Combination Theory: Unlocking the Power

Earned media gaining ground

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Communications and marketing professionals know that non-advertising techniques work, but is this view echoed by consumers? Each channel – paid, owned and earned - adds to the consumer’s perception of the brand. If the message is consistent between them they collectively ensure the brand’s character is exposed, received and understood.

The value of communications

This report quantifiably demonstrates the value of non-advertising techniques. It solidifies the role of the integrated brand strategy and reinforces the need for brands to continue to invest in managing and maintaining their relationships with journalists, influencers and other content providers.


  • It’s all advertising to the connected consumer, through whatever channel and whichever means!

  • On average 3 content sources are used by consumers to proactively gather information about a brand.

  • An integrated approach to media exposure across all channels - paid, owned and earned - is a must for brands.

  • Advance measurement standards in earned media techniques are required to enable comparative analysis with established paid media channels.


  • Work together better - encourage your teams in-house and agency-side to work closer together, delivering integrated messaging and a seamless experience to the consumer.

  • Leverage your PR armoury! Get the best media mix by deploying conventional advertising forms alongside PR and other channels to deliver maximum impact to the consumer.

  • Align success - agree common top-level objectives and ensure performance indicators for each channel fit with the end goal.

  • Share data sources between departments to drive planning and measurement of integrated campaigns.

The division between marketing and PR is a fallacy; PR can really add muscle to what your marketing is doing.

Vickie Sheriff, Director, Rum Judy, UK

The momentum is toward integration

said any message they receive from a brand counts as advertising.

Q: Which of the following do you consider to be advertising?

of consumers get information on brands from friends and family.

Q: Which of the following do you use to get information on brands?

of consumers get information on brands from review sites.

Q: Which of the following do you use to get information on brands?

Only 23% of consumers believe that social media would positively influence their perception of a brand receiving negative publicity.

Q: Which of the following do you think they should use to help positively influence your perception of them?

Source: 5,000 connected consumers


Keep reading: Combination Theory: Unlocking the Power

Learn how using a combination of communication techniques will help brands deliver the most effective campaigns and sustain brand loyalty.


Discover more in: A Whole Old (New) World

Find out how technology is impacting conventional advertising, but opened opportunities in non-advertising forms.

Find out more

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