For the last 20 months, we have been navigating a murky and dynamic new environment, where the immediate
future seems unclear and the rules change faster than a TikTok challenge trend.

Having a clearly defined, agile marketing strategy has become more crucial than ever.
Although it is tempting to say the old marketing playbook is obsolete and fly by the seat of your pants,
a classic approach to creating a strategy will provide a solid framework from which to launch
a brand’s communication and positioning.

Below we share our Mustard Seed step-by-step winning formula to setting a killer strategy:

What’s the problem? 

Start by identifying the concerns, objectives, issues and pain points. What are you aiming to achieve? The ultimate function of your marketing strategy is to solve this.

Set objectives and measurables at the onset. 

Freshly ground data

Avoid using pre-pandemic data to inform your strategic direction, unless you are assessing shifts. Fresh information is king, as previous data sets and insights are probably irrelevant. Consider current shopper profiles and consumer behavioural patterns, past performance, data shifts and trajectory over time, as well as the environment the brand operates in.

True colours

Mine segment-specific insights into the consumers’ lifestyle, their sentiments and preferences, their beliefs, fears and dreams. It’s entirely doable, not as daunting as it seems and absolutely necessary to create a strategy that resonates with your audience.

Crystal ball

Forecast possible environmental changes that will impact the execution and communication, and have backup plans. Think: changes in lockdown levels or cost of living, increases in unemployment, shifts in the macro economy or possible new alliances and partnerships.

Bandwagon jumper

Don’t fall into the trends trap just for the sake of taking part in it. Rather consider and incorporate only features from relevant trends that enhance your strategy. 

Developing global consumer trends that are very relevant right now and universal to most consumer groups, include: 

Home bodies – investing in home entertainment, cooking, comforts and space improvements is not really a new trend, but it will most likely persist, and is therefore worth taking into account.

Hyper local – creating relevance and a meaningful relationship with consumers requires segmenting and targeting communities rather than broadcasting to the entire town or city. 

Beating the blues – as we are constantly faced with new challenges during the pandemic, concerns over mental health has been growing. Campaigns addressing the state of consumers’ mental health have been gaining momentum. 

Have fun!

Spreading kindness – grand gestures are being replaced with small acts of kindness, aligning with consumers in ways that are genuine and sustainable. 

Digital storefronts – it’s not just about ecommerce, but rather offering consumers an entertaining digital brand and browsing experience, showcasing a curated offering through influencers who reflect the consumers’ values and personalities. 

Age is just a number – the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have yanked consumers into the digital era, accelerating digital adoption regardless of generation. Consider prioritising digital communication and experiences over traditional methods. 

Keep the strategy fresh, be creative and do things differently –  push the envelope a little bit. 

Showtime

Deliver the strategic vision through impeccable execution – be respectful of the consumer and provide a focused, memorable and high-quality brand experience. 

Lastly, documenting the execution and performance of the strategy across all implementation channels goes without saying! 

Partner with Mustard Seed and bring the best ideas to life.  

Mustard Seed Relationship Marketing has a long and successful track record of using fresh data to address consumer needs and produce profitable results for the companies we partner with. We offer various 3SIXTY QuickTrends packages that make timely and relevant customer research accessible and affordable – with a quick turnaround time. We also boast a full in-house strategy, creative and production team who originate, craft, refine and execute campaigns that deliver real results.

Written by Tanja Gerber, Strategic Marketing Director

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