Digital Marketing Plans; SOSTAC®

Netmatters Ltd
Posted by Netmatters Ltd
10th August 2015

What is SOSTAC®?

SOSTAC® is a digital marketing planning model that was created in the 1990’s by PR Smith, and it is one of the most developed, effective digital marketing plans in the business world of today. SOSTAC® stands for Situation, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Actions and Control. Each letter in the acronym represents a different piece of the digital marketing plan.

  • Situation – Where are you and your business at right now?
  • Objectives – Where do you want to be at the end of this plan?
  • Strategy – How long is it going to take to get there, and how? (Are looking at the bigger picture here.)
  • Tactics – How are we going to get there? (This is looking more small scale, at the very specifics of your campaign.)
  • Actions – who within the business is going to do what, and when are they going to do this?
  • Control – How are we going to track, control and finally develop the progress made?

Those are the basic aspects to the model, and you can create a digital marketing plan based on this model quite quickly. This plan also relies heavily on you being able to be completely honest with yourself, and setting an ambitious, yet achievable goal. If you set your small business the goal of being bigger than Microsoft by the end of the year then realistically this plan is not going to assist you.

Each element of the plan is vital, and each is as important as the last. As stated above it is very important that you are realistic with your goals, as some businesses set up a model based around this template and fill in some great goals, but then fall short on how they are actually going to achieve them. All aspects of the plan need to be created in equal detail, and you have to try and be sure that all of your different elements fit together as nicely as possible.

Why is SOSTAC useful?

SOSTAC® is useful because it allows you to create an easy to follow digital marketing model that not only allows you to set clear, concise goals, but also allows you to track your progress and predict whether you are going to achieve those goals or not. With each stage in the cycle comes a multitude of critical questions that give you the best possible chance at achieving your goals, with digital marketing plans knowledge is power.

SOSTAC® is not actually an unnatural plan, and you may find that many of the questions that the plan asks you were already asking yourself, but with SOSTAC® you may find yourself implementing them wider throughout your plan and then keeps you on track throughout your plan. The plan makes keeping track of all those important questions at the same time as running your business that much easier.

Is creating a SOSTAC difficult?

Creating a digital marketing plan with SOSTAC® is easier than you might at first think, and the general functions of the plan do not differ hugely from that of most other digital marketing plans. What this specific digital marketing plan does is take every single aspect of your business into account, and gives you the best possible chance to achieve your end goals. SOSTAC® gives you a clear and concise outline that ensures you do not go off course in your campaign, which is easy in today’s ever advancing marketing space.

When creating a SOSTAC® plan there are three main points that need to be thought about in detail, and these are the three M’s.

  • Men – this meaning your employee base, what are the expertise and abilities of your employees? Can they do the job?
  • Money – do you have the money to drive, and successfully complete this campaign?
  • Minutes – do you have enough time to complete the tasks within the deadline you’ve set?

If you build these points into your SOSTAC plan then you are on your way to having a successful campaign.

Who is SOSTAC® for?

SOSTAC® is for anyone, it does not matter if you are just beginning your campaign and are new to marketing, or if you have been driving a campaign for years SOSTAC® still applies to help you succeed your marketing objectives. If you have been running a campaign for a while already, but do not have a plan then you can benefit strongly from implementing SOSTAC® into your marketing model, and you will find yourself having much more ability to monitor the performance of your marketing campaigns.

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