What is the SOSTAC marketing plan and how could it work for your business?

What is the SOSTAC Marketing Plan?

SOSTAC SUMMARY

SOSTAC is one of the many marketing models that are used by marketers, and we think it’s one of the best.  

Created by marketing consultant PR Smith, SOSTAC is a great way of breaking down your marketing plan into simple, easy to understand parts. This table on the left gives an outline of it:

SOSTAC example




To fully explain it we’re going to use our own tech themed, small coffee chain called Buzz Cafe.

Our logo if you hadn't guessed already is below (lovely isn’t it? You should see our cafes, they’d put Starbucks to shame)

Consumer Insight Example for BuzzCafe

The customer is always right, right? Maybe…maybe not, but they are definitely always important, so we’ll start with getting insights into their lives. 

You can never know too much about your audience, well actually…I digress, as a business owner or marketer you want to be thinking about who exactly your audience is. 

The 5 W’s (and 1 H, please don’t forget the H) is a good place to start. 


SOSTAC analysis 1








These insights can be then be used to create consumer profiles as shown here on the right. 

         SOSTAC analysis 2

SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis is a another great way of understanding your current situation.SWOT stands for:

Strengths 

Weaknesses

Opportunities 

Threats 

On the left is an example of a SWOT analysis for BuzzCafe:

SWOT analysis

To summarise the Situation section of SOSTAC for Buzz Cafe - The coffee shop industry in the UK is booming and the audience profile is highly diverse, there is a lot strong competition, however the market isn’t saturated as of yet, so it’s a great business opportunity, if an effective plan is executed correctly. 


You should spend 20% of your time on this section. 

SOSTAC Objectives

Let’s use the SMART objective model for this section (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Specific) Some of Buzz Cafe’s objectives are: 

Specific - To open up a technology themed, independent coffee shop in East London in a high footfall area within 6 months (minimum of 500,000 people per week). The aim of the first shop is to be profitable within 18 months of opening.

Measurable - Was the shop profitable within 18 months of opening? Is the area you’re in a high footfall area in East London?

Achievable - Yes, due to £3 million in seed funding (ahh if only it was always like this eh?) 

Relevant- Yes, the main point of business if to make a profit and the above goals are directly related to that goal. 

Time Specific - Yes, as there are two clearly time periods. 


You should spend 5% of your time on this section

SOSTAC objectives

SOSTAC Strategy

Examples of two types of marketing strategies for Buzz Cafe are:

Push 

This is where the coffee shop is put in front of consumers via more traditional marketing methods such as:

  • TV adverts
  • Press
  • Online Banners (so 2010)
  • YouTube pre roll adverts. (to skip, or not to skip)
SOSTAC strategy

Pull 

This where consumers seek out the coffee shop due to searching for related topics. 

  • Blog Posts - e.g. on coffee related topics “How coffee is made in 10 steps” “The best coffee blends for concentration” 
  • Native Content - Placed in high traffic online articles. 
  • Videos - Behind the scenes videos e.g. of a “Day in the life” of the coffee shop. Most businesses have a mixture of both, only testing, time and analysis will uncover which combination is best for our coffee shop. 


You should spend 45% of your time on this section

Tactics

This infographic explains a tactic that we call Content Remixing that people like Social Media Guru Gary Vaynerchuck uses to great effect. It’s vital when doing this that the type of content is suited to the environment it’s in. For example, putting just text on Instagram isn’t normally the best action, unless you’re using highly emotive words.


You should spend 30% of your time on this section, Action and Control should be referred to briefly. 

SOSTAC tactics

Action

Who will you hire to help you with your marketing plan? 

For example, do you already have a network of creative professionals (e.g. graphic designers, illustrators, web designers etc.) Do you have to hire a creative agency? What can you do yourself, already? 

What can your business partner/s (if you have any) do themselves, without you having to outsource. Think of this section as a quick review of the tools and systems you have at your disposal. 


SOSTAC action

Control

After all that hard work and creativity, how do you actually know if you’re successful? 

Analytics, that's how. 

Analytics is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as: The systematic computational analysis of data or statistics. Or, in simpler terms using relevant Marketing data to figure out the success/failure or overall performance of something. 

One of the best  marketing tools to use for this section is Google Analytics, it’s free, easy to use and covers a wide range of analytics that you can use to see how your marketing is performing.  

SOSTAC control

For example here at Buzz Cafe another one of our objectives is to have 20% of recipients opening our e-newsletter. 

So the measurement we will focus on here is :

  • Open Rate (the percentage of people that open a broadcast email) 

We also have an objective to have at least 40% of our website visitors come from mobile devices. 

The measurement we'll focus on here is:

  • "Mobile Overview" in Google Analytics which tells us how many people visited our website from mobile and desktop devices. 

A third objective (we have many but we'll only tell you about three, we know your busy) is to have over 50% of website visitors located in the UK. Here we focus on the measurement:

  • "Geo Location" in Google Analytics which tells us where our website visitors are based when they visit our website. 

Thanks for reading, until next time. 

The BuzzRamp Team