Sweet Profit: How P. R. Smith‰Ûªs SOSTAC Model Works for Online Digital Marketing Strategy Start-Ups Everytime

It’s finally Christmas week and the office is full to the brim with tins of cookies and boxes of endless choccies… Inspired by this festive spirit we at Emarkable have delved into our wealth of digital marketing strategy expertise and found that one of the newest members of our Marketing Team have recently published some market research on the application of the much beloved P.R. Smith’s Model of Marketing to – yes you’ve guessed it! – digital marketing strategy for online confectionary start-ups!   For those of you unfamiliar with models of marketing, SOSTAC is an acronym for the six core components to be considered when generating a marketing plan: situation (S), objectives (O), strategy (S), tactics (T), action (A) and control (C). Each component repreEmarkable_Christmas Online Digital Strategysents a stage in the cycle of planning, and each stage is of equal importance to successful marketing planning, implementation, and review. Now widely accepted as the forerunner system for implementing marketing plans and communications strategies, SOSTAC is an extension of the traditional SWOT analysis, that is, a situational analysis of the strengths (S), weaknesses (W), opportunities (O), and threats (T) facing a business at the outset, when introducing a new product line, or when engaging in an organizational change process.

As we know following the advent of the internet, a plethora of online wonderful business ideas have appeared, and the world of sugar-craft e-businesses have sprung up in tandem with this exponential explosion of online digital means to generate income. For example, ‘Planet Candy’ and ‘Aunty Nellies’ are those now well known to name but a few. Even the phenomenon of the ‘Great British Bake-Off’ has shown us that sweet treats and everything sugar is as popular as ever. Surely no product could more aptly justify the philosophy that marketing is about satisfying needs and delighting the consumer to create profit, than sweets and cakes. Just one mention of Jaffa Cakes by the ‘Great British Bake-Off 2016’ and stores are overrun with demand (Blake & Gurka, 2016). Given the season, we thought to direct you to our discussion of the application of digital marketing strategies to not only explain online confectionary e-business success, but to prescribe a digital marketing strategy for budding e-business entrepreneurs in our midst!


You can download the full article in the Innovation & Management Science eJournal. The report can be found below at:

Cowley, M. (2016). ‘Jellies & Jaffas’: Applying PR Smith’s SOSTAC Model to an Online Confectionary Start-Up. Forthcoming in the Innovation & Management Science eJournal, September 2016.



Blake, I., & Gurka, E. (2016). The Bake-Off Effect Strikes Again. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3760269/The-Bake-effect-strikes-Searches-Jaffa-Cakes-lemon-drizzle-SOAR.html

Chaffey, D. & Smith, P. R. (2013). Emarketing Excellence: Planning and Optimizing your Digital Marketing. Routledge: London.


Author: Michelle B. Cowley PGDipStat BA DPhil, Marketing AB Manager, Emarkable.ie

Celia Deverell

A driven digital marketer who is passionate about education. Trained in Community Rural Development and skilled specifically in Project Management. A team player with a common-sense approach to coordinating team activities.