6 Elements That Make Planning a Breeze!

I recently was introduced to a wonderful template tool that aids in developing marketing communication plans. This tool was developed in the 1990’s by Paul R. Smith and is called the SOSTAC model, which is actually an acronym for the 6 components needing analysis. I’m currently utilizing this tool in a course I’m taking and have found it truly helpful in organizing my thoughts. I also find that it helps in ensuring that I don’t leave out any critical aspects to my analysis.

So how about I take you through a detailed description of each abbreviated letter and the components required for analysis… Okay? Okay!

The Nitty Gritty

S is for Situational Analysis

This element of the SOSTAC model requires the individual to look at the current situation in detail. This varies depending on the topic at hand. In terms of a marketing plan, one would consider information such as the current source of revenues, existing competitors, and any processes and policies that are in place.

O is for Objectives

The Objectives element is fairly straightforward in the sense that the individual must put in to words concrete goals that are desired.

S is for Strategy

Strategy is one of the most important components of the SOSTAC model; it’s the meat of the meal. This deals with the overall means for getting to the desired objectives. It is likely that this section of the analysis (along with the next) will be the most time consuming.

T is for Tactics

The element of Tactic ties in with Strategy, as it better outlines what particular moves need to be made to carry on the defined strategy. Here we define what tools will be utilized.

A is for Action

After figuring out what we want to do and how we are going to do it, it’s a given that we need to define who is going be the one responsible for getting it done. Assigning tasks, roles and responsibilities is the basis for this section.

C is for Control

After all is said and done, we need to be able to measure how success our plan was in the first place. That’s where the element of Control comes in. Here we define how we will measure success, through the utilization of various metrics.

Illustrating the SOSTAC Model

Now that you have a basic understanding of the components, take a look at this diagram that illustrates the common way in which to present a SOSTAC model.

Adjacent to each element, place each of your associative bullet points.By utilizing this way of organizing your SOSTAC model, you create a standardized, self-explanatory outline of your plan.

You can use this model for more than developing a marketing plan. In fact, you can use it for various types of plans, whether it aid in your professional or personal development .If you’ve found yourself able to give a detailed perspective of each of these categories, then you will have produced a great analysis on whatever topic you desire. I hope you all find this tool as useful as I did… Happy planning!


Adams, B. (2011, June 22). SEO within the SOSTAC® strategy framework. Retrieved March 11, 2012, from State of Search: http://www.stateofsearch.com/seo-within-the-sostac-strategy-framework/

Business Services Agency Ltd. (2012). Developing a Marketing Communciations Plan using the SOSTAC Model: Planning Guide. Retrieved March 11, 2012, from BSA Marketing: http://www.bsamarketing.com/downloads/sostac.pdf

Predrag Putic. (2007). Chess Pieces Image. Retrieved March 11, 2012, from Canadian Chess Academy: http://www3.webng.com/chessteacherno1/

Smith, P. R. (2009). SOSTAC® Planning System. Retrieved March 11, 2012, from Paul R. Smith: http://www.prsmith.org/sostac.html


2 responses to “6 Elements That Make Planning a Breeze!

  1. cool. useful info. thanks

  2. Great summary Lisa. SOSTAC is a great starting point for marketing or any type of business planning/project management. Look forward to your team’s presentation today!

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