How to Create a DTC Marketing Plan with Mileage

When I became a digital brand strategist for a national quick-service restaurant brand, I arrived on the scene to find a social media calendar filled with transactional posts and little else. Think about meal deals and free extras. Sure, there were a few well-rehearsed hashtags and meme jokes aimed to rival the rest of the QSR universe, but nothing made the brand stand out. It could have been any string.

Transactional messages that are solely aimed at generating higher or higher revenue, are unquestionably crucial to a Direct to Consumer brand – which is what QSR is. After all, the main goal is to get people in the door. You want to make this as simple as possible. But is “BOGO”, for example, enough to create a lasting and loyal connection? What will you do when someone cheaper, more practical, or more interesting comes along and builds a house next to yours? You can’t ignore the brand forever or you’ll always be looking for the sale.

Trends, meme culture and Influencers are undoubtedly an essential part of modern marketing. Speaking the language of the moment is a precious currency. But just like the kid at the party who rehearsed their cultural references to look cool, a brand needs to be itself when engaging with customers or it will reek of inauthenticity and eventually fall apart. disgrace.

If you draw a triangle between the three factors that make a dtc brand strong, in one corner you will have the cultural moment, in this case the meme universe of fast food primarily aimed at young men. In the next corner, you’ll have revenue goals that you’ll hit with CTAs that drive sales, and then there’s the third corner.

The third corner of the DTC brand triangle is the intersection of the deeper cultural and social meaning of your brand and the product. This is where you want to explore the meaning and motivations in your target audience’s life.

Here are some things to consider:

  • What are the cultural stories behind a food occasion, dress ritual or home decor products etc. that you propose ? Where are we now and how do you build on that history or add a new element that reflects current tastes and social mores?

  • What authentic truth about the occasion surrounding brand involvement intersects with the founder’s story, mission, corporate culture, or creative process?

More and more, people are buying with their conscience, their values ​​and a new level of self-acceptance. Examine the deeper dynamics of identity politics and culture to create an intimate, lasting, and human connection.

A popular and crucial social strategy approach has been to inform, entertain, or educate in every position. Very good advice. Unfortunately, it’s easy to do this without any real depth and fizzle in noise. Find the emotional clicks that are fundamental to your brand’s purpose, your product, and your audience’s culture. The fundamental truth that will not only get your audience to share your hilarity or emotion, but also connect them to your business and why they should buy from you.

Before posting another Tik Tok impersonator, approach your value proposition and business elements from a place of curiosity and humanity. This is where you’ll begin to build a real, lasting narrative that you can slowly unfold across social media and across all marketing touchpoints. You can create a content plan that evolves over time and will build on your brand strategy.

With the particular brand I’m referring to, there was already an organic community and cultural meaning to the brand, but it was underutilized. There are several examples, but the one I will use here is Sunday dinner, an occasion where the family sits around the table once a week, without phoning, and several generations or “friendly families” come together. More than a meal offering, Sunday Supper has been a cultural anchor for the community throughout history. I was able to find dozens of strong stories about Sunday dinner that we could own that reinforced our authenticity. Nothing fabricated or nailed down. The lesson is that you can be authentic – and sell a family meal.

The 80/20 rule states that 80% of your content should be branded content, that mix of cultural depth and brand, punctuated by the remaining 20%: sales “moments”, but the mix of brand and performance is more of an art than a science. If you focus on creating interactions that play to culture, brand importance, and sales in a natural and organic way, where the cadence is interdependent and has a rhythmic flow, you’ll end up with a narrative. rather than with quick, rambling one-offs.

In the end, it’s definitely worth putting in the work and finding out what the best stories are. Don’t be afraid to scratch below the surface and take that first step. Be bold in your brand belief and let curiosity guide you to new intersections between your brand value and the world we live in!

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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