SOSTAC (Situation, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Actions, Control)

One Line Summary of SOSTAC

SOSTAC is a comprehensive marketing framework that provides a structured approach for planning and executing effective marketing strategies by focusing on Situation Analysis, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Actions, and Control.

Why Is SOSTAC Important?

SOSTAC allows businesses to create well-organized and systematic marketing plans that facilitate the achievement of their goals by ensuring they thoroughly analyze their current situation, set clear objectives, devise informed strategies, execute tactics, implement actions, and measure performance through control mechanisms.

Detailed Explanation of SOSTAC

Situation Analysis

The first step in the SOSTAC framework is to conduct a Situation Analysis, which involves assessing the current state of the business, its market environment, and any internal and external factors that may impact its performance. This can be done through various analytical tools such as SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal, Environmental) analysis, and competitor analysis. Understanding the current situation enables a business to identify areas for improvement and capitalize on opportunities for growth.


After analyzing the situation, the next step is to establish clear and measurable Objectives. These objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) to ensure that they are realistic, focused, and time-sensitive. Objectives should align with the overall business goals and can include increasing brand awareness, driving sales, or improving customer satisfaction.


Strategy involves formulating the overall approach that the business will use to achieve its objectives. It provides a roadmap and guidelines for decision-making, resource allocation, and the prioritization of marketing efforts. Strategies can be centered around various aspects of marketing such as segmentation, targeting, positioning, and differentiation. A well-defined strategy is crucial for ensuring that marketing efforts are coherent and aligned with the business’s objectives.


Tactics refer to the specific marketing activities and tools that the business will use to execute its strategy. These can include advertising, public relations, content marketing, social media, search engine optimization, email marketing, and more. Tactics should be selected based on their effectiveness and relevance to the target audience and the specific objectives the business wants to achieve.


Actions are the concrete steps that need to be taken to implement the chosen tactics effectively. This stage involves creating detailed action plans that outline the specific tasks, responsibilities, resources, and timelines required to execute each tactic. Actions should be closely monitored and adjusted as needed to ensure that they are on track to achieve the marketing objectives.


The final stage in the SOSTAC framework is Control, which involves monitoring and measuring the performance of marketing efforts against the set objectives. This can be done through key performance indicators (KPIs), metrics, and analytics tools. By regularly reviewing and evaluating the effectiveness of marketing activities, businesses can identify areas for improvement, adjust their strategies as needed, and make data-driven decisions to optimize their marketing performance.

How to Use SOSTAC in Marketing?

To apply the SOSTAC framework in marketing, follow these steps:

  1. Conduct a Situation Analysis: Start by gathering data on your business, industry, competitors, and target audience. Use tools like SWOT and PESTLE analysis to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, as well as the external factors affecting your market.
  2. Establish SMART Objectives: Based on your situation analysis, set clear and measurable objectives for your marketing efforts. Ensure they are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, and align with your overall business goals.
  3. Develop a Strategy: Formulate a high-level approach to achieve your objectives by considering aspects such as segmentation, targeting, positioning, and differentiation. Make sure your strategy provides a coherent framework for guiding decision-making and resource allocation.
  4. Select Tactics: Choose the specific marketing activities and tools that will help you implement your strategy effectively. Consider factors such as your target audience, budget, and objectives when selecting tactics.
  5. Create Action Plans: Develop detailed plans for each tactic, outlining tasks, responsibilities, resources, and timelines. Ensure your action plans are aligned with your strategy and objectives.
  6. Monitor and Control: Set up key performance indicators (KPIs), metrics, and analytics tools to track the performance of your marketing efforts. Regularly review and evaluate your marketing activities to identify areas for improvement and optimize your marketing performance.

Further Reading Materials

To deepen your understanding of the SOSTAC framework and learn more about marketing planning, consider the following resources:

  1. SOSTAC(r) Guide To Your Perfect Digital Marketing Plan: Written by PR Smith, the creator of the SOSTAC framework, this book offers a comprehensive guide on applying the SOSTAC model to digital marketing planning. It includes case studies, practical examples, and templates for various industries.
  2. Marketing Strategy and Competitive Positioning: Authored by Graham Hooley, Nigel Piercy, and Brigitte Nicoulaud, this book provides insights into marketing strategy formulation, implementation, and monitoring. It covers key concepts such as segmentation, targeting, positioning, and competitive advantage.
  3. Digital Marketing Excellence: Planning, Optimizing and Integrating Online Marketing: Written by Dave Chaffey and PR Smith, this book is an excellent resource for understanding digital marketing planning and integrating the SOSTAC framework into online marketing efforts.
  4. Kotler on Marketing: How to Create, Win, and Dominate Markets: Authored by Philip Kotler, a renowned marketing expert, this book provides valuable insights into various aspects of marketing, including planning, strategy, tactics, and control.

By exploring these resources, you can gain a deeper understanding of the SOSTAC framework, learn how to apply it effectively in marketing planning, and discover best practices for developing and implementing successful marketing strategies.