“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein

A marketing plan is crucial for implementation, right execution, analysis and control of your strategy or campaign. Many marketing planning models can help and plenty that are can only confuse. Here you can find a shortlist that can help you start but most importantly, when planning your strategy, use your common sense. Models will help you structure your thoughts and remember the important bits but there is no golden rule or model and not always “one fits all”.

My favourite model that I’ve been using for a long time with the great results is SOSTAC® as it covers a wide array of topics and has a good structure. Mix it with RACE and you will have a very comprehensive modelling tool.

  1. SOSTAC®. Designed by PR Smith, still one of my favourites marketing planning models. SOSTAC stands for Situation, Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Actions, Control. Situation(where are we now) – this part should include: brand and commercial goals, current or predicted future performance, customer insight, marketplace opportunities, competitor benchmarking. Objectives (where we want to be) – here you define a vision, align business goals, set SMART objectives, select KPIs, define dashboards. Strategy (how we get there) – this part should include segmentation and targeting, positioning and marketing mix, multichannel experience, engagement and content strategy, contact strategy. Tactics and Actions (what we need to do to get there?) – digital roadmap, 90 days plan, media schedule, editorial calendar, resource allocation. Control (how we monitor performance) – people engagement, process review, reporting platforms, feedback
  2. RACE– Reach (visitors, fans), Act (share, leads), Convert (sales), Engage (repeat, referral)
  3. SWOT– Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Treats, mostly used to analyse product, service or person. Most commonly used in corporations for quick and simple analysis.
  4. PESTLE– Pestle analysis is a little broader analysis of the economical environment. It could be used to analyse the potential environment before the launch of a new product or service, entering a new geographical market (going abroad) or existing product in line of legislation changes. It analyses Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental circumstances.
  5. 4P (7P). Product – should fulfil customer’s needs, Price – should explain positioning and be at the right point where customers are willing to pay (e.g. high street vs luxury), Place – where the product/service will be available, Promotion – advertising, PR, sales promotions, social media etc.. Extended would add People – who is responsible for what, Processes – how the sales are conducted, Physical Evidence – the end product or service, physical, digital or intellectual property.
  6. AIDA– Attention (attract the attention of the customer), Interest (of the customer), Desire (create the need for the product and convince the customer they want it), Action (lead customers to purchase)
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