Owned Asset Optimization (OAO) | The Foundational Guide
May 1, 2023|Read time: 7 min.
- Owned asset optimization (OAO) is a new marketing strategy that aims to maximize the impact of assets brands fully own and control.
- Consumer behavior data is the foundation of an OAO strategy, allowing brands to understand how to provide value to their consumers.
- OAO enables brands to make stronger and more authentic connections with their audience — turning consumer attention into loyalty.
What is owned asset optimization?
Owned Asset Optimization
Owned asset optimization (OAO) is a business strategy that maximizes the impact of the digital assets your brand fully controls. It allows you to own your narrative, earn attention, and create long-lasting customer relationships.
OAO uses consumer behavior insights to create brand experiences that foster authentic connections.
To execute an OAO strategy, brands first need to understand what owned assets are and how to operationalize them alongside all other assets and channels.
What are owned assets?
Owned assets are digital brand properties that companies have complete creative and technical control over. This primarily includes a brand’s domain and the content they publish.
Owned assets also refer to the foundational business documents—such as brand and positioning guidelines—that define your core mission, purpose, and messaging.
Owned assets are the foundation of any OAO strategy and enable the consistent creation and optimization of your entire asset landscape. They are where you can most directly connect with and support your consumers.
Your website is the first owned asset your OAO strategy “breaks through” to connect with your consumers. It houses many other owned assets, like pillar pages and blog posts, that are all optimized for discovery, connection and ultimately conversion.
How are owned assets optimized?
In this context, optimization means building owned assets to be more valuable, regardless of channel.
In OAO, optimization includes but goes far beyond search, social, or any one channel you might optimize for, and instead prioritizes consumer intent data as a source for strategic insight. This approach provides the type of consumer insights required to optimize your content and business strategies in a way that better connects with today’s consumers.
- Meet your consumers’ needs by providing the solutions they’re looking for.
- Meet your brand’s needs by offering logical and helpful calls to action and conversion.
- Build brand equity and trust by providing positive consumer interactions.
How the OAO process works
Owned asset optimization puts connection at the forefront of every consumer-brand interaction. Here’s how:
Get insights from consumer intent data
To launch an OAO strategy, brands start by listening to the needs of their target consumers. To meet consumers where they are, brands need to focus on understanding the problems and challenges they face.
Brands can learn about their target audiences by tapping into consumer intent data. Consumer intent data tells us not only what digital actions individuals take, but the reasoning and intent behind these actions.
From this data, brands can glean insights about consumer behavior. Those insights become the foundation of an OAO strategy, guiding the content a brand creates to answer consumers’ questions as they research solutions online.
Prioritize owned assets
Once brands understand consumer motivations, they can deploy a content strategy based on those insights. Brands then create a network of owned assets — content pieces, sometimes whole websites — all purpose-built to provide value to consumers throughout the buyer’s journey.
By prioritizing investment in owned assets, brands maintain complete control over the content they publish. This level of control offers protection from the whims of third-party platforms and algorithms — and brands can put their budgets toward building sustainable and predictable revenue sources.
Align to the buyer’s journey
A new understanding of the non-linear buyer’s journey shows that, at any given time, 95% of target consumers aren’t ready to buy. Before they’re ready to make a purchase, consumer intent data helps us understand the information they are asking to see.
In an owned optimization strategy, brands use this insight to create valuable content that satisfies not only the 5% of consumers looking to make a transaction but for the majority who are not ready yet.
Through OAO, brands are able to create a multitude of consensual connections with consumers, all working to drive value in their own right.
How OAO drives value for leading brands
An owned asset optimization strategy builds equity in your owned assets and activates the long-term, measurable value of your digital properties.
Growing brand affinity
In the age of consumer empowerment, OAO helps brands better address consumer needs and interests.
Creating optimized content that solves real consumer problems allows brands to earn attention at critical moments and provide real value.
When you show up for consumers early and throughout their entire journey, they grow to trust your brand, thus fostering authentic connections that translate to sustainable success.
Insights drive impact
Consumer insights from reliable sources, applied across a brand’s assets, enhance the effectiveness of its entire marketing ecosystem. Brands that take the time to learn about their consumers will be rewarded with attention and loyalty.
OAO’s use of consumer intent data, and emphasis on prioritizing owned assets first, enables brands to transform new and existing digital assets into owned performance channels.
Insights derived from an OAO strategy also foster more effective collaboration between internal teams, with potential for application across business areas, like product development and customer support.
Equity and predictable performance
OAO is an investment, rather than a “spend.” Unlike transient marketing channels (e.g. paid advertising), where the value extends only as far as their budget, owned assets can provide value to the brand long after the initial content investment.
Optimized assets retain value, even if the brand shifts focus or investment. This means a brand is able to tap into and realize revenue from the equity they have in their digital platforms and properties.
Brands that follow this approach have seen lower customer acquisition costs (CAC) and improved ROI.
Establishing a controlled foundation
OAO prioritizes building a strong foundation of owned assets that brands directly control. This includes core brand documents and messaging that may not always be effectively distributed across internal teams and external channels.
This foundation helps brands tell a more unified story across all assets, channels, and platforms, leading to an enjoyable customer experience.
A strong foundation of assets also improves strength and resiliency to outside risks through consistent messaging and control. When brands tell their own stories, outsiders have less authority over them.
Why now? Entering the era of reception marketing
Cultural shifts and changing consumer trends have always pushed brands to revisit how they connect with customers. In this new age of consumer empowerment, brands are again being challenged to revisit approaches to consumer connection.
Today’s consumers no longer respond to intrusive marketing tactics, and they want more value upfront. Therefore the modern digital marketplace requires a new strategy — called reception marketing.
Reception marketing allows brands to meet consumers on the platforms and channels they are already using to look for support, with information they’re actively seeking. This connection strategy allows brands to build content that answers consumer questions at the right moments, meaning when they are most receptive to it.
Through OAO, brands can execute reception marketing by tuning into consumer frequencies and building a broad network of content that resonates.
A Terakeet case study
Through a partnership with Terakeet, a leading mortgage lender discovered that the three main pages of their website account for 38% of conversions.
The next ten pages bring in 19% of conversions. The remaining 1,400 pages, optimized to meet specific consumer needs, account for a whopping 43% of conversions.
Without an OAO strategy and a focus on reception marketing, this industry leader would be missing out on almost half of their current conversions, without even realizing there was a problem.
Is OAO the right approach for your business?
Right now, many brands are executing fractured marketing — meaning they struggle to align all of their marketing campaigns and channels under one strategy.
It is the result of one-off campaigns, tactics, and activities being tacked on over time, and chasing quick-wins without using a foundation of consistent source material.
OAO is an investment into your long-term brand equity and value. To reignite trust and recapture consumer attention, brands need to become more aligned with the digital cues customers are sending with every online interaction.
Read more: OAO vs Digital Marketing