New Media Buckets for High-End Home Brands



Why evolving media forms matter to marketers.

Marketers have an increasing number of media forms to deal with today – which represents both an opportunity and a threat for high-end home brands. If marketers can more clearly understand the different ways that consumers perceive and absorb messages, they will be much better suited for success.
A recent study from McKinsey suggests that the way we think of media forms needs rethinking. I tend to agree. I’ve always counseled clients to think of paid, owned, earned and later, shared media, as the “buckets”  to consider. Here’s how I describe each media form:  

  • Paid Media – Advertising space purchased by the brand, such as online display, paid search, targeted cable and more traditional vehicles.
  • Owned Media – Properties owned by the brand and used for marketing, such as websites, retail stores and catalogs.
  • Earned Media – Coverage of the brand “earned” by the efforts of the marketing team and published by the press, bloggers or other external media.
  • Shared Media – Promotion of the brand in media shared by both the company and consumers, such as social media, and characterized by interaction and engagement.

McKinsey suggests two new media forms: sold and hijacked.

“These new forms of media, which demand sustained investment and attention, challenge the traditional strategies, structure and operations of most marketing organizations,” said David Edelman and Brian Salsberg in the report. “Yet marketers should view their expanding range of media options not only as a challenge, but also as an opportunity worth grasping, to encourage readers to share content or even create their own.” 


  • Sold Media – When one marketer’s owned media becomes another marketer’s paid media, such as when a brand buys space on a popular e-commerce site.
  • Hijacked Media – When a brand becomes hostage to activists who make negative allegations, such as when consumers hijack media to apply pressure on businesses.

Imagine in your mind’s eye examples from your brand for each of these media forms. Is your messaging on-brand for each?  Where are there opportunities for improvement?  Do you have the proper resources for each?  Contingency plans?
By rethinking these media forms, marketers can ensure that their budgets, resources and message strategies are properly aligned for maximum impact.
If you’d like to see the report from McKinsey, click here.

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