Gini Dietrich

The Executive’s Guide to the PESO Model: Investing In Success

By: Gini Dietrich | April 8, 2021 | 
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The Executive's Guide to the PESO Model Investing In SuccessThe 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 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!

Overnight Success Is a Farce

In working with several of our clients, we often serve as an interim executive on their leadership teams. For some, we might be chief content officer and for others, it might be chief communications officer. Either way, we become embedded in their organizations, just like we would if we were working there full-time.

In doing this type of work, and being intimately involved in some of their businesses, we have learned how much time, money, and effort it takes to fully embrace a PESO Model program that drives real results.

There is nothing quite as sad as working as a team to launch a fully integrated program within 90 days, only to have the CEO or COO pull the plug because they haven’t made $10MM yet. (That’s a slight embellishment, but they do get frustrated when, after only 90 days, it’s not bringing in lots of cash.)

Just like everything else we do in our lives, it takes time. There is a reason the saying, “Overnight success takes 10 years to achieve” is a thing. And it is an investment. A serious one. But if you’re willing to be patient and understand that it does take time, you’ll see rewards, hand over fist.

Building Your Endurance

I’m a cyclist and, when the world isn’t shut down because of a pandemic, I race. I’m not the fastest or the strongest racer, but I can outlast pretty much everyone. That is because, when I spend time training, I work on building my endurance.

You want to ride 400 miles in one day? I will be starving for days, but I can do it with you!

My endurance makes me a strong team member because, when the sprinters and the time trialers are finished, I pick up the slack.

But you can’t build endurance like that in 90 days or even six months. It takes some serious time on the bike, every day (well, five days a week) focused on specific metrics. It’s an investment: one in my health and fitness, in being able to brag about how low my resting heart rate is, and in the success of my team.

Investing In the Program

Just like in cycling, savvy business investors know that investing too little can make the entire investment not worth it (at best) and a total loss (at worst).

This is what happens when executives give up on a PESO Model program before it’s been functioning for at least a year. You will certainly have short-term wins along the way, but the real results come after a real investment.

To carry out a successful PESO Model program for your organization, you can use an in-house team, outsource to an agency, or do a hybrid of both.

In any of these scenarios, the people who are implementing the program need to be experienced, have adequate time budgeted to carry out their tasks effectively, and access to the tools that can help them work smarter.

PESO Model Experience

Before you commit to implementing a PESO Model program, which may require extra training for your team or bringing on external resources to get you started, ask questions to gain insight about their experience, such as:

  • Do you have experience working with businesses in our industry?
  • Have you implemented a PESO Model program before? If so, what has been your experience?
  • What have been the results of a PESO Model program you’ve been part of?
  • Are you PESO Model certified?
  • Based on your experience and what you know about us, where would you recommend we start?

The Tools Necessary to Do the Job

If you choose to embark on a PESO Model program that produces results for your organization, your team will need some tools to be most successful.

They should include:

Access and productive help from the sales team, which means tying the CRM to the marketing automation and working closely with one person who can liaison between the two teams.

The PESO Model Takes Time

I don’t want to belabor the investment of time point, but three-quarters of the PESO Model is earned, which means it’s labor-intensive.

Only with paid media can you buy your way into market share. It’s also only short-term; it doesn’t provide lasting results like earned, shared, and owned will do. Once you turn off your paid media, you’re no longer on the radar.

That’s why it’s so important to invest in a fully integrated model.

Give your team(s) time. They should have short-term goals, for sure, but if you’re going to spend the time, money, and resources to make this work, you have to give it at least a year.

Too often, we see executives lose patience at the three- and six-month marks. That just isn’t enough time to quadruple (or more) your investment. Just like when you hire a salesperson, they won’t be fully productive for at least a year. You need that kind of patience with this model.

Ask your team for goals that fit within that year—and then give them the space to do the work and reach those goals while they work to produce a serious return-on-investment.

Next in this series, we’ll look at the one thing that guarantees success.

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.