As marketing and PR professionals, our job is to influence and connect with target audiences on behalf of our clients through integrated strategies, campaigns and tactics. In order to accomplish these goals, traditionally agencies have worked within a framework that maps out the overall picture. Many models have been used and implemented over the years. In 1960, for instance, we had the infamous 4 P’s (Price, Product, Promotion and Place), which was created to serve as both the foundation and the fundamentals of marketing. Since then, the 4 P’s have been replaced by the Ten C’s of Marketing, RACE Planning, The Honeycomb Model, and so on. Many of these placed a heavy focus on the value of the solution rather than educating and reaching audiences. In an effort to change that, we were then introduced to the PESO (Paid, Earned, Shared, Owned) model. The PESO model was developed by Gini Dietrich to visually demonstrate the interlinking connection of the communication channels when conducting a marketing campaign.
The PESO model breakdown is this:
- Paid (P) is the exchanging of monetary value for distribution. Whether it is paying for a 30-second ad before a YouTube video, or a promoted tweet on someone’s timeline, if you have to cough up some cash for your audience to see it, it’s paid.
- Earned (E) refers to trading valuable content for an established authority’s audience. Think of mainstream media and credentialed journalism, aka media relations. Getting your renewable client quoted in the Wall Street Journal for instance…well, best believe you earned
- Shared (S) is when you amplify your content through your own audience vis-a-vis social media platforms. For example, using Twitter to spread awareness about your client’s presence at an industry trade show to drive traffic and promote the brand would be something worth sharing.
- Owned (O) is distributing your own content to an audience. A podcast on LED lighting myths and facts, for instance, would be something your client owns and no one else does.
What’s Next For PESO?
Now that you have a better understanding of the PESO model, let’s discuss its relevancy. As with frameworks in the past, PESO is beginning to look a lot like the iPhone 4. While it still might work and get the job done, it’s time for a change. Why?
As you can see in the diagram above, in the traditional PESO model there is cohesion and overlap, but it is minimal. In the past, this model was very successful. Often times agencies recommend to clients to focus on one program area at a time. Or, while Shared ramped up, there could be a pause on Earned, for instance.
However, in today’s digital world this is no longer a smart strategy. In order to run a successful, impactful campaign, we have found that program areas must be very intertwined. In fact, you can’t have Shared without Paid; and you can’t have Owned without Shared. To be honest, you really can’t be effective in any area without some form of a paid strategy. We are beyond the separate but equal silos that we were used to.
We know. Change is scary. The good news though, is this means we can create more impactful and measurable results. By connecting the dots between the main components of PESO, we are actually offering our clients cohesive and integrated campaigns that maximize their results and spend and drive their bottom line. And that, my friends, is what a truly integrated marketing communications agency does for their clients!