Digital Marketing Mix

When you have developed your strategy and set trackable goals, it is time to for campaign planning from the digital marketing mix. In SOSTAC this would be part of the Tactics phase. Your campaign tactics will drive the actions that you have set as your goals.

the digital marketing mix

Media Types

We no longer treat digital channels in isolation – a good strategy sees a blend of channels that leverage each other. The channels in the digital marketing mix can be broadly categorised into three groups:

  • Owned media
  • Earned media
  • Paid media

These three groups are often represented visually as a Venn diagram intersecting at the point where the blending occurs. We will now look at each group individually and then how they can be used together.


Owned channels are those that you have direct control over and cannot be directly affected by anyone else. Beyond the general consumer base, you can deepen the relationship with customers and prospect with these channels. Compared to paid channels they will be cost-effective to utilise and deliver a positive brand experience. Owned channels include:

  • Website(s)
  • Mobile/AMP site
  • Official social media pages
  • Blog site
  • Reports/white papers
  • Official YouTube channel
  • Email Newsletters


Earned channels are the most credible of the three and these relationships should be nurtured carefully. Your earned media is unpaid promotion that other consumers/customers give you because of either a good or bad experience. Customers that have had a great experience can become advocates, champions and fans online. These users are more likely to endorse and recommend your product/services. Individuals who provide this promotion have their own contact network that are made aware of the good experience with you. Earned channels include:

  • Ratings and Reviews
  • Blogs
  • Mentions/posts/likes
  • Interviews
  • YouTube videos


Unlike the other two groups, paid channels provide quick access to a large number general consumers. These individuals are likely to be strangers to your business rather than prospects or advocates. Paid channels feed the owned channel with prospects that you can then progress though a pipeline. Compared to the owned channels they can be expensive with variable success and response rates. They don’t have the credibility of the earned channels because consumers know you have paid to appear there. Paid channels include:

  • Display advertising
  • YouTube ads
  • PPC
  • Affiliates
  • Retargeting
  • Paid Influencers
  • Paid Content
  • Social Media Ads/Paid posts

Mixing Media

Your promotion through the three types of media don’t have to be in isolation of one another. It can be very effective to blend the types of media in your digital marketing mix. This can reinforce the campaign message and occupy more real estate on that property.

For example you can feature brand website content in ads/advertorials mixing owned and paid media. You can feature social feeds on your website mixing earned and owned media. You can also provide the product/service to a user to try and report on, mixing paid and earned.

Facebook can accommodate all three elements in a single website/app:

  • Official page – owned by you providing information, infographics, updates
  • Advertising – paid by you to advertise the product/service to your target audience
  • Mentions – earned from Facebook users linking/hashtagging your product/service

More often you will utilise different properties and channels in your blended campaign. Your website can provide a destination for information/purchase of the product, service or event. Paid advertising (PPC or display) can drive a wide audience to your website. Reviews and experience of the product or service hopefully lead to earned mentions and links to your website.

Consider how each campaign can use the three types of media in the digital marketing mix and how they can be blended.