research recently released their 2012 Media Channel Study, which looked at the impact of different media channels that serve the agricultural industry. Print topped that list at 82 percent. That’s significant considering ag media companies are among the most digitally aggressive markets in b-to-b.

“Print was the dominant media, which surprised a lot of people in this market because ad dollars in print are also declining here,” says Gordon. “But how is media being tracked? For digital we have tangible metrics that say this is working. Put all those media on equal footing, which of these are you engaged with? Print media came out ahead, which says to me print media is being badly undersold in the marketplace.”

By Matt Kinsman