The PESO Model

There has been a great deal of discussion about the PESO marketing model over the past couple of years. The acronym PESO stands for the four types of media channels – paid, earned, shared and owned. The PESO model is relevant today because it ensures that marketing and communications professionals consider all of the different types of media channels currently available and how to optimize the intersection of those channels to achieve strategic objectives.

Paid Media

Paid media is exactly what it sounds like – exposure for which you pay a fee. Paid media opportunities include traditional advertising, such as television and terrestrial radio, as well as digital advertising including paid social promotion. Paid media is important to consider when your product or brand is new to the market or you need to drive additional awareness.

Earned Media

Earned media represents editorial coverage by a third party. Earned media activities include traditional public relations, such as media relations efforts to generate media stories, brand mentions or other third-party endorsements. Earned media lends credibility to a brand’s perception and is important when seeking to grow awareness, reinforce positive brand sentiment and increase brand loyalty.

Shared Media

Shared media can be thought of as social media, but should not be limited to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Shared channels also include YouTube, hosted forums and other digital conversation opportunities. When an audience engages in a less formal and more conversational way, there are valuable opportunities to cultivate a strong brand community. Sharing content, engaging in conversations and hosting discussions can deepen brand engagement and loyalty while mobilizing brand ambassadors through common interactions.

Owned Media

As the name implies, owned media refers to any media outlets that are owned by a brand, including its website, microsites, newsletters or blogs. These are outlets where the brand controls the platform and the content. Owned channels enable brands to further engage audiences and drive traffic as well as serve as a destination for other forms of media.

At the center of all successful PESO strategies is content grounded in messaging. The importance of a brand understanding its own key messages cannot be overstated. A PESO strategy brings power to a brand’s voice through the ability to communicate with target audiences in a variety of ways that educate, engage and compel them. A final note: consistency in message is key. If the brand message is not consistent across all PESO channels, the strategy will lose effectiveness and can, potentially, cause negative outcomes.

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