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S1E5 Strategy and Planning Guide: Is the context clear?

Updated: Nov 6, 2023


Context provides essential information about the audience, environment, and circumstances that shape the meaning and impact of your campaign.




For example, if you work for a water company in the UK in 2023, it is impossible to ignore negative consumer perceptions of the category and changing attitudes towards the environment.


Another good example in the UK is the ‘big six’ consumer energy companies, where customer service is universally recognised by consumers as terrible, in a ‘they’re all as bad as each other’ way’. Knowledge of this attitude is essential when planning campaigns and message priorities in the category.


Not considering context has led to massive backfires and unintended consequences of marketing communications. Consider the track record of carbon fuel businesses like Shell over the past decade and their attempts to frame a positive environmental narrative against a wall of consumer mistrust that leads to unwelcome accusations of green-washing that completely undermine the campaign’s original objective (try googling ‘Shell green ad’ if you’d like to explore this subject more).


The main reason to consider context is to make sure there are no elephants in the room and to avoid elephant traps on your way.


Considering different contexts helps you tailor your communications to make it more effective and avoid elephant traps. We look at five areas as part of checking context:


Societal - Are there narratives relevant to your audience and objective?

Market - What’s going on? What is your client’s position?

Competitor - What are your brand's competitors doing that you should consider?

Consumer - Are there sentiments amongst your audience group?

Channel - Are there particular channels you need to consider for your audience?


Once you’re confident in the context surrounding your campaign you can develop an insight.


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