Q&A: Why the PESO model is the future of marketing communications

There are shifts in marketing approaches aimed at maximising impact and improving customer experience across all brand touchpoints.

The global marketing landscape has been shaken up over the last few years, largely due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, which contributed to already changing consumer and business behaviour. This year will see a continuation of some of the trends of the last two pandemic years, as well as some shifts in marketing approaches aimed at maximising impact and improving customer experience across all brand touchpoints.

These are 1Africa Consulting head of strategy, Lasi Mashaba’s predictions for 2022 in the marketing and communications industry:

Tell us about your trend regarding thought leadership content.

The demand for more transparency and authentic leadership from brands is leading to an upward trend in thought leadership content. Not just in terms of the positioning of a brand itself, but also its C-suite executives, ambassadors and leadership teams. This includes showcasing the expertise and profiles of chosen brand “spokespeople” through content such as opinion articles, interviews and speaking engagements. The phrase “people do business with people, not companies” has never been more true, particularly as the focus on trust continues to grow in importance.

What’s next for reputation management after this crisis?

Reputation management – both online and offline – is imperative for brands trying to create and / or sustain a positive image. This applies to public reputation, as well as internal stakeholder relations (e.g., a company’s board of directors). According to research, 84% of all marketers surveyed agree that building consumer trust will become marketing’s primary objective in the near future. Effective reputation management is invaluable when faced with a crisis, and forms part of proactive and reactive solutions aimed at protecting a brand from negative impacts.

Tell us about data-driven marketing coming of age this year.

Data is an often untapped resource that offers a wealth of insight – not just for marketing, but for business planning in its entirety. Working on assumptions can prove risky, particularly as market and consumer behaviour changes at a rapid rate. This year, it is expected that more and more companies will invest in research and data-mining activities aimed at improving marketing and business results through more effective, targeted tactics. Research by Acxiom predicts a rise in the use of first-party data in 2022: “First-party data is a brand’s most valuable data asset. Collected directly from a brand’s customers, it enables critical insights into, preferences, buying habits, customer journeys, and lifetime value.”

Why is the integration of tactics so important?

Previously, there has been a clear division between paid advertising (such as paid social media campaigns and print ads); and earned marketing through public relations activities (such as interviews and organic article placements). However, the benefit of an integrated communications approach is undeniable. It’s all about consistency of messages, and leveraging different marketing content and tactics. Each communication activity has its own merits and relevant application – the key is developing strategies to use PR, advertising and other marketing optimally to achieve business goals. 2022 will see marketers embracing the PESO (paid, earned, social, owned) media model at a greater extent, including the integration of public relations as part of marketing plans.

What about purpose-driven marketing?

Highlighting social consciousness is key. While Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), is more a business trend than a marketing one, often positive impact projects done by a brand are inadequately communicated. Basically, there is great social impact work being done by businesses, but not enough people know about it. Recent statistics show that 87% of consumers will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about. Taking this into consideration, it is clear that information related to CSR activities should form an integral part of brand communication content. With the role of CSR expected to rise in 2022, so too will marketing content around social responsibility projects by brands.


Main image credit: 1Africa.


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