April 15, 2022

Paid, Owned, and Earned Media: Three Sides of the Same Strategy

Lindsey Flanagan

Senior Analyst



It’s easy to think of paid, owned and earned media as rivals — website vs. display ad vs. social vs. TV spot. We even allocate budget that way, as if the ROI of a single channel can be isolated. 

But if your website lacks content it’s going to raise the cost of your paid search campaigns. If your checkout is clunky, your social ads won’t work. The truth is that if you’re starting from separate strategies for paid, owned and earned media, you’re already on the wrong track.





Here are some things to think about when building a comprehensive brand strategy:

  1. Outline your primary goals. We like to start with 3 main goals. Everything you do should be in order to meet those goals.
  2. Assess your audience and their needs. You don’t want to waste money on channels that your audience doesn’t visit.
  3. Look at your competitors and your past campaigns and activations. Learning whether they did what you wanted or missed the mark can contribute to your planning.
  4. Make sure that you’re working together with your agencies and partners. Just as your media strands don’t work in silo, everything goes more smoothly when you and your partners work together.
  5. Think about your brand voice and archetype. You want to make choices that are consistent with your brand.
  6. Plan for flexibility. If something happens you want to be able to pivot quickly, which can be difficult when you have rigid allocations and no backup plans.


And if that feels overwhelming, feel free to reach out. Our Strategy department loves helping plan brand strategies.