Siddhartha Mukherjee: Owned Media is emerging as a Dark Horse

13 Aug,2020

By Siddhartha Mukherjee


It has been a double whammy for the brand management industry. First, the paid industry took a beating due to its ineffectiveness. Next, this led to news media owners trying to manage their financials by letting go of hundreds of journalists. For brand owners, this has impacted their paid and earned route of brand building and sustenance communications big time!


Here is where the owned media is emerging as the dark horse.


Owned media is defined as those communication tools or platforms which are directly owned and controlled by the Brand Owners. Websites, microsites, social media handles, newsletters, mobile apps, etc. are some examples of owned media. Best part? There is no cost attached to this part of brand marketing as it is ‘owned’ by the brand owner.


The Covid disruption is redirecting the brand owner’s past obsession with paid and earned towards owned platforms. For Brand owners, Owned media is turning out to be a reliable bet to:

1. create & sustain brand visibility

2. create & sustain brand engagement

3. create & sustain brand engagement

4. create & sustain brand reputation


Most of the times, brand management, with required constituents mentioned above, remains unkempt. Websites, social media handles, newsletters, apps, etc. are either not thought through, revamped, created well, or leveraged properly.


Owned media offers brand building on the following three pillars:

1. Channel Customization: Owned media allows brand owners to create customised and successful content that is relevant and valuable. The foundation of an owned media strategy are your content channels — the vehicles through which deliver content to audiences directly, unmediated by a third party. The most common channels are your website, catalogs, newsletters, mobile apps, etc.

2. ‘Community’ special: No doubt, content channels focus on the connection between the brand and its target audiences. However, the special touch that Owned media adds to the brand is the creation of a ‘community’. These can be online, such as virtual communities or private social networks, or offline, such as in-person gatherings or events. They can be direct, as in discussion forums, or indirect, through peer benchmarking. Though the logistics are tiring but the logistics are much greater.

3. Offers Data MiS: Paid and Earned Media always carry the limitation of creating isolated or one-way interactions with your target audiences. The brand needs mechanism for turning isolated interactions into a connected experience. This requires creation and leveraging of Data MiS. Owned media allows this flexibility. Loyalty or reward programs is one such outcome from such data management.


So, next time when you look at your monthly media mix for your brand, review the role and weightage of owned media platforms for the Corporate Vs Product brand matrix.


Siddhartha Mukherjee is a senior marketing services research professional. He was until last year Business Head at Eikona and is currently Founder of Brand Balance ( This column appears every other Thursday on MxMIndia. His views here are personal. He can be reached via Twitter at @SIDmvrck



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