Top ways to use AI across owned & paid channels

4 min read
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Key Takeaways

Brands spend a significant amount of their budget on advertising and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. Globally, brands spent over 1.65 trillion U.S. dollars in 2023 on advertising and marketing, a 5.3% growth from the year before.

Digital advertising has grown to become one of the most important forms of advertising, driven by rising internet adoption rates and the ever-expanding popularity of digital platforms around the world.


Interesting Facts

Interesting facts:

  • There were 5.35 billion (66.2%) internet users worldwide (as of January 2024)
  • 5.04 billion (62.3%) of the world's population were social media users (as of January 2024)
  • The average daily time spent with digital media in the United States is expected to reach close to 8 hours in 2025
  • Internet users worldwide spend six hours and 40 minutes online daily

Owned, paid, and earned media all play a pivotal role in helping brands reach their target audience and marketing objectives. While brands may have less influence on their earned media, as it’s powered by relationships and reputation, they are in the driver’s seat when it comes to owned and paid media. Understanding how to best allocate the brand’s media spend to drive conversion and maximize marketing ROI is essential across owned and paid channels.

With so many options available, how can a brand make sure they are investing their time and money wisely? This is where artificial intelligence (AI) can help.

Unique roles of owned and paid media – and why each is important

What is owned media?

Owned media is the foundation of a brand’s content marketing. It is the brand’s narrative across various formats and channels under its direct control. This encompasses digital platforms such as the brand's website, mobile app, emails, newsletters, blogs, and social media outreach (excluding paid social ads). Owned digital platforms and assets allow brands to directly communicate with their customers, free from external influences, making owned media a pivotal aspect of their digital marketing strategy.  

What is paid media?

Paid media, much like owned media, gives brands control over the content and messaging, providing further opportunities to establish a brand identity and build a loyal following. However, unlike owned media, brands do not have full control over content delivery. With paid media, brands invest financial resources into a partnership with a publication, search engine, ad agency, or individual creator to reach a broader audience and amplify the content’s visibility. Digital paid channels can include social media advertising, search engine ads, programmatic advertising, and sponsored content. A primary advantage of paid marketing is that brands can access their target audiences almost instantly, rather than waiting for inbound traffic organically.

When it comes to digital marketing strategies, marketers are rapidly adapting their budgeting and investing decisions in owned and paid media, building unique ways to reach, influence, and engage their customers. But despite access to more customer data, more channels, and more advanced marketing technology, brands still struggle to engage customers in a personalized way. While 92% of companies believe the offers they send are relevant, only 33% of offers are considered relevant by customers.

So, what is stopping brands from optimizing their marketing efforts?

What are the limitations of successful customer engagement?

Owned media

Owned media provides complete control and cost-efficiencies and is a great way to build trust and credibility; however, it requires an investment of time and effort to build and engage with your audience with some of the more common hurdles being:

  • Limited reach: It may be through a small audience size, where building one can be challenging, limited channels, or a combination of both
  • Content development: Regular maintenance to ensure all platforms have consistent branding and messaging, and produce relevant and personalized content at scale
  • Campaign planning: Traditional campaign set-up and deployment are manual and time-consuming, requiring coordination across teams
  • Campaign analysis: Reporting on owned media can often take weeks to produce and it’s often lacking the necessary insights to make decisions
  • Campaign decisioning: Lack of insights on campaign lift and incrementality limits the brand’s ability to optimize future marketing efforts, impacting the relevancy of a brand’s marketing efforts

Paid media

Paid media enables brands to target high-intent customers, provides quick lead generation and traffic to owned media, and delivers results that can be understood almost instantly; however, this comes with a financial investment. Investments can widely vary depending on the platform, competition, and scope of your media campaign, with the most significant cost drivers being:

  • Target audience: Media buyers often rely on broad customer characteristics and demographic data to build audiences which could lead to poor targeting, requiring brands to broaden their targeting/increase paid budget to reach relevant audiences
  • Media planning: Paid media buyers are often shooting in the dark, testing out different campaign variables and channels trying to increase their conversion results  
  • Channel assessment: Budget allocation across paid channels is predetermined; if allocated ineffectively, there is no way to re-route budget in-flight across channels
  • Media decisioning: Relying on industry averages or historical campaign results makes it difficult to accurately predict campaign conversion rates and make targeting decisions
  • Cross-channel attribution: Different paid channels use different methodologies for tracking ad performance, resulting in skewed conversion data
While owned and paid channels may vary in approach and each has trade-offs, their end goal is identical: to acquire loyal customers and achieve business objectives.

Owned and paid are both crucial components of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy and it’s about knowing how to optimize each to deliver exceptional results. With advancements in AI, brands can maximize their investments in owned and paid media allowing for an increase in relevance, more relevant customer engagement, and higher marketing ROI.

Optimize your investments across owned & paid channels with the power of AI

With the digital marketing world constantly evolving, building and optimizing owned and paid media strategies utilizing data-driven insights is table stakes. Consumers also expect this with 71 percent of customers expecting brands to deliver personalized interactions. However, with the increasing amount of data available, it can be challenging for a marketer to sift through it and make sense of it.  

AI is revolutionizing digital media planning and buying. With the power of AI, brands can optimize their investments across owned and paid channels to build stronger customer relationships, and ultimately grow revenue, while reducing the amount of manual work and lowering their costs.

AI Facts

AI is here to stay

  • Globally, 41% of marketing functions have witnessed cost decreases from adopting AI
  • 90% of marketers working with AI say that the technology has helped them personalize the customer journey across channels
  • Brands using AI for personalization see on average a 20% increase in sales

Consumers are bought in too

  • 59% supported brands using AI to create ads or content
  • 55% supported brands using AI to offer personalized recommendations
  • 73% stated they believe AI has the potential to positively impact their experience with the brand

Top ways AI can help you increase ROI

Here are the top ways brands can benefit by using AI across their owned and paid media to optimize investments and ultimately improve ROI:

Owned and Paid Media
Owned Media Paid Media
Insights generation
  • Analyze vast amounts of data from multiple sources to uncover deep insights about customer behavior and preferences
  • Provide predictive analytics, so brands can forecast future trends and respond to changes in customer behavior proactively
  • Generate insights on ad placement, channel, copy, and creative to identify the highest-performing content
  • Take advantage of zero and first-party data to build audiences and audience attributes for more precise targeting
Content creation
  • Produce personalized and engaging content more efficiently, saving time and effort while ensuring consistency and quality
  • Generate unlimited ads for precise targeting to unique audiences
Campaign personalization
  • Personalize content to resonate with individual preferences, enhancing engagement and conversion rates
  • Leverage deep customer insights for offer decisioning, ensuring that discounts and incentives are used effectively
  • Personalize ads to each individual customer to improve click-through rates and conversion
  • Engage existing customers with relevant content ensuring a connected customer experience
Campaign automation and optimization
  • Launch campaigns at scale with a click of a button minimizing manual effort and repetitive tasks
  • Project future performance and outcomes and make proactive adjustments
  • Automate many of the time-consuming tasks in paid media, such as bidding, targeting, and reporting to free up time for strategic tasks
  • Real-time adjusting of bids and ad placements based on performance data to drive higher ROAS
Attribution measurement
  • Track customers’ journeys across channels and touchpoints and understand exactly which of your marketing activities are driving incrementality
  • Measure direct uplift across paid channels and campaigns with a consistent methodology for accurate performance insights

Supercharge your martech stack

While each media type offers its own advantages and considerations, the combination of owned and paid media can provide a comprehensive, multi-faceted approach to a brand’s digital marketing efforts. Optimizing owned and paid media strategy with AI has the potential to revolutionize the way brands approach and improve their digital marketing efforts helping them reach their audience effectively and achieve better results.

At Kognitiv, we’ve built a suite of products that enable brands to deliver relevant omnichannel experiences to their customers across owned and paid media in the moments that matter – allowing brands to gain a complete picture of their customers, predict their customers’ behavior, and respond with personalized communication at scale.  

Create a loyal customer base with Kognitiv Inspire

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Act on predictive customer insights in real time with Kognitiv Pulse

Get a real-time view of your customers through the lens of our proprietary SmartJourney® customer lifecycle segmentation. Powered by our Kognition AI/ML engine, Kognitiv Pulse drives better strategic decisions by describing where your customers are today, predicting their future behavior, diagnosing current risks and opportunities, and prescribing who to engage and not to engage proactively. 👉 Learn more.

Achieve 1:1 personalization at scale with Kognitiv Ignite

Kognitiv Ignite is an AI-native outcome-based personalization software that allows brands to automatically optimize campaigns across email, SMS, and in-app push to reach pre-defined business objectives. Kognitiv Ignite allows brands to identify the best engagement moments and proactively respond to changes in customer behavior to maximize relevancy and incrementality. By implementing Kognitiv Ignite, brands can launch campaigns at scale with a click of a button, minimizing manual effort and repetitive tasks. 👉 Learn more.

Acquire & engage customers with AI precision with Kognitiv Amplify

Kognitiv Amplify skyrockets paid media campaigns’ conversion rates with AI-powered personalization, cross-channel automation, and real-time optimization. Kognitiv Amplify takes advantage of zero and first-party data augmented with curated third-party sources to generate audiences and audience attributes for more precise targeting, so marketers can achieve their goals more consistently and efficiently. By leveraging CRM data, Kognitiv Amplify incorporates paid media channels into the full customer lifecycle journey from acquisition and growth to retention delivering highly relevant and engaging ad content to both new and existing customers. 👉 Learn more.

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