Digital media, direct marketing, market influencers, brand positioning – there’s a daunting array of elements and channels available to get your message out there. The temptation is to run at them. But while you may be on-trend with the latest digital communication channels or hitting the widest possible audience are you actually engaging with your customers positively?
Stop take stock – take SOSTAC® One of the Charted Institute of Marketing’s top three models of marketing strategy SOSTAC® principles, developed by business consultant P R Smith enables you to define, develop and implement effective communications to the right people at the right time.
We’ve been applying these principles across our business for some time now but now we’ve taken it a step further; formally integrating it into our business portfolio offering SOSTAC® Certified Planner consultancy. Managing Director Helen Duncan has joined an unique network of professionals who can deliver the principles and structure across a range of business activity.
Here she outlines how developing a strategic and targeted marketing approach can drive your whole business strategy forward.
What is SOSTAC®?
This isn’t simply a tool to organise and plan your marketing and communications actions it creates a marketing plan which is fully integrated to your business plan. It balances in-depth and honest analysis of your current situation and couples it with specific, targeted and resourced actions. It is strategic AND operational.
Situation Analysis – where are we now?
Objectives – where do we want to be?
Strategy – how do we get there?
Tactics – what are the tools we need to get there?
Action – what’s our plan and who does what? – the processes and people required to make things happen.
Control – did we make it? how can we show we did?
It’s an approach that we embed in our work with clients and at every stage of our service from overarching brand strategy projects through to the delivery of specific social media campaigns. Ensuring that you not only have a plan and direction but enabling and providing you with the operational skills and collateral to deliver it.
Foward planning shouldn’t be seen as a luxury, something to be done when the pressures of the day to day have been dealt with because unless you’ve built planning into your business and marketing process you’re not going to get ahead of the fire-fighting.
A time of change, new product launches, or the need to develop new markets are natural pressure points to look at the big picture and that is when business turn to us. But don’t ignore that time of growth. When business is strong it’s easy to be distracted and complacent that what you’re saying and how you’re saying it is working. Without analysis and preparation you could be left exposed to market volatility and become inefficient – chasing opportunities but without focus and not building in contingency should things change.
Review and refine – this is a key facet of our work at FIG and why it’s built into our successful Marketing Partner programme. Regular analysis and review enables rapid reactions and actions – it ensures that you’re not left standing still.
Marketing isn’t a department it’s an approach to business.
By applying the SOSTAC® principles to your wider business model you are optimising that investment in marketing and communications.