The Converged Media Imperative

The Convergence of Paid, Owned & Earned Media

Yesterday afternoon, the Altimeter Group released a report called “The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Must Combine Paid, Owned and Earned Media.” Authors Rebecca Lieb and Jeremiah Owyang discuss the increasingly blended media environment of traditional, online and advertising media. In total, consumers face 3000 daily brand impressions.

The report makes a strong call for integration across digital, traditional and earned media, saying that brands that do not integrate are at a disadvantage.

“Marketers who fail to reconcile paid, owned and earned media today will be at a distinct disadvantage,” state Lieb and Owyang.

Overall, Altimeter’s Converged Media Imperative is very good. The message matches the emerging experiential brand movement that transcends individual disciplines, and requires a new focus on integrated marketing (as discussed by Gini Dietrich and I in Marketing in the Round).

The Converged Media Lab and Workflow

The content and integration processes suggested in the report add some new context.

Converged Media Lab: Top Success Criteria

As you can see the converged media lab has strategy and planning first, followed by alignment (and assumed silo smashing) inside, marketing production and measurement. All of these components are correct, and as such make for a traditional linear marketing process.

One could debate that marketing strategy in a social business would result from a more aligned marketing team. In essence, it creates a fly wheel where integration would flow easier. However, corporate strategy should drive marketing implementation.

While analysis and measurement components are shown as the final step in the Lab, you can see that Altimeter recommends using measurement throughout the life of the marketing process.

Converged Media Workflow

I am a huge believer in developing KPIs and goals before a campaign is deployed so that they can serve as diagnostics. Measuring performance after the fact is not enough. Campaigns should live, breath and change as the market reacts to them.

Both processes focus heavily on content creation. Arguably this is an easy tie across disciplines; direct, online, and paid media. There is more to marketing though, which leads to…


Two weaknesses in the report are as follows:

1) The results in the case studies have the usual social media heavy attention metrics, and lack hard ROI numbers. This gets back to KPIs and SMART goals, but in the end marketing, PR and social goals must support the bottom line and at least one case study should show fiscal results.

2) I totally agree that converged and blurred media experiences are the future of brands. Instead of a top heavy focus towards social media and content creation, there could be more context about how they work with traditional media and tools.

For example, old school polling isn’t going away and neither are focus groups. Both are good research tools in addition to social listening. While blog and social content represents a critical component of the online marketing love triangle (rounded out by search and social), media relations, events and speaking engagements still help brands from a PR perspective.

Also when you tie in the old, a la direct marketing, you address some of the ROI issues. It’s hard to drive ROI out of social, but not the other disciplines. In the context of preaching the holistic experience, if all the media are symbiotic in ties, then corporate KPIs and measured goals should reflect that.


Overall, I strongly recommend that you read the Converged Media Imperative.

The report hits the nail on the head as far as the media environment’s current direction. It’s views are in line with Marketing in the Round, and the report provides a worthwhile discussion on integrated holistic marketing experiences.

What do you think of the Converged Media Imperative?