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Balancing the PESO Model with a Channel-First Approach

Nicole Glueckert

The collective grouping of marketing channels has, for years now, been growing in daily practice in agencies and marketing organizations alike. The common term, “PESO,” stands for paid, earned, shared, and owned mediums, and the central idea is that by approaching these channels as one body, marketers can help align their messaging strategy more holistically to produce a seamless experience for their intended audiences, regardless of where or when those audiences encounter it.

While this approach is good in theory and strategically sound in practice, teams are now challenged by another theory: channel-first content creation. As channels continue to evolve and become more differentiated from one another, not all branded messaging translates easily between platforms and sometimes modifications need to be made in order to fit a message to the channel via which it is being delivered.

For example, as new social platforms emerge focusing on authentic, user-generated video content (i.e. TikTok), brands with a look and feel consisting of heavily cinematic or strictly animated content (i.e. many traditional pharmaceutical companies) may struggle to fit in within a user’s feed and get seen by new audiences. Suddenly needing to create content that looks and feels like a platform eliminates the ability for that brand to leverage a full “PESO” approach simply because their brand identity does not fit within the expectations of the target audiences.

So, how can brands execute a holistic “PESO” messaging approach and still create content that works within very different channels?

Align the Teams Early On

While creative teams should always drive the development of a brand concept, look, and feel, strategists and subject matter experts (SMEs) can be brought into the creative process to provide helpful guidance. By aligning subject matter and channel experts with the creatives early on, the entire team can work together to ensure that the overall look and feel will be enhanced and not hindered by the channels that the messages will be delivered through.

Involve strategists and SMEs in creative brainstorms and internal reviews as messaging is being developed to provide helpful guidance, while still allowing the creative teams to thrive.

Focus on Quality Over Quantity

Not every paid, owned, earned, or shared channel is necessary to communicate with every audience. By taking a “quality over quantity” approach to the “PESO” model, teams can focus on creating ideal content for channels with the biggest impact.

This ties back to an even older marketing phrase of the “right message, for the right audience, at the right time.” This phrase, while recently overused in many workplaces, is widely understood for a reason; It is a marketers’ evolution of quality over quantity and can be a lifesaver for teams looking to hone-in on niche audiences and streamline effort.

Continue Internal Education

The biggest challenge of an ever-evolving “PESO” model is ensuring that individual teams understand the mediums they are creating for. Like bringing subject matter experts and strategists into the creative process, it can be extremely impactful to regularly educate creative and leadership teams on the latest trends of various channels and audiences.

Encourage all team members to attend webinars, conferences, and even co-host lunch and learn sessions on paid, earned, shared, and owned channels so that everyone is thinking about a channel-first approach when it comes to brand messaging.

How Yes& Delivers

Yes& has spent the last few years growing teams that specialize in public relations, social media, paid media, and digital/web design. As we grow these areas of expertise, they are integrated into the process with the rest of the agency, which includes the entire creative department, account management, project management, strategy, research, and video teams.

From project kick-off and brainstorms to internal reviews and roadmapping sessions, we appoint team leads who guide the larger group and bring them in at the right times to create messages, all while focusing on optimizing our “PESO” channel-centered approach.

Yes& is the Washington, DC-based marketing agency that brings commercial, association, and government clients the unlimited power of “&” – using a full suite of branding, digital, event, marketing, public relations, and creative capabilities to deliver meaningful and measurable results.

Let’s talk about what the power of "&" can do for you.

Nicole Glueckert
Director of Integrated Marketing and Channel Strategy

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