Marketers to Expand Their Vocabulary

Earlier this year, Michael Zeisser, writing for McKinsey, outlined the fine points of  earned media. This form of marketing occurs when consumers  discuss products or service via social networking. It’s akin to word of mouth on steroids. Earned media is a relatively new word in the marketing vocabulary. But another report just published by 2 McKinsey Quarterly contributors argues that the vocabulary needs yet more expansion to keep up with the rapidly changing digital world.

Just as a quick review, paid marketing typically  occurs when a business pays to have products or services promoted in traditional or new media spaces. Owned media is all about a marketer’s promotional efforts on its own media space, either traditional or new. And earned media comes from consumer buzz about a product or service as they discuss it in person or through digital social media.

David Edelman and Brian Salsberg say the many new forms of communication space  have resulted in additional media formats. As a result, marketers should add two new forms of media to their vocabulary. These include:

  • Sold Media: This form of promotion occurs when a marketer displays content from other marketers on its media property. “One marketer’s owned media become another marketer’s paid media.” The combination of many marketers, even competitors, together on a site owned by one of these marketers can be beneficial for all involved when consumers find and use these sites.
  • Hijacked Media: It’s happened several times already. A brand or marketing campaign has been taken over by consumers who are out to harm a company’s reputation. Edelman and Salsberg highlight the example of Toyota’s disastrous public relations problem last year and point out that the company was quickly able to improve its situation by taking the offensive through its own social media campaign.

Marketers need to understand these concepts and be ready to use sold media as appropriate and be prepared to defend their brand if the worst happens and a hijacking occurs.

[Source: Edelman, David and Salsberg, Brian. Beyond paid media: Marketing’s new vocabulary. Mckinseyquarterly​.com. November 2010. Web. 23 Nov. 2010] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.