How to use the SOSTAC® Model

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What is the SOSTAC model?

The SOSTAC® Model was first developed by PR Smith in the 1990s and has since been updated in all of his 6 books including the latest SOSTAC® Guide to your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan 2021.

SOSTAC® – An acronym standing for ‘Situational Analysis, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Action and Control’. The model is very useful when analysing your businesses online presence and is also a great framework to use in order to develop and structure your businesses marketing strategy.

Situational Analysis

The Situational Analysis part of the SOSTAC® Model when looking at completing a SOSTAC® Model for your digital marketing. This looks at the current use of Digital marketing platforms and techniques by your company / charity / individual and also analyses the current use of digital marketing and online presence by your competitors.

Situational Analysis includes using many models including:

  • SWOT Analysis
  • Competitor Analysis – PESTLE analysis, Porter’s five forces
  • Current Target Audience / Customers
  • Digital Channels Landscape


The Objectives part of the framework looks at the objectives of the your Digital Marketing campaign you are creating, to be able to check that the Objective is suitable it is recommended that the objective is using the SMART technique (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound) which enables you to create effective objectives for your digital marketing campaign.

An example of a SMART objective is: Increase online reach to millennials by 25% within 24 months


Strategy looks at how you plan to meet the objectives set for the Digital Marketing Campaign, and looks at the following:

  • Reach
  • Acquisition
  • Conversion
  • Engagement

Making sure that you have a strategy for your digital marketing campaign is key as you need to plan what you need to do to help get results from your digital marketing.

In summary this is the RACE Model created by Dave Chaffey – this is a great link to help you with the strategy side!


Tactics looks at the specific digital tools which will be used to meet the objectives of the Digital Marketing campaign. Tactics can include using the following digital tools:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Pay-Per Click (PPC)
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Content Marketing
  • Your website


The Action part of the SOSTAC® Model looks at how you are going to bring the plan to life, the action part also looks at what needs to be achieved for each of the tactics listed in the SOSTAC plan. This enables you to easily plan for your digital marketing for example: what are you going to post on social media? what are you going to do to the website to help improve its performance in search results?


The final part of the SOSTAC® Model looks at how you are going to monitor and measure your performance in order to see if you achieve the objectives you have set. This also looks at KPIs (Key performance indicators) to see how successful your digital marketing campaign has been. This makes sure that you are getting results from the digital marketing campaign that you are running.

Sostac Model - 2021 Book


To find out more information about the SOSTAC® Model and PR Smith please visit –

If you are looking to develop your skills two great courses to learn about the model are the SOSTAC Associate and Certified planner certifications which are available here –

More SOSTAC® resources (including a 3 min video) plus a full online course and certificate

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