Get Retentive: Owned Media Is The Key

Jeff Kupietzky, CEO, PowerInbox explores the power of Owned Media.

According to research from Ipsos Loyalty, it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one. Nevertheless, marketers are devoting so many resources and marketing spend on recruiting new customers while not fully taking advantage of their relationships with existing customers in order to retain and grow their business.

Marketers have long used Paid Media (advertising) and Earned Media (Public relations, viral marketing) in order to generate new customers. Though marketers have been placing an increased focus on Owned Media – media channel(s) owned by the marketer for placing content marketing – for generating new customers, I believe that Owned Media can most efficiently be used for customer retention.

Owned media includes blogs, social media, newsletters, email and other media marketers’ use to engage with their constituencies – prospects, customers, industry, relevant government leaders, etc. Because marketers own the media, they’re able to mine user data consumption patterns in order to offer customers a more personalized and customized user experience.

How can marketers use Owned Media?

Chris Duncan, the CMO of News UK, owner of British newspapers The Times and The Sun, summed up his company’s use of internal data for The Media Briefing: “We record every article read by every customer every day in order to understand how customers are navigating the product, which of our articles are more or less successful, whether content consumption ultimately leads to whether customers stay as subscribers.

“We have an almost unlimited access to data at a product, article and customer level.”

Though Duncan is a publisher and therefore his company’s ‘Owned Media’ is what most marketers would consider Paid OR Earned Media, today’s sophisticated marketers have their own ‘Owned Media’, and marketers must treat this in the same way that Duncan and his team treat their content.

This means that marketers need to analyze and segment users according to their consumption of Owned Media.

* What kinds of content are users clicking on?

*For how long are they engaging with the content?

*Are they engaging with content on a desktop, phone, or tablet (or watch)?

*Is the content text, video, rich images or something else? Did the users receive the content via social media, email, on the website or another way?

Answering these questions will enable marketers to understand their current customers better. For example, a customer of a sporting goods retailer engaging with winter clothing content is probably in the market for winter apparel. And if the customer converts well when reached via email, the sporting goods retailer now knows how best to engage with this customer. Couple that information with that customer’s location and past purchase history and the sporting goods retailer will be able to provide highly targeted and timely offers. Add to that channel data on location and this same retailer can invite the shopper to the store closest to her home or office in order to try on selected winter apparel in the right style and size.

Tune into your users

Every tweet, video view, Facebook comment, email and blog post enable marketers to gain a greater understanding of their users. It is this understanding which lets marketers to truly personalize their content based on each user’s interests in order enhance retention and increase customer lifetime value.

One marketer with an extensive video library was able to improve email performance by integrating their existing videos into relevant email campaigns in order to improve engagement driving more traffic back to their site. Another marketer improved conversion through device-specific targeting in their emails. Brands who personalize content can expect to see a 20% or higher lift in click through rates.

In short, marketers need to think and act like publishers. They need to use Owned Media to engage with existing customers, and mine the vast data they’ve accrued in order to understand which content to show each user. By personalizing the content, they will t best be able to retain and grow their business.