10 March 2019
What is the SOSTAC model?
The SOSTAC model is a marketing framework that helps you plan your marketing campaigns, acting as a tick-list for best marketing practice. From doing a self-audit of your current situation to understanding how well your plan has succeeded, it’s a comprehensive framework that helps you get the most out of your marketing.
No wonder, then, that we love the SOSTAC model here at Turncoat.
What does SOSTAC stand for?
(Thank heavens for acronyms…)
Situation analysis is one of the most important parts within the SOSTAC model. Before starting any marketing campaign, you need to understand where your business currently lies, how well you’re performing, what’s getting in the way of your success, and what you need to focus on.
The more time you spend analysing your current situation, the more you will understand what you need to do, and the stronger your campaign will be. Whilst it’s tempting to skim this stage and get into the more exciting areas of your campaign, you should invest as much time in this stage as you should in any other.
Determining your campaign objectives is vital as it’s your objectives that inform your content marketing strategy (i.e. what type of content you’re going to push out and over what channels) and helps you measure how well the campaign is going.
So, what are your objectives and how are you going to achieve them? Well, that useful fella, PR Smith, makes it simple yet again – just remember the five Ss:
The five Ss: Sell, Serve, Speak, Save, Sizzle.
- To whom are you selling? Who is your target audience?
- What are you going to serve up to your target audience?
- How will you speak to your audience and stay close to them throughout the campaign?
- What savings (and value) can you provide to your potential customers. And what savings can you make for the coming campaign (such as swapping traditional media budgets for digital; or finding economies of scale cost savings across omni-channel campaigns)?
- And, finally, is your creative sizzling on all cylinders? After all, creativity is what lies at the heart of all good marketing campaigns.
Strategy and Tactics.
Once you’ve worked out where you are and where you want to be, the next stage is working out how you’re going to do it. This is your strategy – your method of achieving headline objectives, and not to be confused with tactics, which work on a granular level.
Think of it like a journey. Your strategy is how you will get to your chosen destination: we’ll travel to London by car and get there in five hours with the help of sat nav and various artery-clogging snacks.
Your tactics are the methods incorporated at various stages to ensure the strategy is successful: we’ll stop off for petrol where it’s cheaper, we’ll switch drivers at halfway so the workload is shared, we’ll throw the sat nav out the window because it keeps directing us to Edinburgh. That kind of thing.
Just remember: your strategy is what you’re going to do, your tactics are how you’re going to do it.
Now is the time to implement your plan. What actions need to be taken, by whom, and when? Have you got all the necessary skills in-house or do you need to freelance people in? What are the key performance measurements and how is the performance recorded?
You need to now review your performance. Did you achieve your goal? How much control did you have over your plan and how it was conducted? What got in the way and why? What are your next steps? Can your analytics shed light on what went right (and thus what should be replicated) and what didn’t work quite so well (and thus what can be avoided)?
The SOSTAC model is a simple way to plan marketing campaigns. It turns a broad aim that, at the beginning, can feel overwhelming – such as, we want to sell more things or we want to raise brand awareness – into an actionable and tangible roadmap that plots out how you’re going to succeed.
So, next time you’re planning a marketing campaign, run it through the SOSTAC model prism and see how you get on. We think you’ll love it as much as we do.