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Customer Media  is the development, production and delivery of media designed to strengthen the relationship between the sponsor of the medium and the medium’s audience. It is also known as branded media, customer media, content marketing. It is a recognized field in user experience design, but also draws interest from adjacent communities such as content management, business analysis and technical communication. Advertising has long used content to disseminate information about a brand and build a brand’s reputation, in order to acquire and retain customers.

Customer media aims to build a relationship of trust and loyalty with the sponsor’s customers, so they regard the sponsor as the vendor of choice when they make purchases. This is done by providing information and, often, advice that meets the needs and suits the preferences of the sponsor’s target market. It serves the interests of the audience, rather than overtly plugging products and services the way ads do.

There are several types of media available to online marketers that fit into the broad categories: owned, paid, and earned media. Owned media is the communication channel that is within one’s control, such as websites, email or blogs; while paid media refers mostly to traditional kind of    advertising. Earned media, on the other hand, is generated when content receives recognition and a following through communication channels such as social media and word of mouth, outside of traditional paid advertising. This is the channel most likely to stimulate the consumer to action.

Somehow, many consider earned media to be the most cost-effective method of marketing. As a result, many businesses are investing in earned media. The increasing use of earned media has provided marketers with new ways in which to interact and engage their users. These innovative approaches are replacing traditional marketing methods such as email and banner ads, and provide innovative methods to find, optimize, and measure return on earned media investments.