Gini Dietrich

The Executive’s Guide to the PESO Model: Measurement

By: Gini Dietrich | May 6, 2021 | 
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The Executive's Guide to the PESO Model MeasurementThe 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 sixth of a seven-part series, learn what types of metrics your team should be using to measure their PESO Model success.

Let’s get started!

The Elusive Brand Awareness

There are four goals every PESO Model campaign should encompass:

  1. Marketing leads
  2. Marketing qualified leads
  3. Sales qualified leads
  4. Brand awareness

The first three are incredibly easy to measure, while brand awareness is a bit tougher.

Not that it can’t be done, but you’ll need to be OK with the idea that a portion of your budget will be spent on things such as brand awareness, thought leadership, credibility, and authority.

You’ll know that portion is working when your organization shows up on the first page of Google results for your priority keywords and for key questions your products or services answer. When someone at a trade show or on the golf course says, “Man, it feels like you all are everywhere!” Or when a competitor refers business to you because they think you do it better than they can do it (and this does happen—frequently).

For the other three metrics, though, you can have hard and fast numbers attached, which will lead to the growth of the organization, no matter what your goals (increased revenue, improved margins, more fundraising, more volunteers…whatever it happens to be).

Let’s look at each of them.

Marketing Leads

It’s important to distinguish between marketing leads and marketing qualified leads.

A marketing lead is someone who might subscribe to your newsletter or join your community or follow you on social—and share your content there.

These are great people to have around because, while not all of them will become customers, they may very well be brand ambassadors and consistently refer people to you.

Having engaged marketing leads also tells you if something is working—or if it bombed.

For instance, if you spend a lot of marketing time and resources on an original piece of research and no one downloads it, you know there is something wrong. But if you have tons of downloads and journalists want to highlight findings, you know it was well done and valuable to the industry.

While many marketers and communicators start and end with marketing leads, they are just the start.

Push your team to provide more than the number of subscribers and social media fans and followers. This is the foundation, but it’s not where reporting should begin and end.

Marketing Qualified Leads

A marketing qualified lead—or an MQL—is someone who has engaged with your organization and is on the way to becoming a customer if the PESO Model program nurtures them correctly, builds trust, and helps them understand why they can’t live without you.

A marketing qualified lead is someone who does everything a marketing leads does and more. They engage more and are more visible in your reporting.

If they keep showing up, they want you to give them a reason to throw their money at you. Give them that reason and they’ll quickly move from marketing to sales qualified.

This process can take anywhere from 24 hours to two months, but we’ve found that nearly every PESO Model program has helped shorten the sales cycle considerably.

The magic is in how quickly you can build trust, from your own marketing to what others are saying about you online.

Sales Qualified Leads

Lots of people will argue that the PESO Model is not responsible for sales qualified leads—or SQLs—but that’s a total copout. It likely has more to do with the fact that they don’t know how to measure their efforts in this way. It can be done—but it may take a little left brain intelligence from a right brain professional.

If that’s the case, you may need to bring someone in who has the left brain capacity to work with your marketing team. This person might be a data analyst or scientist or someone who has expertise in tracking business-oriented metrics for similar organizations.

A sales qualified lead is someone who is ready to talk to sales. Typically they are someone who has expressed enough interest in your brand that they’re ready to talk about features, benefits, and pricing.

It could also be someone who has read and shared your blog posts, followed you on social, downloaded content, opened and engaged with your emails, and perhaps attended a webinar or livestream event.

The way your PESO Model funnel is set up—knowing that it’s less linear and more circular—determines when someone becomes sales qualified.

Conversion In Your PESO Model Program

Now that you have a basic knowledge about what your team should be tracking, when it comes to the PESO Model, it’s time to convert those bad boys to customers!

While this will be mostly reliant on sales, there are some things the marketing team can do to nurture them from sales qualified to customer—and should be responsible for participating in the conversion.

At this stage in the buying process, we typically see things such as case studies, testimonials, videos of current customers using your product or service—the kinds of things that provide social proof and continue to build trust.

Those things can be scheduled into an email drip campaign that coincides with sales follow-up.

This helps you continue to qualify the prospect so, by the time you talk to them, they’ve already qualified themselves and are ready to buy from you.

Typically this process takes about six months to get it all set up, agree on logistics, and make sure it’s all working.

You can absolutely keep marketing during that time, but if we’re starting anew with a client, that’s how long it takes.

It’s not easy. It’ll be frustrating at times. You will want to throw in the towel several times throughout the process. But it works.

If you’re an endurance athlete, you can correlate this work to training for a marathon or improving your FTP score or racing or building your endurance.

There are plenty of times in your training that you get frustrated and want to throw in the towel, but you also know that if you move through the wall, you’ll have massive success.

Two Metrics to Track Immediately

As your team begins to do this work and set up the processes for success, there are two metrics o track immediately: domain authority and search rankings for your priority keywords.

For instance, we want to be known for the PESO Model so you’d better bet we not only show up on the first page of Google results, but in the first few positions. But it’s not important for us to show up for adjusted gross income tips so that’s not a keyword for us.

Of course these two metrics—has your domain authority increased, and are you on the first page of Google results for your priority keywords—are only the beginning. You also want to track everything we’ve talked about today—how your PESO Model program is driving qualified leads to your website and into your sales funnel.

The end game here is being able to track PESO Model efforts to the organization’s goals. If you can get your team there, success will be yours.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.