Where it’s Going
Here are some emerging trends we see coming around the bend that we think will impact and enhance your owned media efforts. The good news is that if you have followed this doctrine, you don’t have to change a thing.
When you have a content-driven, audience-centric strategy for your owned media properties, the landscape changes and evolves around you.
Technology That Uses You
This is the next area of marketing we think will change things significantly. Many brands and applications are already getting into this, and we think it is pretty thrilling. The idea of “technology that uses you” is applications that use signals you generate to proactively serve up content, in a dynamic, real-time nature, that you will find useful, informative, entertaining, compelling, engaging. And these signals, thanks to mobile devices, can be context-based around your location.
Apple’s Passbook is a great example of this. Show up to an airport, and Passbook knows, so it gives you an alert with your boarding pass. Show up at a concert venue… and bam, your tickets pop up. Grocery shopping?
Here are some coupons and your store loyalty card. Highlight is another example that shows you which of your friends are nearby – so you can connect (or avoid them if you still owe them $20 bucks from that bet last week).
This is a pretty simplistic use of location context, but it gives you an idea of what could be around the corner for smart marketers who are prepared. What are the implications for owned media? None, really. Owned media is still going to be some form of content and engagement in any case.
Remember your strategy is platform agnostic, so if Highlight becomes the next big thing, or some other context-aware application takes the world by storm, all it really means is you need to add it to your list of channels and determine what the best practices are. You will still need content to drive it, and you will still need to listen in real-time to leverage audience data to drive your next piece of content.
The Customer Relationship Management Movement
Remember, social media is about building and growing relationships with specific customers. Just like you wouldn’t introduce yourself to someone at a party and then assume they’re lifelong customers, you have to nurture your owned media program and your audience in order for them to pay off.
We talked earlier in the persona section about an “audience of one” being the right segmentation strategy, and many brands are taking this CRM-driven approach to social. This is one of the fastest-developing spaces as we complete this book.
A few companies worth mentioning here are Nimble, which is an omni-channel CRM tool that allows for users to see opportunities for unique interactions with everyone on their list.
Another interesting tool is Newsle, which shows information about your contacts and alerts you when they or their company is featured in a news article. These tools are both great at being opportunistic and developing and showcasing engagement opportunities for brands that want to take a more data-centric, CRM-oriented approach to their owned media channels.
What are the implications for owned media? Again, there really are none, outside of the potential need to scale. All of the strategy steps we went through in this book will still apply with this approach. All five M’s are still going to be needed, and really nothing more. You will need to make content, manage its distribution, monitor the dialogue, moderate and respond to the audience, and measure the results.
Automation and Dynamic Owned Media
As a result of a more singular customer relationship management driven, lead and conversion focused approach (some call this inbound marketing) to owned media, companies like Marketo and Eloqua have sprung up to help companies automate their owned media efforts based on the actions and behaviors of each individual person in your audience.
ROI, an Indianapolis-based company a block away from Raidious, calls this Customer Lifecycle Marketing. Once the users have been identified, based on their behaviors, ROI dynamically sends content to the user, and the content is especially targeted to his or her situation and is delivered on any of the owned media properties your brand owns or controls.
The idea is to move the client through its lifecycle, from awareness, to preference, to customer, to advocate, on an individual, one-on-one basis. Being able to do this without some form of automation would be nearly impossible from a scale perspective. But automation tools can make this easy for your team.
As automation and more CRM-focused approaches are deployed, how does that impact your owned media strategy, and the way it is executed? Once again – there is no impact. Every step of the strategy process is still needed.
Every one of the five M’s is still a requirement. Tactically, you might spend more time developing more proactive content based on triggered events for more segments, but it is still the same execution process – make, manage, monitor, moderate and measure, regardless if the content is automated (proactive or reactive).