StoriesBlogBest practicesOwned VS Paid - Prioritizing your marketing budget

Owned VS Paid - Prioritizing your marketing budget

May 17, 2021

Digital marketing is a jungle, and while it can feel like you are always throwing money at ads, just hoping to strike gold, it doesn’t have to be that way; by looking at how you can balance paid and owned media you can ensure that your marketing efforts generate serious results and ultimately increase the overall customer lifetime value.

Owned & Paid Media – definitions and pros and cons

Before we get into what type of media is best for your mall, let’s look at the difference between owned and paid media:

Paid media is media that you pay for. This includes digital advertising such as social media ads and more traditional marketing methods like print and TV.

Back in the day, if you wanted to get something out there, paid media was where it was at; you paid for presence on TV, in the newspapers or had your magazine printed and distributed in your local area. The issue is that it isn’t as straight forward anymore as these traditional marketing channels are losing impact as consumers are moving online.

But, while the focus has shifted online, paid media is also (largely) the hot ticket item there. This means everyone wants in on it in the hopes of reaching their customers and generating new. The result is that the consumers’ feeds get flooded, making it hard to stand out.

While you can try your luck at putting all of your advertising budget into participating in marketing Hunger Games, the odds aren’t necessarily in your favour and the price to play is high.

The differences between paid and owned

Owned media, on the other hand, is media that is owned by you. That means you are not advertising on others’ platform, but rather posting on your own. Owned media includes:  Your websites, applications, e-mails, newsletters and social media sites (while social media sites are a kind of owned media, you never truly own or control them – the platform does).

Owned media is not as big amongst marketers right now, though according to Digital Strategist Dr Dave Chaffey, it is starting to pick up. An obvious point for it is that you don’t compete as much for peoples’ attention. And, according to the “Global Trust In Advertising” report by Nielsen, 2015, owned media is generally considered to be one of the most reliable types of media by consumers, unlike paid media.

The reason why owned media hasn’t been selling like hotcakes until recently is that in order to reap the benefits of it, you need to offer your customers something on it worth the time they spend looking at it. Doing so takes serious effort. And time. This makes the instant results of paid media seem more appealing. But, what owned media lacks in instant results, it makes up for in impact.

You manage your distribution and control your story. Whatever and whenever you want to write it is up to you.

Let’s have a look at how some big companies have succeeded with owned media.

Starbucks' loyalty app

Starbucks app is a great example of successful owned media. The coffee shop giant’s app is user friendly, has a great loyalty program and makes it easy to navigate the extensive menu, meaning the customer has more visible options than on the in-store menu. All this means the consumer gets a better experience, leading to increased loyalty and sales.


Another company that is succeeding with owned media is online fashion store, Zalando. They’ve managed to cut through the noise of the fashion jungle with their app that is easy to navigate and provides features beyond shopping such as videos, trending editorial features and brand look books. All to engage, increase sales and improve customer loyalty.

How shopping malls can use owned media:

Malls need to be in on the paid media game, no doubt about it. But, having good owned media ensures that when the customer does click on your add, they are met with something worth their time and effort. The trouble is, malls are already struggling with going digital in tact with their consumers. This means creating a good owned media platform is a challenge as it takes a lot of time an effort to manually gather the content from the various shops in a big enough quantity to run a good owned media. Time that could be spent more fruitfully elsewhere.

This is where Emplate can help.

Emplate can help your mall go digital, setting up a digital platform for app and web where the stores deliver content to a platform that is fully customizable to your mall’s needs, adding real value for your customers and enhancing their shopping experience.

If you would like to have a talk about what we might do to help you and your mall, book a meeting here.


So, what type of media should your mall focus on in today’s digital landscape? Both.

Serious results and action happens when companies manage to make the different types of media to work in tangent. Paid media is popular for a reason, however putting some focus into having solid owned media can prove to be a very wise decision.

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