It’s clear to marketers that there is no one simple way to communicate with consumers and that no single discipline works as well as a blend. The proliferation of digital media has only added to the choice for marketers, who are increasingly mixing the owned, paid and earned media channels.
We can see this clearly in the growth of owned media, which is the space in which CMA members primarily work. The Advertising Association estimates owned media is worth £4bn a year. Senior marketers obviously agree, and research published last month by CMA member Seven bears this out.
Media agencies like MediaCom certainly recognise this as they look to add content-related skills to traditional paid-for model: no wonder then that MediaCom has named its specialist unit MediaCom Beyond Advertising.
This move towards media convergence requires collaboration between different agencies. In my 15-years, client-side, experience in the entertainment sector I learned that the most successful projects were those built from the start on a collaborative approach and used a mix of owned, paid and earned media.
It is this belief in the importance of collaboration that underpins the CMA’s decision to broaden out the membership base. If the CMA member agencies are the best at creating effective branded content, it is the media agencies that are increasingly important in the way that content is planned within the overall strategic marketing framework.
It is clear, for example, that paid-for media has a role in driving consumers to owned media. Media agencies, who buy and plan the vast majority of the UK’s £16.8bn paid-for media (source: Advertising Association), recognise that they also need to be in a position to recommend the most effective owned media strategies to their clients.
Content marketing is a discipline that works across multiple media, and the CMA is the natural home of content-related thought leadership, research and networking amongst leading content marketers in the UK and overseas.
Clare Hill is the managing director of the Content Marketing Association.