It feels like you can’t go a week today without seeing some variation of the headline, “Advertising is dead.” But for many in the marketing industry, paid media isn’t dying, it’s evolving – meshing with earned and owned media in a symbiotic relationship to bring stickier, talk-worthy, engaging campaigns to life. I talked to Andrew Deitchman, CEO of Mother New York, and got the agency vet’s take on why this isn’t a funeral – it’s a coming out party.

How do you see paid, owned, and earned media working together going forward? As an agency, how do you see paid media driving word of mouth?

In the past – the past being maybe just two years ago – paid, owned, and earned media were treated more discreetly from a strategy perspective than they are now. Before, when people came up with a campaign, they knew at some point during the launch they’d need to create some buzz and PR around it. More and more today, marketers and agencies instead start from the point-of-view of, “What is actually going to be buzz-worthy?” and “What is actually going to create and amplify the conversations we want people to have around the brand?” Then they develop concepts that meet those objectives in many ways.

Some of the work that we’ve done for Target, during the launch for Missoni, exemplifies this. Our conversations were about, “How do we take a moment – in this case fashion week – and get lots of conversations happening around the partnership between Target and Missoni?” In many ways, paid advertising is a compliment to an authentic, real-world brand moment.

The interaction between paid, earned, and owned media is a central part of the creative development process, specifically as more campaigns have digital and social elements. Not always, but more often than not, when you’re developing a campaign you want to understand what reverberations or echoes or dynamic you’re trying to create through social, versus how the campaign will drive likes, shares, clicks, etc.

You talked about how things have changed over the last couple of years. What do you think about the next few years out? How will paid, owned, and earned media change, and how will marketers view them differently?

First of all, I think clients are really starting to figure out how to align paid, owned, and earned media strategically, and also how to value them on an even playing field. New forms of measurement are coming out all the time where marketers can compare, on an apples-to-apples basis, a big media buy to an investment in an event that creates a social splash, which fosters engagement with customers on another level.

And secondly, traditionally we’ve seen in agencies (and even big companies) a division: there are the people who take care of shopper marketing and promotion, and then the people who deal with the brand’s communications. Those things are still somewhat segregated. In pretty short order those things will be very unified. Partly because we’re going to be able measure shopper engagement through social and other media on a long-term basis, and also because there will be more focus on the value proposition of traditional media.

Not to say that traditional paid media is going away. But I know that when I get home at 11 o’clock at night, I’m not watching the 11 o’clock news. I’m watching whatever’s on my DVR, or I’m gorging myself the next three episodes of Breaking Bad on demand – and I’m not even an early adopter from a technology perspective. The more that behavior permeates, the more marketers are forced to understand not just the value the marketing they do, but how those things are measured in relation to the paid medium.

Have you worked with any brands on recent campaigns centered on engaging customers across multiple channels?

Certainly Sour Patch Kids (our client) is a good example of content created specifically for social media engagement. It’s not just creating content for Sour Patch Facebook fans, but also using the message of our paid media as a driver for the Facebook content we’ve created, and encouraging fans to engage.

The social element is very seamless with the brand – Sour Patch Kids are sour at first, then they are sweet, then they are gone. We focused on the sour moment: the mean things Sour Patch Kids do to people, as in the TV spots. Then through the social campaign, “The People Vs. Sour Patch Kids,” the idea is that if you’ve been “wronged” by a Sour Patch Kid, you can submit a claim. And Sour Patch has hired a lawyer to defend against all of those claims. It’s a really fun content and engagement platform that feels great for the brand.

Stay tuned for part two of my interview with Andrew, where we’ll discuss a few mobile and social campaigns Mother New York has worked on with clients to tie paid and earned media together.

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