Find out how to use the SOSTAC® planning mannequin and the RACE Framework

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Advertising plan integrating the RACE Framework alongside PR Smith’s SOSTAC® planning mannequin

Given the more and more omnichannel nature of promoting right now, making use of an efficient, data-driven strategy to your advertising technique is extra vital than ever. However it may be troublesome discovering a construction that works in your crew and integrates your aims throughout your clients’ journeys. That is the place SOSTAC® and the RACE Framework are available.

For entrepreneurs trying to quickly develop their companies by an insights-driven, environment friendly and streamlined advertising technique, we suggest using the Sensible Insights RACE framework to get began. This in style construction allows advertising managers and groups to critically consider every stage of their advertising funnels throughout the shopper lifecycle of Plan – Attain – Act – Convert – and Have interaction.

SOSTAC® is one other extensively used instrument for advertising and enterprise planning.  The positioning of the SOSTAC® planning mannequin divides up the shut working that agile digital entrepreneurs search to create between goal setting, state of affairs, and management. That is the place the RACE Framework, which integrates knowledge all through the planning course of, is available in.

The SOSTAC® planning mannequin, which walks by the method of making and executing a advertising plan, encourages knowledge from the management stage of earlier advertising plans to be fed again into future situational evaluation. Via this outlined construction, strategists and planners utilizing this mannequin will at all times inform their future aims with current learnings. Furthermore, each fashions provide precious insights for utilizing knowledge in advertising technique planning right now.

On this publish, I give an instance of how I’ve utilized PR Smith’s SOSTAC® Planning Mannequin – which is my interpretation of SOSTAC®, alongside the RACE Framework.

For those who’re searching for new advertising options instruments to streamline your advertising actions and increase your efficiency, do you know Sensible Insights gives advertising instruments and templates, built-in throughout the RACE Framework, to help at each degree? Begin your journey right now.

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What’s the RACE Framework?

The favored RACE Framework has been a strategic jumping-board for entrepreneurs and managers to quickly assessment and adapt their advertising methods since 2010. By implementing real-time buyer knowledge alongside the newest traits and improvements, entrepreneurs can confidently plan, handle, and optimize their buyer journies.

The 5-step RACE Framework empowers digital leaders and newbies to trace and measure their key buyer touchpoints and shortly determine alternatives to construct on their current methods and ways to enhance their outcomes and speed up their ROI.

Omnichannel Marketing funnel

What’s SOSTAC®?

Created within the Nineties by author and speaker PR Smith, the SOSTAC® framework has constructed an authoritative status because the framework of selection for various scales of enterprise together with multinational and start-up organizations internationally.

The SOSTAC® course of covers six key areas. We are going to talk about every of those areas in depth, and apply the RACE Framework to seek out out extra.

  • State of affairs Evaluation
  • Aims
  • Technique
  • Techniques
  • Motion
  • Management

Multichannel advertising progress

For those who’re searching for a visible instance, the method for creating a digital advertising plan has additionally been summarised on this Multichannel Advertising Plan infographic. My suggestions cowl many of those planning and administration actions, however not all, resulting from area.

SOSTAC RACE Multichannel marketing growth wheel

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Stage 1. SOSTAC® State of affairs Evaluation

Stage 1 of implementing your SOSTAC® planning framework is setting out the state of affairs evaluation. The state of affairs ought to present an summary of your group – who you’re, what you do, and the way you work together and commerce on-line by addressing inside and exterior components impacting the enterprise.

This part ought to be portray an image of your group and to do that, think about using a number of the following strategies to convey this part to life:

  1. Who your digital clients presently are (how do they work together with the model, the platform/s used, demographic breakdown.
  2. SWOT evaluation – what are the strengths, weaknesses, alternatives, and threats to the entire group.
  3. Competitor evaluation – who’re your rivals? How do they compete? e.g. worth, product, customer support, status, what are their key differentiators?.
  4. Digital channels panorama. record out all the varied digital channels used and the success of every in your group – what’s performing nicely or not?.

Under I’ve gone right into a bit extra element for just a few of those areas:

Digital Clients

An evaluation of who your digital viewers is ought to be outlined in a piece. That is important to make sure you’re offering a transparent image of current clients and who you wish to additionally goal. For those who’re working in a aggressive surroundings, think about together with what your on-line worth proposition (OVP) is ought to you’ve one?

For instance, how do you envision your group to distinguish itself from the competitors? To assist outline your organizations OVP, David Chaffey recommends the 6Cs of buyer motivation framework.

Clients Personas

Creating buyer personas helps brings to life who your current clients are and what their motivations are. Persona creation additionally helps to get buy-in throughout your group in serving to to color an image and produce to life your buyer profiles. To create a collection of personas, a majority of this work may be accomplished by extracting current knowledge by your CRM system and analytics after which construct on this to create a profile image of your current clients.

For an e-commerce retailer, info you can think about extracting out of your CRM might embody:

  • Male/Feminine Cut up – What’s the share cut up?
  • Age profiling – Common age in addition to with the ability to develop classes of age groupings
  • Location/Handle particulars – Proportion of consumers who reside within the UK in addition to abroad
  • Buy historical past – Construct up a clearer image on historic purchases, common order worth, traits in model loyalty, merchandise ordered by measurement
  • Methodology of buy (e.g. bank card, debit card, cheque)
  • Route to buy – Have been purchases made by a search engine, e-mail e-newsletter, affiliate web site, direct from the positioning or by the decision middle, i.e. Blended-mode
  • Frequency/Recency – Frequency of buy?

Primarily based on this knowledge, the following stage is to show this knowledge into extra of a persona that your group can relate to. For instance, I’ve created 2 x personas for a fictional on-line retailer:

Persona A:

Steve is a 28 yr outdated skilled, renting in London, single and with a excessive disposable earnings. He has a eager curiosity in soccer and helps a premiership soccer crew. He likes to show his help for his soccer membership yearly, shopping for the golf equipment newest reproduction shirt on-line.

Steve is snug in ordering on-line and interesting with social media to maintain updated with the newest soccer information and soccer product launches. Because the World Cup gives the possibility to showcase worldwide reproduction shirts, this gives Firm X with the possibility to interact with Steve to make a further buy of a world reproduction shirt in addition to buying his favourite membership shirt.


Steve has been studying the newest information tales relating to the World Cup by his favourite soccer weblog web site. Steve notices the weblog has an unique promotion to order any World Cup soccer shirt of your selection from Firm X and save 10% by clicking on a hyperlink to Steve clicks on the hyperlink and arrives at Firm X which brings up a listing of World Cup shirts obtainable to order displaying the unique 10% low cost promotion. Steve chooses the shirt of his selection in his most well-liked shirt measurement and completes a transaction utilizing his bank card.

Persona B:

Clare is a 33 yr outdated skilled who’s in a relationship. She likes to maintain up with the newest style traits and is snug in ordering at her favourite on-line store. Her boyfriend is a eager soccer fan who likes to maintain up with soccer style by buying the newest soccer reproduction shirts of his favourite crew. Clare might interact with the hype of the World Cup and this might present a possibility for her to make and buy at Firm X for her boyfriend and the Worldwide crew they select to help through the event.


Clare has acquired an e-mail from considered one of her most well-liked on-line retailers which features a cross-marketing promotion to Firm X, the place you’ll be able to order your World cup shirt by quoting a promotional code. Clare thinks this may make a fantastic reward for her companion and decides to click on by to She is not sure of the crew and shirt to order so she decides to telephone the order helpline and reap the benefits of mixed-mode shopping for. Clare explains her state of affairs over the telephone to the gross sales advisor and locations her order over the telephone for the soccer shirt.

You may see extra examples and steering within the Sensible Insights Persona Toolkit.

SWOT evaluation

It’s price contemplating making a SWOT evaluation of your group, considering laterally by embracing all of your inside departments quite than simply specializing in the digital advertising division and gathering proof and interviews in your colleagues, suppliers, buyer’s ideas.

Not solely will it present a greater image to put out a method in your organisation as an entire but it surely additionally gives you with the chance to interview and construct relationships throughout the organisation.

Dave Chaffey has examples of a advertising SWOT examples in his publish the place he recommends the TOWs matrix technique to hyperlink the SWOT ahead to methods.

Stage 2. Aims

Stage 2 of your digital advertising planning framework ought to concentrate on the target/s of your technique. Stage 1 regarded on the state of affairs evaluation which supplied an summary in your group, particularly: who you’re, what you do, and the way you work together and commerce on-line by addressing inside and exterior components impacting your small business.

To assist create your aims, I like to recommend you employ two guides to assist to create each measurable and life like targets to realize in your digital advertising technique, specializing in the 5 S’s and guaranteeing you make every goal SMART.

5S Objective SettingThe 5 Ss targets check with Promote, Serve, Converse, Save and Sizzle which have been created by PR Smith and the idea first revealed it in varied on-line e-learning packages and reference may also be discovered within the e book, Emarketing Excellence. From defining your aims referring to the 5 S’s to make it measurable, it is very important flip every goal into SMART aims, which stands for:

  • Particular – Are you focusing sufficient on a selected challenge or problem throughout the group?
  • Measurable – How do you intend to evaluate the efficiency? Will or not it’s monitored by quantitative or qualitative evaluation for instance?
  • Actionable – Will it help in enhancing efficiency if achieved?
  • Related – Is the problem to be addressed throughout the area of the digital advertising crew?
  • Time-related – Have you ever set a selected time interval?.

There are a number of completely different SMART aims that may be set for instance, lead era, acquisition or engagement, or retention. For instance, if we revisit the fictional on-line retailer, we are able to create the next aims which have been created to comply with the SMART method:

  • Goal 1. Engagement: Obtain 50% of current clients to service their on-line accounts by July 2015.
  • Goal 2. Acquisition: Enhance model visibility from April 2015 by to July 2015. To be measured by Google analytics.
  • Goal 3. Engagement: Enhance e-mail frequency from one e-mail per quarter to 1 e-mail per week from Might 2015 by to July 2015.

Stage 3. Technique

Technique means how do you intend to get there when it comes to fulfilling the aims set. The technique part also needs to determine which segments of the market you goal to focus on along with your plan.

We’ve got already recognized Firm X can be specializing in its key strengths: product vary, organizational construction, and international operations (as detailed within the SWOT evaluation) while remaining life like to its lack of economic assets compared to the competitors.

It is strongly recommended Firm X develop a web site geared for the World Cup which is able to present a devoted part used to service the shopper base and to satisfy and repair the aims set for the technique. The location will act as a key differentiator from the competitors and a purpose to go to and perform a transaction. The technique can be to outflank rivals to seize market share for world cup on-line site visitors.

To summarise the Aims set, particular questions have additionally been raised beneath to be thought of throughout the technique:

Enhance model visibility from April 2015 by to July 2015. To be measured by Google analytics. Enhance the model presence inside recognized on-line channels that concentrate on the soccer fan viewers. What’s the most cost-effective path to market? Are we reaching our key buyer segments? The place can the model title get elevated publicity? Analysis our rivals and perceive what on-line advertising instruments they’re utilizing in addition to not using and take a first-mover benefit.

Obtain 50% of current clients to service their on-line accounts by July 2015. Perceive our current buyer database and the way they work together with the web site.

Enhance e-mail frequency from one e-mail per quarter to 1 e-mail per week from Might 2015 by to July 2015. How is the corporate presently speaking with its current buyer database? Which of our rivals have applied communication with their clients?

We have advertising instruments and templates designed to get you arrange utilizing the RACE Framework to plan, handle, and optimize your advertising, and drive the outcomes you want.

All our advertising options are built-in throughout the RACE Framework, so that you may be assured that your buyer touchpoints are aligned and dealing effectively to fill your advertising funnel.

Stage 4. Techniques

Techniques cowl the particular instruments of the digital combine that you just plan to make use of to appreciate the aims of your digital advertising plan. The technique part also needs to determine which segments of the market you goal to focus on along with your plan.

We’ve got already recognized Firm X can be specializing in its key strengths: product vary, organizational construction, and international operations (as detailed within the SWOT evaluation) while remaining life like to its lack of economic assets compared to the competitors.

It is strongly recommended Firm X develop a microsite geared for the World Cup which is able to present a devoted part used to service the shopper base and to satisfy and repair the aims set for the technique. Competitor analysis was accomplished in stage 1, state of affairs evaluation, and a microsite will act as a key differentiator from the competitors and supply the inspiration to assembly the aims of the technique.

Advertising combine to focus in your aims

To assist obtain the aims above, use the 7PS of the Advertising Combine to concentrate on the important thing attributes to be thought of by Firm X to satisfy your aims. The advertising combine additionally gives a guidelines of key areas to concentrate on:

Product – Firm X enjoys international accreditation with the main sports activities producers. It, subsequently, wants to make sure enough inventory ranges have been secured for every crew taking part in on the World Cup finals.

Value – Assessment the pricing of World Cup merchandise and to make sure it’s in step with on-line rivals.

Place – Working as a web-based retailer, this gives the primary hub for all inventory actions using courier corporations to extend effectivity in delivering inventory to the shopper within the quickest time doable.

Promotion – Can make the most of a lot of its on-line advertising instruments obtainable to make the most of its effectiveness in selling the product vary to create a novel promoting level (USP):

  • E mail advertising: Via previous buy historical past, arrange focused emails to ship to current clients based mostly on the crew they help. Drive team-specific promotions inside every e-mail e.g. Purchase One Get One Free merchandise, distinctive reductions on product traces. Additionally push refer a pal emails with incentive e.g. Ship this e-mail to 5 of your mates and in the event that they register you get a 15% low cost off your subsequent order.
  • On-line voucher codes: Arrange voucher codes that provide a ten% low cost which is time particular to supply reporting (e.g. does the voucher embody an expiry date).
  • Social Media: Utilise the corporate accounts to interact with different soccer information accounts and supply info on the newest World Cup merchandise and promotions.

Folks – Utilise the customer support crew to interact with clients ought to or not it’s wanted to supply help for patrons who wish to reply questions on supply of their order, monitoring their order. Introduce Dwell Chat to permit current and new clients to interact with employees.

Course of – The client can be directed to the web site by a referral or advice. Find the product of curiosity and add to the procuring basket. Register your particulars on-line and add your bank card particulars to finish the acquisition. The client will then obtain an automatic e-mail response to substantiate their registration together with an e-mail to substantiate the order. A separate e-mail can be despatched to inform the shopper when the order has been despatched.

Partnerships – Checklist vital strategic relationships with different corporations that function in non-competing sectors which have develop into an vital promoting level to distinguish itself from different on-line rivals.

Advertising ways

When finishing your technique, you’d be going into much more element for every tactic together with particular KPIs for every tactic

Tactic 1: search engine optimisation

From the competitor evaluation, one of many key weaknesses of Firm X over its rivals was an absence of economic muscle. Nonetheless, search engine optimisation does present the corporate with a platform to compete head-on, particularly, Search Engine Optimisation.

To grasp what a constructive impression search engine optimisation would provide when it comes to growing model visibility for this goal market, a key phrase evaluation ought to be carried out, particularly on the Google UK market since ~90% of all searches in lots of markets are performed by Google

Tactic 2: Pay-Per-Click on

As with search engine optimisation, the key phrase analysis will present a basis on what key phrases to focus on with a price range. A lot of the competitors doesn’t function a PPC marketing campaign, subsequently that is an space to capitalize on, by constructing site visitors to the World Cup web site in addition to growing model visibility.

As with search engine optimisation, there can be an ongoing refinement of key phrases to focus on in addition to price range to allocate per key phrase. As a consequence of inventory fluctuations, key phrase budgets will should be paused or activated based mostly on inventory volumes and demand for the product.

Tactic 3: Affiliate Advertising

An economical car in driving model visibility for Firm X is the launch of a program. Constructing your internet affiliate marketing community is a central part to make sure you’re maximizing alternatives in producing incremental income streams by a community of publishers which are lively inside your program both by lead era, show, search, or voucher codes.

Tactic 4: E mail Advertising

An e-mail technique must be applied to make sure our current buyer base is receiving common newsletters. Techniques to be employed embody a variation on what ought to be included throughout the content material of the newsletters to make sure we retain an excellent click-through price, open price, and conversion to sale. This tactic can be to make the most of the present buyer database and incentivize them to recruit pals and colleagues to hitch the mailing record by weekly campaigns.

Stage 5. Motion

Stage 5 of your digital advertising planning framework is targeted on the right way to convey your plan to life, to make actionable measures.

The motion part covers what must be achieved for every of the ways listed within the earlier part of the SOSTAC® plan to appreciate the aims of your digital advertising plan.

Case Examine to point out the ways used

Persevering with with the theme of the soccer World Cup, now we have recognized Firm X can be specializing in its key strengths: product vary, organizational construction, and international operations (as detailed within the SWOT evaluation) while remaining life like to its lack of economic assets compared to the competitors.

For this case examine, the next ways have been listed and beneath every tactic, actions have been included to make sure every has been thought of earlier than launch. This isn’t an exhaustive record however gives a top level view to what ought to be thought of:

Key phrase evaluation – What key phrases are we concentrating on?

On-page optimization – Of the focused key phrases, we have to optimize the web site pages of the microsite to make sure the most effective rankings inside Google.

Content materialFiguring out and reaching out to industry-leading bloggers, boards and web sites ready to create visitor content material and construct a relationship to propel your model’s proposition across the World Cup.

Hyperlink constructing – Carry collectively a focused group of internet sites to focus on with related key phrases and are seen as excessive authority websites.

Key phrase evaluation – What key phrases are we concentrating on?

Funds – What price range has been ring-fenced for PPC?

Touchdown pages – Do the key phrases we’re concentrating on direct clients to the proper webpage.

Product Availability – Are we speaking with our patrons to make sure we’re bidding on key phrases related to merchandise obtainable to buy?

  • Tactic 3: Affiliate Networks

Affiliate Program – What’s the competitors doing? e.g. fee tiers, on-line advertising instruments made obtainable to publishers, quantity of associates.

Enterprise Growth – Have we constructed up a working relationship with the associates program and can they help in figuring out and recruiting key associates to this system.

  • Tactic 4: E mail Advertising

Monitoring/Software program – Is the e-mail software program instrument getting used successfully? Are we monitoring the efficiency of e-mail supply and monitoring e-mail effectiveness comparable to click-through charges, open charges, conversion to sale?

Technique and ways for right now’s entrepreneurs

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Stage 6. Management

The ultimate stage is to put out how you intend to watch and measure your efficiency based mostly on the aims set at stage 2. The ways have been thought of and your management part is offering you with a collection of dashboards tailor-made for every tactic.

Look to set the KPIs per tactic that tie again into the aims set and arrange a weekly/month-to-month set of monitoring dashboards to make sure you are on monitor to satisfy the aims set.

Right here is the place the RACE Framework actually comes into its personal, since we suggest KPIs at every stage of the shopper journey.

Naturally, the best way you measure your attain actions can be completely different to conversion. Planning your advertising actions by RACE lets you anticipate and fill your advertising funnel, or make the mandatory modifications wanted so as to obtain your small business targets.

marketing lifecycle

It is vital to additionally talk your considerations with the broader crew to make sure there’s buy-in to the corporate plan. The extra knowledge it’s a must to again up your technique the higher. That is why we suggest our RACE benchmarking assets to tell your aims and management.

For additional info on PR Smith SOSTAC® planning information, I like to recommend you buy the e book, The SOSTAC® Information To Writing Your Good Digital Advertising Plan or Sensible Insights Professional members can entry it as a part of their assets.

SOSTAC® Observe from PR Smith:

Simon Swan will not be but a registered SOSTAC®  coach/advisor however has been granted permission to make use of SOSTAC® from the registered trademark proprietor, PR Smith. Additional info relating to registered SOSTAC® trainers & consultants is on the market from