The PESO Model is more than just a pretty graphic and a list of tactics under each media type. When integrated and implemented correctly, it can be one of the most profitable investments for your business because it builds brand awareness and it generates qualified leads.
But it also is often mishandled, not implemented correctly, and not set up for business success, nor measured for organizational results. This is because many professionals still look at the PESO Model graphic and think, “Oh, this is easy! If I just add some social media advertising and influencer relations to my existing plan, I’ll have made it work.”
That’s not the case at all.
Because of this haphazard approach, we often hear executives say, “I spent a ton of money on communications and it didn’t work.” Or, “My marketing team can’t tell me how many qualified leads they’re generating and I don’t know how much of the budget we’re just lighting on fire.” Or (my favorite), “Hiring an agency is like donating money. You write them a check and they walk away.”
In this fourth of a seven-part series, learn the basics of the PESO Model, how it works and why, the benefits it offers to your business, how to make sure you or your team is implementing it correctly, and which tools you’ll need to use for lasting success.
Let’s get started!
Use the PESO Model to Build a Lasting Brand
When the PESO Model is fully integrated and working effectively, the benefits extend far beyond leads, conversions, and revenue.
Of course, those things are important, but to build a lasting brand—one that is recognized, familiar, authoritative, and trustworthy—you need to build reputation, too. One that builds loyalty so customers won’t choose anyone else and they insist their friends and family buy from you, too.
If you focus on financial return alone, you risk missing the other benefits that will help your brand succeed, no matter what’s happening globally—a pandemic, social injustices, mass shootings, economic downturns, and more.
Warren Buffet is famous for saying:
Lose money for the firm and I will be understanding; lose a shred of reputation for the firm and I will be ruthless.
This is because money can always be made, but reputation has to be earned. The PESO Model helps you do that.
There is a big misconception that reputation just happens and you don’t have to earn it. Do good work and it happens naturally. There is some truth to that which is why it’s perpetuated among business leaders. But a communications professional worth their salt will help you earn it exponentially faster—and also save you when something bad happens or a crisis unfurls.
Just like you wouldn’t buy the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and only pay Tom Brady when he takes you to—and wins—the Super Bowl, you have to invest in the team and the activities that get you to the Big Game. There are other players and personnel who make it possible to win the Super Bowl, Brady’s greatness aside.
So, while portions of the PESO Model absolutely will help you increase your conversion rates and revenue, there are other portions that require an investment for giving your brand exposure at all stages of the customer’s journey.
When you begin your PESO Model journey with owned media, you will uncover exactly what it is your target audience wants and needs. It allows you to uncover their pain points, their confusion, their desires.
Once you know those things, you have the recipe for highly targeted content that converts when integrated with the other media types.
This is the Marcus Sheridan recommendation of old: answer the questions your customers and prospects ask. Then, as Andy Crestodina would say, create the very best content on the internet for that topic.
Position Your Organization As the Authority
Owned media done well, and integrated in a PESO Model program, will drive website traffic—all of whom are potential customers (and maybe a few competitors who are trying to figure out how you’re having the success you are).
It builds reputation, awareness, and authority and, when you invest in it, it will build affinity and trust.
As you begin to create and publish—and then distribute and promote through shared media, earn validity through earned media, and amplify through paid media—you will automatically grow your website’s domain authority and search engine optimization. When this happens, your site is often in the top few search results for the questions you are answering.
As this happens, the prospect begins to become familiar with your brand—and human beings give their money to brands they trust.
(It also drives your competitors nuts because you keep beating them, which is a fantastic ancillary benefit.)
The brand that wins is the one that shows up and helps online visitors get what they’re looking for—every time.
Similarly, a fully integrated PESO Model program positions you, your leadership team, and/or your subject matter experts as an authority in your space.
Authority is what sits at the center of the PESO Model and it builds reputation, both internally and externally. After all, your customers will never be happier than your employees, so it’s just as important to engage them as your external audiences.
None of this is an expense. It’s all an investment. How you distribute your marketing dollars to take advantage is up to you, but you’ll be able to achieve both reputation and revenue—the holy grail, so to speak.
Next in this series, we’ll look at how to set your team up for success.