Altimeter Report: Paid + Owned + Earned = Converged Media

To join in an active discussion and presentation, co-author Rebecca Lieb and myself will be hosting a webinar convering the findings from the research, please register for the webinar on Converged Media.  Altimeter directly interviewed 34 agencies, brands, technology vendors and industry experts to answer  how media are changing. we found:

Summary:  Converged Media a Reality –Significant Ecosystem Changes Ahead
Paid, owned, and earned is converging (like social ads) at a rapid pace, we found 11 criteria of success, a handful of case examples, yet companies are hampered internally and with fragmented agencies and technology to make this happen.  Converged Media utilizes two or more channels of paid, earned, and owned media. It is characterized by a consistent storyline, look, and feel.  We foresee that to achieve cross-channel integration in a consistent way there will be considerable changes inside of the marketing org chart, and a clear strategy on getting agencies to collaborate, and intensive system integration of vendors.

Open Research: Use, Share, and We’ll Create More
Altimeter practices Open Research, we provide our research to you, and encourage you to use with proper licensing as outlined by Creative Commons.  Also, we believe in transparency in financial relationships of the companies which we covered in this report, and disclose our relationships if allowed.  If you found this report useful, please actively share, which helps us to generate energy to create more.

Report Highlights

  • Overview of needs, market definitions, overview of brands, agencies, and software providers.
  • Three framework graphics ideal for powerpoint:  Converged Media venn, use case workflow, criteria checklist.
  • Checklist of 11 criteria required for converged media success.
  • Four real world case studies bringing this concept to life from four leading brands.
  • Pragmatic recommendations for marketing leaders for internal needs, agency strategy, and vendor deployment.
  • Vendor showcase of ten technology providers who are seeking to solve this opportunity.
Team Background
My focus over the past years have been owned corporate content (owned) and social (earned), however my viewpoint on the paid side has been limited.  Thankfully, I was able to partner with Altimeter’s Rebecca Lieb who hails from Manhattan and has a strong background in advertising, search, (paid) and corporate content (owned), together with researcher Jessica Groopman and editor Chris Silva, we sought out to answer these questions and bring multiple perspectives together.

At the bottom of this post, I’ll cross-link to all thoughtful conversations, extending the conversation, below the report is embedded directly below:

The Convergence of Paid, Owned & Earned Media
Above: Today, advertising, corporate content, and social content is often separated, but tomorrow, we expect these circles to converge and overlap, with little or no separation. Hence the term “Converged Media”.    We deliberated at great length on how these items would be properly fit into this framework, and

Converged Media Workflow
Above: Although we expect many workflows to emerge, this pattern became evident within interviews. In particular, we frequently heard that analysis of social content was often a precursor to content creation by the brand. Furthermore, very few technology providers will be able to solve this entire use case, and brands and agency partners will be relegated to system integration and methods to coalesce.

Converged Media Lab: Top Success Criteria
Above: 11 Success Criteria to Make Converged Media a Reality: We found through interviews a set of patterns from respondents on what will make this a reality and organized the criteria into four distinct categories:  Strategy, Organization, Production, Analysis.  While this process is likely followed in any individual point channel, now, it must be an integrated approach

Related Discussions

115 Replies to “Altimeter Report: Paid + Owned + Earned = Converged Media”

  1. Just finished reading this Jeremiah – fantastic work! Excited to see how the industry adopts Converged Media and will be in touch in September when Antelope’s platform launches.

  2. Richard, thanks for the post, I read and cross-linked.  We’re seeing a different trend, for example social ads are an example of this coming together –not spreading.  Furthermore, if media is diverging that still means coordination is required, which is the premise of the report.  

    I do agree, marketers are good at marketing the importance of marketing.  

  3.  I agree that at the moment, there is a certain amount of
    convergence, but it is important to be able to distinguish as to whether this is
    an actual coming together or only an overlap.
    All my observations, both theoretical and practical, suggest that the
    social space is fundamentally different to the conventional ˜Gutenberg™
    information space.  The rules that worked
    in the later simply do not apply in the former. 
    This is a problem for brands because no-one wants to know that they have
    to go back to school.  As a result
    brands, agencies (and to an extent technology vendors) are desperate to try and
    make the new space behave like the old space in order to preserve the relevance
    of their expertise (and business models) “ and I think this is the trend which
    is actually driving what we might currently interpret as convergence.  It is a forced convergence, it doesn™t
    respect the actual behaviours or needs of consumers or citizens.

    I would also agree that coordination is important, but
    again, we have to be careful about how we define coordination.  If coordination = how I can make my campaign
    work in Facebook, this is not coordination, this is co-option.  But if coordination = how I can use social
    media to support my business this is another matter.   The
    companies that have worked out the answer here usually find that it doesn™t
    involve the processes (and often people) currently harnessed to constructing
    and promoting ˜the brand™ and therefore the level of coordination required is
    minimal “ it is a managed overlap situation, not a convergence situation.

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  5. Interestingly, this is a rare instance where I think smaller agencies may have an advantage.

    Many of them (us) don’t work on campaigns so big that they also involve, say, a media agency, three digital shops, a social media group and a PR firm. The small/med agency’s client work still requires those same types of services, but with fewer resources and smaller budgets than large global conglomerates, some began adopting the convergent model a while ago (5-7ish years). Most of the ones that didn’t aren’t around anymore.

    Sure, it’s been on a much smaller scale… But many of the lessons were the same. And if you look around you’ll find that some have even re-branded themselves as “convergent” agencies/specialists. (Future trend for the bigger shops?)

    Enjoying the report so far. It looks like most of the study participants are from large agencies, so just thought I’d offer a different perspective.

  6. Tom that’s a great point, but how will you scale as your company is successful and takes on larger clients?  

    In the end, collaboration will have to happen.  Did you see the Adobe product mentioned Creative Cloud?  It’s an early form of collaboration pan agency and client side.

  7. This marketing
    revolution will be tweeted and storied on Facebook by the users ” not by ads,
    digital, & PR


    Another very good Altimeter Report capturing many  of the differences and dynamics of social.  LiveWorld views
    this convergence as being less about the three categories of paid, owned,
    and earned coming together as it is about earned taking a dominant position in
    the paid and owned formats. That is to say, more and more social media
    marketing across formats will be driven by user content and user experience.


    Most social media marketing today is not truly
    social. It™s traditional broadcast, digital, and PR being shoved at consumers
    through a social channel. True social is driven buy dialogue and relationships,
    first among users and then with the brand. We compare a brand™s social media
    marketing to a party: The brand is putting the party on; but the best party,
    the most memorable that keeps the attendees coming back for more, is about the guests™
    experience with each other ” their content and their interactions. In social,
    the role of the brand marketing is to plan and manage a good party. Like any
    host does, that means making sure the guests (customers) have a good time with
    each other. In our party metaphor, paid media, when deployed with traditional ad,
    digital, and PR approaches, consists of the invitations ” important to have,
    but not the main driver. As paid, owned, and earned converge, this is not a
    matter of integrating traditional paid (ads/digital/PR ) with owned and earned,
    but rather how earned will dominate in new paid formats that are part of the
    user party model.


    The Altimeter report suggests those vendors who
    integrate the trifecta of earned, owned, and paid will do well. We agree. But
    we see this as user content, dialogue, and relationship models (earned) being
    in a trifecta of formats: earned, owned, and paid ” not somehow co-mingling the
    traditional ad, digital, and PR versions of paid we™ve already seen too much of
    in social channels.


    Disclosure &
    Credentials: We™re the user content (earned) guys ” the ones who make great
    brand parties in social media. LiveWorld is a user content management company,
    with a platform and services that scales social media for global brands,
    including the #1 companies in each of retail, CPG, and pharma, among others. We
    are primarily focused on earned and owned media, developing the content flow first
    from and among users and also from the brand. This includes actually
    moderating, escalating, responding, and engaging with user content and deriving
    actionable insight from it. We currently deploy our platform and services to
    manage user content on over 4,000 Facebook Pages, Twitter Pages, and community
    web sites. (Note: LiveWorld is an Altimeter client.)


    Altimeter rightly points out that effective
    marketing stands on the audience™s shoulders, brands need to focus on consumer
    conversation, and earned media is the most difficult of the three ” yet
    the most powerful for achieving advocacy, loyalty, retention, and sales. It
    should only follow then that as brands come to realize earned media is the best
    way to achieve these results and the industry learns how to do it better, the
    attention and budgets will move this way.


    Across our Fortune 100 clients we are seeing: 

    Increasing focus on earned as the center of the marketing model,
    with paid (in the form of ads, digital, and PR) moving to a supporting role.

    Execution of owned media becoming a container for earned media via the
    curation of and engagement with user content.

    Execution of advertising beginning, just beginning, to be made up of
    owned media (brand content).  We believe
    this trend will evolve over time to execution also being made of earned media
    (user content). The most obvious examples of this are Facebook Sponsored
    Stories and Twitter Promoted Tweets. We now have hard data that each of these
    venues generates more response, more organic interactions (the key to viral
    marketing), and more engagement than traditional digital ad formats such as
    banners, display adds, page widgets, or even custom applications. 


    When Jeremiah first suggested that as a social
    media company specializing in earned and owned media LiveWorld would need to
    take on social media advertising, we resisted the idea. After all, we are great
    at managing user content and brand content in social for engagement, insight,
    and support. Why would we want to get into ad creative graphics and media
    plans? Then we realized this aspect of the convergence isn™t about creative
    graphics or advertising skills at all. It™s about extending our brand and user
    content programming skills into paid formats such as Sponsored Stories and
    Promoted Tweets. And so we are.


    Blog at

    Peter Friedman, 
    Chairman & CEO, LiveWorld 
    @peterfriedman  @liveworld

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