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What is SOSTAC?

SOSTAC is a marketing planning model which helps businesses plan marketing strategies or campaigns and implement them. It was first developed by PR Smith in the 1990s and later formalised in his book, Strategic Marketing Communications. SOSTAC is an extension of SWOT analysis, but it takes the process further and focuses more on implementation and communications. The SOSTAC structure is based on a clear logic, which enables better decision making and better marketing plans.

SOSTAC is an acronym for PR Smith’s 6 fundamental parts of marketing:

S: Situation

O: Objectives

S: Strategy

T: Tactics

A: Action

C: Control

Situation – Where is the business now?

The key to a strong SOSTAC is an in-depth situation analysis. Be frank, this will inform the subsequent decisions that are made on strategy and tactics. You can include current performance, customer insight, opportunities and competitor analysis.

Objectives – Where does the business want to be?

These are the goals for the business, and they should be aligned with the overall business goals, not just the marketing goals.

Strategy – How does the business get there?

This is the strategy you are going to put in place to obtain your business objectives. Plan this out step by step. Look at your online audience, who are they, what channels are they using, create customer personas and your online value proposition.

Tactics - What tools does the business need to get there?

What tools are you currently using? What tools do you need to develop and what new tools do you need? Research the digital marketing channels – where best are you able to get in front of your customers? Is it social, PPC, content, blogging etc?

Action – The action plan

The actual marketing schedule, who exactly is doing what task, and when exactly are they doing it. A marketing schedule really helps for this. It is worth assessing if you have the skills required for this in house, or you need to look at external help (Hi, nice to meet you, we are digital88!)

Control – How does your business monitor and assess performance

Identify the key performance indicators for each tactic and how it contributes to each objective. How often are you going to report on the performance of this, and what exactly are you going to report on to measure performance?

SOSTAC is one of the more popular marketing planning tools, it is quite simple, easy to use and effective. We hope this helps with the planning of your digital marketing, as ever if you have any questions feel free to get in touch!

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