Posted by Hillary Rivera ● October 27, 2020

How We Use PESO To Align Our Clients’ Branding And Communication

peso marketingPESO is a marketing model developed in 2014 by Gini Dietrich to address the converging roles of public relations (PR) and marketing professionals brought on by the rapidly changing digital communications landscape. The PESO model’s comprehensive approach to integrated communications helps organizations build awareness and generate qualified leads through the strategic merging of paid, earned, shared and owned media.

By aligning content across all media and communication channels, organizations can build awareness, increase conversions and improve brand authority. According to Dietrich, the PESO model drives business success by establishing a strong foundation across all media. In the March 2020 model refresh, Dietrech describes the model as a pyramid where the quad-dependent strength of every corner is imperative to the success of the campaign.

So what exactly does PESO stand for? 

If you haven’t already guessed, PESO stands for Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned media. Although the name of the model puts paid media first, it is actually recommended to practice the model in the order “OSPE”, beginning with owned media and progressing through shared, paid and earned. Now, let’s take a deeper dive into how we execute the PESO strategy in conjunction with our philosophy at idgroup.

Brand Ecosystem

At idgroup, we believe that in order to have a strong foundation for a content and communication strategy, an organization needs to have an aligned Brand Ecosystem prior to implementing PESO. When a brand’s identity, vision, image and culture are aligned, a positive reputation evolves, and content across all types of media can be created in support of that reputation.

Breakdown of the Brand Ecosystem

  • Identity
    Identity is the collective understanding of people in the organization. Identity answers the question, who are we?
  • Vision  
    Vision is the future state, or where an organization sees growth that is both worthwhile and meaningful.
  • Image
    How those outside your organization perceive who you are.
  • Culture 
    Values and beliefs that define the organization’s identity
  • Reputation 
    Reputation is an evolving collection of perceptions from people inside and outside the organization. 

brand ecosystem graphic

By identifying gaps and aligning all areas of the brand ecosystem, organizations create an authentic and sustainable brand that connects people and products at every touchpoint. These touchpoints include discovery, purchase, and loyalty. Once the Brand Ecosystem is aligned and the organization has identified its brand purpose, a brand is able to tell its story through creative content.

Owned Media

Owned media is the content created by your organization. This includes any written, visual, or audio content such as podcasts, employee stories, and customer stories. Another important aspect of owned media is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). By setting up your owned content on your website and throughout different channels in accordance with SEO best practices, you can improve your domain authority and elevate your organization’s position of trust and credibility. Once your owned media is established, it is time for content distribution beginning with shared media. 

Shared Media

Shared media is the distribution of content through digital and traditional efforts. Different channels include organic social media, reviews, private social channels such as Slack, and media outlets. These channels, along with the website, help circulate the organization’s story organically. Through the consistent distribution of shared content, organizations can build a strong foundation for paid media. 

Paid Media

Paid media, or advertising, amplifies the brand story by connecting content with people that the organization would not reach organically. Organizations can leverage their owned media and convert it to paid media through tactics such as digital native advertising and the use of paid brand ambassadors, among others. By creating valuable user content and sharing it via paid media, organizations can incentivize future consumers to share their information and learn more; subsequently generating leads.

Earned Media

Earned media is a key pillar of a great public relations strategy and gives an organization’s story the “rubber stamp” of approval. Earned media can include testimonials and customer reviews, blog posts written about your organization or product, influencer endorsements, media recognition such as magazine or news articles, shares of your content, or other mentions and recognition on social media. A strong earned media presence legitimizes organizations and better equips them to develop and leverage partnerships and community engagement.

peso model-1

By investing in a holistic approach to branding and communications, organizations can establish a sustainable foundation for long-term success.

Brand Ecosystem and PESO Alignment In Practice


In 2019, SimpleCoat was launched for sale on Amazon along with a supporting digital communications plan. Before the product launch, idgroup worked with SimpleCoat to create a brand that positions the product as a simpler way to protect surfaces in your home. The alignment of the brand’s message with the product’s amazing qualities created a clear blueprint for the distribution of owned media through shared, paid, and earned channels. Below you can see different assets that have helped build the brand’s authority.


SimpleCoat’s brand positions the product as a simpler way to protect your home surfaces. SimpleCoat’s unique product attributes added great value to the brand by creating a successful strategic alignment between brand identity and product experience. This alignment between the brand and the product experience allowed us to send a clear and consistent message to future customers.


SimpleCoat’s website houses the product’s owned media. The website’s content allows the user to become more familiarized with SimpleCoats brand, and also provides users with added educational content, providing them with additional value beyond product and brand information.

Owned Media Example: SimpleCoat Website
Shared, Paid, Earned

SimpleCoat’s owned media is distributed through its social media channels. The cohesive messaging between shared, owned, and paid content allows consumers to have a better understanding of the product prompting them to use the same messaging as product advocates. Which eventually trickled down to the same messaging being used through earned media.

By aligning our brand ecosystem and PESO efforts, SimpleCoat has not only experienced soaring sales, but also the development of a strong brand reputation that can be seen through both reviews and a continued year-over-year increase in organic traffic to the website and sales.

Earned Media Example: Influencer Endorsement

Topics: Branding, Marketing