When it comes to cooking, I fail miserably. Scrambled eggs? Spaghetti and meatballs? Nope. You need salt and pepper for that, right? My concerned friends tell me to just Google “simple recipes” and stock the fridge with the necessary ingredients. “Matt, you live right by Whole Foods!!”
Here’s the thing about the ingredients list: You can harvest the freshest basil from your herb garden, pick up organic, vine-ripened tomatoes from the farmer’s market, buy a pound of prime grade lean ground beef — but you don’t have a meal until you cook. And that’s the most difficult part.
Cooking is the mixing of instinct and learned skills, executed with good timing, and guided by an understanding of your audiences’ palates.
Ingredients are to cooking what PESO is to integrated marketing. So you can understand why my stomach rumbles whenever PESO is presented as the wonder solution.
Today, PESO (Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned) has become a staple framework in developing well-integrated campaigns. It has gained wide acceptance over the former POE channel-based framework by adding the “S” for “shared” to account for social media. Side dish: I find it amusing that perhaps traditionalists felt the need to rebrand “social media” into “shared” before giving it legitimacy.
The reality is that social media, no longer the new kid on the block, has become much more than a marketing channel — and it’s certainly more than a contained and distinctive strategy from paid, owned and earned.
Consider this: You post a blog to the company site (owned), which automates a company tweet (shared). To boost the content, the company promotes the tweet with media dollars (paid), which results in a retweet by a media outlet (earned). Where does this tactic fall into? Is it an “S” because it’s a social media strategy? Or is this strategy inclusive of all four of them?
As digital and social media trends have transformed audience behaviors to an inter-connected omni-channel reality, the real question for modern marketers and communicators is whether the side-by-side framework of PESO still best represents integrated strategies of today.
To me, PESO remains a simple ingredients list. It helps you think comprehensively and holistically about the many tactics of your strategy, but it’s not a magic formula or solution. I would argue that it’s barely even a planning framework.
When it comes to developing impactful and effective programs, it’s important to remember that one size does not fit all. For example, conversion objectives will require a very different framework than awareness campaigns. An influencer strategy will need a robust content framework and partnership lists. Planning for hyper-targeted outreach will require a different set of tactics than planning for wide reach and scalability. Experiential programs should be developed against a calendar of key strategic moments.
PESO is great for organizing your ingredients, but the special sauce in cooking up a truly satisfying meal is in the marriage of your strategic objectives and your audience insights. Starting from that understanding will help tailor your recipe for success accordingly, and allow for a needed pinch of salt at a moment’s notice.