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SOSTAC is a marketing model developed by PR Smith in the 1990s [1][2][3] and later formalized in his 1998 book Marketing Communications,[1] the subsequent series of SOSTAC Guides to your Perfect Plan (2011)[4] and the SOSTAC Guide to your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan (2020).[5]

It is an acronym for Smith's six fundamental facets of marketing: situation, objectives, strategy, tactics, action and control.[6]

SOSTAC contains a general marketing strategy which can be applied in various commercial situations.[7][8] It includes an in-depth SWOT analysis, which helps businesses get ready for marketing campaigns; the main difference is that SOSTAC also focuses on the implementation stages of the process,[9] on marketing communications[10] and now, digital marketing.

The structure of SOSTAC is a simple logic that builds on an in-depth Situation Analysis which informs subsequent decisions made about strategy and tactics. Its logic can enable better decision making and therefore better plans .

Marketing experts have adapted SOSTAC to a number of specific situations, including direct marketing[7] and electronic marketing.[11] The steps in the process have also been adapted to the development of internet security systems[12] and company business plans.[13]

Steps in SOSTAC

  • Situation assesses where a business is presently (where are you now?).
  • Objectives set the mission or goals for the business (where do you want to be?).
  • Strategy is an overview of how to achieve the objectives (how do you get there?).
  • Tactics are the details of strategy (e.g. the marketing mix) (how exactly do we get there?)
  • Actions how do you ensure excellent execution of the plan. (what is our plan?)
  • Control establishes how you know whether you are getting there (what do you monitor?).[14][10]


  1. ^ a b Smith, PR (1998). Marketing Communications - an integrated approach (2nd ed.). London: Kogan Page. ASIN 0749436697.
  2. ^ Steve Bax; Paul Woodhouse (3 July 2013). Cambridge Marketing Handbook: Communications. Kogan Page. pp. 69–. ISBN 978-0-7494-7062-3.
  3. ^ Ozuem, Wilson (2 February 2016). Competitive Social Media Marketing Strategies. IGI Global. pp. 5–. ISBN 978-1-4666-9777-5.
  4. ^ Smith, PR (2011). SOSTAC Guide to writing the Perfect Marketing Plan. Amazon self-publishing.
  5. ^ Smith, PR (2020). SOSTAC Guide to your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan. ASIN 0956106862.
  6. ^ Chris Fill (2002). Marketing Communications: Contexts, Strategies, and Applications. Financial Time Prentice Hall. p. 301. ISBN 978-0-273-65500-8.
  7. ^ a b Roddy Mullin (2002). Direct Marketing: A Step-by-step Guide to Effective Planning and Targeting. Kogan Page Publishers. pp. 40–. ISBN 978-0-7494-3677-3.
  8. ^ "Planning For SEO Success In 2016". Search Engine Land, Marcus Miller, December 28, 2015
  9. ^ John Hawkey (2002). Exit Strategy Planning: Grooming Your Business for Sale Or Succession. Gower Publishing, Ltd. pp. 74–. ISBN 978-0-566-08498-0.
  10. ^ a b Joan Van Tassel (10 September 2012). Managing Electronic Media: Making, Moving and Marketing Digital Content. CRC Press. pp. 208–. ISBN 978-1-136-03162-5.
  11. ^ Michael Baker; Susan Hart (10 September 2008). The Marketing Book. Routledge. pp. 507–. ISBN 978-1-136-35684-1.
  12. ^ "How to Use SOSTAC to Build Your Security Strategy". Business2Community, by Venkat Pothamsetty May 1, 2016
  13. ^ "How to assemble an effective digital marketing plan for your business". Business in Vancouver, May 12, 2015 Cyri Jones and Ivan Surjanovic
  14. ^ Sascha Kurth (28 January 2011). Molson Coors to launch "clear beer for women": Campaign Planning and Development Individual Assignment. GRIN Verlag. pp. 2–. ISBN 978-3-640-81303-2.