Owned Channels: next frontier for marketing effectiveness measurement

The position, value and relevance of Owned Channels are unlocked in a new IPA/MESH Experience report.

The opportunity for brand growth

This new report called Owned Channels: The next frontier for marketing effectiveness measurement was authored by Fiona Blades, our Founder, and commissioned by the IPA. It was launched at the IPA EffWorks Global Conference and offers an exploration into the relatively untapped position and value of Owned Channels.

Owned channels represent an amazing opportunity for brand growth. Over the last 20 years, we’ve created fantastic frameworks to understand how Paid media works.  But the marketing landscape is transforming and we are looking for spaces and places where our brands have a right to show up. We’ve only just begun exploring Owned Channels, but we are seeing a vast and fertile territory over the horizon and we want brands to harness this. 

The report explores how owned channels perform for brands and how they measure up against paid and earned. How should we define them? What role do they play in the funnel? How do they deliver on brand experience? And how do we integrate them into measurement systems? It draws on in-depth interviews with a range of brand and agency owners and provides insightful lessons from real-life brands following bespoke analysis of our MESH Experience’s own data and case studies.

Defining Owned Channels is complex

One of the key perceptions challenged in the report is the ability to define what an Owned Channel is. What might be thought of as an Owned Channel, might, in fact, not be Owned by the brand – for example, the real estate for a brand’s Facebook page is Meta. What seems “Owned” to a brand, such as email, may feel like “paid advertising” to a customer. What seems like a transaction (sale), could in fact be a rich customer experience that builds future brand intention. What the study felt brands had control over, such as their website, is in fact illusory because it is the visitor’s experience with the website that is important, and the brand plays one small part in this.

Bringing this complexity to life, the report discovers new Owned brand homes and digital platforms and also shows how brand activations harnessed Owned Channels in new ways.

The measurement challenge is significant

“The gold rush of today is for first-party data”, highlights the report but cautions that clicks and likes are vanity metrics that can lead the industry away from successful business outcomes. Instead, the report advises a comprehensive measurement ecosystem, with a 10-point guide including the need for brands “to identify their data deserts, such as competitor Owned Channels metrics.” As well as “to identify the proxies a brand can create to make data lakes” and to embrace new AI tools to bring richness to existing data sources.

Asserting that Owned Channels are the next frontier for marketing effectiveness measurement, the report nods to the need to measure more than just the basics: “We heard people looking at new concepts like monetizing the loss of attention and using new metrics, like share of experience. And we saw that it was possible to compare the impact of an email with a TV ad.”

Executive Summary

We’ve condensed the report into an Executive Summary that highlights the key implications for marketers including:

  • 10 business findings
  • 5 learnings from case studies
  • 10 challenges for measurement

IPA Owned landing page vs3

Download our Executive Summary on Owned Channels to learn more

Author: Fiona Blades -- President and Chief Experience Officer

Last Updated:

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