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My 3 Fav Marketing Models and How to Use Them

Updated: Jun 23, 2023

A birthday cake with a 3 on top of it

There are so many to choose from that it feels like everyone is making their own models, frameworks, principles, guidelines and concepts to work from. Whatever floats your boat I suppose (even I’ve created my own to help me help others), but with so many – some of which are very similar to the previous 20 or 30 incarnations – I like to focus in on those that have and will stand the test of time (hopefully my BRICK Model will be up there in a few years).

These three are the ones you can rely on to create solid marketing foundations to work from.

There are no real surprises in the three that feature below, but let’s take a look at them anyway and more importantly, how you would apply them practically – the bit that some forget – it’s no good just mentioning these, the application is needed).


1 – SOSTAC® Strategic Marketing Framework (PR Smith)

For me, this is the best Marketing model and framework ever created. It is easy to remember, unlike other acronyms and encompasses all the elements required to build a robust marketing plan in a logical order.

It is not overly complicated and if executed well enough it can define your Marketing planning for years (with a couple of minor alterations along the way to keep up with new trends).

The acronym SOSTAC® is split into six defined areas each designed to take you from understanding where you are and where you want to be (Situation Analysis, Objectives) right through to measuring and monitoring to make sure the Marketing Plan in on course to achieve its main goals (control), with an overarching focus (strategy) and elements that assist in making the strategy work (tactics) which require implementation (action). Each stage is interlinked with the others.

Situation Analysis: Where are we now both internally and externally

Objectives: Where do we want to be, utilising SMART goals

Strategy: How do we intend to get to where we want to be using segmentation, targeting and positioning

Tactics: How will we get there using the marketing mix, channels and content

Action: Who does what and when

Control: Monitoring what we are doing

How can this be applied practically?

SOSTAC® should be used right at the very start of any Marketing Planning, forming the basis of everything you do, other models and concepts can be bolted on but these main titles should be the ones that everything else falls under.

Listen to PR Smith explain each element of SOSTAC as well as some rather interesting uses of this versatile model on this episode of the Marketing Study Lab podcast:


2 – (P)RACE Digital Marketing Planning Framework (Chaffey, 2012)

I had to get a specific Digital Marketing model in here and it is one that is held in high regard and rightly so.

The (P)RACE model (Chaffey, 2012) is a model that helps you to plan a framework for your Digital Marketing activities, from the perspective of a complete customer journey or lifecycle, as this shouldn’t end in a single purchase but pushes the notion that engagement should continue long post-purchase or action.

Each stage is complimented by specific channel requirements and metrics, allowing the model to be monitored through each of its 4 stages.

Plan: Plan, manage and optimize your digital content

Reach: Publish and promote so consumers easily find your content

Act: The content must be worthwhile, engaging with consumers and allowing the to easily make a decision

Convert: The purchase stage – reduced friction for ease of purchase

Engage: Delight customers to promote advocacy and repeat purchases

How can this be applied practically?

Once you have created engaging content in the desired formats you require, be it audio, video, copy or imagery the RACE model allows you to design and continuously monitor each aspect of the customer journey. In doing this it is easy to highlight the areas of your strategy that are not working or the stages of the customer journey that are creating to much friction.

For example, if you use the RACE framework and through analysis see that consumers and landing on your website, but not going on to purchase (Convert), this is the element you need to rework.

Listen to Dave Chaffey talk you through his model in some detail in this episode of the Marketing Study Lab podcast:


3 – The 7 P’s Marketing Mix Principal (McCarthy, 1960)

Sometimes classed as the ‘extended’ marketing mix, after the original 4 P’s were redesigned to include service elements from its original product focus, the 7P’s are easy to implement when creating a competitive strategy.

Traditional Ps

Product: Product development and usage

Price: Pricing structure (not just RRP)

Place: What are the channels of distribution and the supply chain

Promotion: Paid, owned and earned media aimed at the target market

Extended Service Elements

People: What are the skills gaps internally and what specialisms do we need to fulfil a service

Process: Where can efficiencies be made and friction for consumers be reduced

Physical Evidence: Tangible elements of a service that can make a difference to the company’s perception within the market

Although originally a strategic tool, the 7Ps are multifaceted and can assist with other elements of a marketing plan such as playing their part in a situation analysis, help with setting objectives or even provide a structure for measuring and monitoring.

How can this be applied practically?

In reviewing each element of the 7P’s a company can produce a well-rounded review of the entire marketing mix and easily highlight gaps where improvements can be made.

For example, if an e-commerce business applied the 7P’s and discovered that the reason consumers were not buying was that the website (Physical Evidence, Place) did not match the expectations of the customers when compared to the social output (promotion) a web re-design could solve this issue.

So what are your top Marketing models? Would be great to discuss any of these further or if you think one needs to be bumped off the list, let me know and I’ll see what I can do!

Note to self – I should really do a podcast episode that includes the 7P’s, now I think about it.

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