network of wires representing a network of owned assets

What Are Owned Assets? (Why They’re Critical for Marketing)

RJ Licata, Sr. Director of Marketing

Key Points

  • Owned assets are the digital properties that a brand has complete creative and technical control over.
  • Owned asset optimization uses rich consumer behavioral data to reveal what your audience wants and create assets that deliver that value.
  • Owned assets are used to control your narrative, capture attention, solve consumer problems, and ultimately create lasting, authentic customer relationships.

Owned asset optimization (OAO), is a strategy that maximizes the impact of digital assets that brands own. The process uses consumer behavior data to align messaging across a brand’s network of assets.

Insights from consumer behavior data reveal what your audience wants, and guide the creation of owned assets that are purpose-built to develop authentic customer relationships.

What are owned assets?

Owned assets are the digital properties, platforms, and resources that a brand owns and has complete technical and creative control over. 

Brands have complete control over what, when, and where owned assets get published. They are where brands most directly connect with, and support, consumers and where they ultimately convert them into customers.

A brand’s most valuable owned assets — the crown jewels — are its corporate websites. 

Owned assets build the foundation of a brand’s presence in the digital marketplace. They present the opportunity for brands to directly connect with consumers, building trust, equity, and authentic relationships without any middleman.

what are owned assets graphic

Are owned assets always digital?

All owned assets exist in the digital space, but not all digital assets are “owned.” A brand has varying levels of control over its stack of digital assets.

Owned assets are the foundation of that stack, where brands have the most control over content, message, and platform.

Terakeet’s MACH-6 framework stacks a brand’s assets by degree of control — giving marketers a bird’s-eye view of what their assets are, and how much control they have over them. 

Owned assets tiers

Owned assets on Terakeet’s MACH-6 are divided into three tiers. These tiers give marketers a granular look at exactly how much control they have over a particular asset, and how those owned assets influence other assets as they stack.

MACH-6 Owned Asset Category Breakdown


Typically internal-facing, these owned assets are the foundational documents and ideas that brands can call upon to build and optimize external-facing owned assets. 

Examples of foundational assets:

  • Brand language and visual identity
  • Customer personas
  • Proprietary data and intellectual property
  • Market positioning
  • Company values and purpose
  • Executives and employee ambassadors

While a brand’s foundational assets aren’t themselves externally facing digital properties, they underlie and support all of a brand’s external messaging.

For example, internal proprietary data can inform the creation of externally owned content that solves consumer problems and builds connections with a brand’s audience.

Ground Level

Ground-level owned assets are a brand’s core vehicle for reaching its audience.

Usually consisting of a brand’s core website and any other digital properties, websites or apps they might own, ground-level assets are where you connect directly with, and earn transactions from, your consumers. 

  • Corporate websites — The websites brands have total creative and technical control over.

Tier 1

Tier 1 owned assets are the pieces of content, webpages, and messages brands use to communicate with their audience.

These assets are optimized to meet consumers’ specific needs, show up more readily for them in organic search, and give them options to take action.

  • Pillar content — Corporate website pages with substantial content that can be broken down into many unique, smaller content pieces.
  • Blog posts — Content published on a brand’s blog to connect with consumers.
  • Tools and downloads — Audience engagement tools like lead magnets, white papers, one pagers, free tools, and more
  • Corporate communications — Brand communication like announcements, press releases, and more

Optimizing owned assets

Because brands have total control over their owned assets, these properties become the focal point of a successful OAO strategy. Starting with the assets brands control and optimizing them to reach consumers at crucial moment is impactful. 

Owned assets can be optimized for increased reach, better consumer connection (by meeting consumer needs), increased conversion rates, and a better user experience.

Well-optimized owned assets perform better, and at the same time influence and optimize other assets, boosting the performance of traditional marketing channels.

Using consumer search intent data, brands can discover exactly what their audience needs and what problems they want to solve. Brands can then provide that value to consumers by creating purpose-built content to meet those needs. 

Owned assets drive Impact

Each owned asset is a unique touchpoint for engaging with your audience. Construct a vast network of owned assets, and you build thousands of opportunities to authentically connect with and provide value to your consumers.

Your asset network may include hundreds or even thousands of individual assets. A fully optimized asset network consistently provides what consumers want at every touchpoint throughout their buying journey.

A foundation of optimized owned assets becomes its own performance engine, improving ROI, while magnifying ROI across every marketing channel you have.

Your optimized owned assets tell a consistent, cohesive story that explains your brand and your value to the world.

Influencing less controllable assets

In the MACH-6 framework, owned assets make up the base of a brand’s entire asset stack. As we move up the MACH-6, potential reach increases but control diminishes. You can tap into the increased reach of managed and leveraged assets, but you also need control. 

Owned assets set the tone, build brand trust from the start, and help influence positive outcomes across less controllable assets.

Using the assets you fully control to help consumers solve their problems garners trust and goodwill toward your brand that pays dividends across less controllable spaces.

For example, if a candle company creates a content hub that covers all aspects of candle maintenance, safety, and ingredients, the brand can provide value to consumers and create positive sentiment.

That sentiment influences less controllable assets like social media, word-of-mouth, reviews, and more — providing reach AND control. The positivity in social media, word-of-mouth, and reviews returns to the brand, setting a virtuous circle spinning.

Strategic value

Just one owned asset, properly optimized with consumer needs in focus, can provide tremendous value. Now imagine an entire network of owned assets, strategically positioned to provide value to your audience at every touchpoint, every engagement across the buyer’s journey.

The great news is that leading brands already control large networks of owned assets. They just need to be strategically optimized to provide the value consumers want.

Owned asset optimization gives brands the insight and framework they need to develop assets with intention and link them together to create a network of consumer connections. 

With this digital asset infrastructure, brands can:

  • Assert control over their narrative
  • Win back consumer attention
  • Unify their marketing efforts under a guiding strategy of OAO
  • Align their customer journey with how their consumers actually behave
  • Acquire better-qualified leads
  • Deliver real value to consumers
  • Establish trust and equity that will flow into non-owned digital spaces
  • Influence social media, reviews, and word-of-mouth sentiment
  • Optimize the ROI of all marketing campaigns

Owned assets first

Prioritizing owned assets, and owned asset optimization itself, is a new direction for brands that understand the importance of leading with authentic, trust-based consumer relationships. 

When brands center audience needs and create a framework to deliver value first — instead of only seeking conversions at every interaction — they are investing in long-term strategies that set them apart as industry leaders.

Transactions, and more specifically revenue, are often the main goal for brands. But demanding a transaction before building trust and relationships is putting the cart before the horse.

That tunnel vision on transactions paradoxically fractures the buyer’s journey and prevents consumer connection, resulting in fewer transactions and lower revenue. Optimizing your brand’s owned assets to lead with connection solves the problem and unifies your marketing.

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