“28% of marketers have reduced their advertising budget to fund more digital marketing.”

CMO Survey

Decoding Modern Marketing

10. Owned & Earned Media

Brand Advertising isn’t the only way to introduce your brand to new consumers. For many years the marketing world operated on a model where brands paid media companies to get their message out. With the introduction of digital channels, brands found themselves with numerous new ways to connect directly with consumers without having to go through a third party. The result is that today brands can create and operate a marketing system that relies more on Owned and Earned media than Paid media. The advantages of this are numerous, not the least of which is that investments in Owned and Earned media often have longer term value vs. the fleeting impact of advertising.

Investments in Owned and Earned media often have longer term value.

Brand Activation describes the Owned and Earned tactics that a brand can use to market itself to prospects and customers. It is yet more marketing buzz words, but it is useful. Combined with Brand Advertising, Brand Activation covers the spectrum of things that a brand can do to connect with a consumer other than advertising. Brand Activation is not to be confused with Demand Generation, another term that is commonly used, which refers specifically to producing leads and comes later in the process.


  • Content marketing - using content, in all its forms, to attract attention.
  • Influencer marketing – marketing to influential people in social media
  • Relationship marketing - includes CRM, email and loyalty programs.
  • Experiential marketing – creating physical brand experiences
  • Retail marketing – display, POS, mobile, shopper marketing
  • Promotion marketing – designed to stimulate immediate sales or leads

Of these some lend themselves to this first step of introducing a brand to consumers, and some fit other stages of the journey better. By the time the prospect gets to the store, for example, you want them to already have a pre-disposition toward your brand. So Retail is not always the best place to introduce new products and ideas. Similarly, Promotion marketing assumes that you’ve already created some value for your brand before putting it on sale. However, Content, Influencer, Experiential and Relationship marketing, are all effective ways to introduce your brand to the world.