SOSTAC® Associate

Learn how to build an outline marketing plan. See how it all fits together. Once registered you can access and download the SOSTAC® Associate Manual.

By the end of this course you will:
Know how to build an outline marketing plan. Be confident about knowing what needs to go into a plan; See how it all fits together with an emphasis on the foundation of any good plan – the Situation Analysis*.

*Part 1: Situation Analysis includes Customer Analysis (ideal customers, segments, loyalty, perceptions, how they buy and are influenced); Competitor Analysis (direct and indirect competitors; 5 competitive forces; competitive strategies; distinctive competitive advantage); Company Analysis (gap analysis; matrices include Ansoff Matrix; Boston Matrix; GE Attractiveness Matrix) and Market Trends (uncontrollable external variables that affect your market).

Part 2: Objectives (where are we going?); Strategy (how do we get there?); Tactics (the details of strategy – the marketing mix); Actions (how we ensure excellent execution of the tactics – internal marketing; Control (how do we know wea re getting there – metrics we measure). See Full Syllabus below.


LEARNING TIME: 10 hours – 15 hours

ASSESSMENT: 1 hour multiple choice (x 30 questions), open book (bring your notes and manual).

PART 1 SITUATION ANALYSIS (where are we now?)

Customers Analysis: Who is Your Ideal Customer? Who Are Your Customers (Segments)?; Are Your Customers Loyal? Are They Happy? How Do They See You? How Do They Buy? How Often Do They Buy (Life-Time Value)? How Are They Influenced – Who are the Key Opinion Formers?

Competitor Analysis: Who are your Competitors? Porter’s 5 Competitive Forces; Michael Porter’s Competitive Strategies; Other Sources Of Competitive Advantage; Relative Competitive Position

Your Strengths and Weaknesses? Your Competitive Advantage; Your “Distinctive Competitive Advantage” (DCA).

Company Analysis: Performance/Results; Gap Analysis; Product Portfolio Analysis: Ansoff Matrix; Boston Matrix; GE Market Attractiveness Matrix

Market Trends – the external trends that affect your business.




Objectives (where are we going?): Mission; Vision; Marketing Objectives; MarComms Objectives

Strategy (how do we get there?)

Tactics (the details of strategy – Marketing Mix): Product; Price; Place (Distribution)

Promotion (Communication); Physical Evidence; People; Process; Physical Evidence

Actions (how we ensure excellent execution of the tactics?)

Control (how do we know we are getting there?): Your Sales Forecast; Budget; Contingency Planning; Embrace Change

Video Introduction

Video Tutorials




Weekly Live Chat 30 mins every Fri
30 min chat in the SOSTAC® Club in the Clubhouse App
3.30pm GMT/BST

Take-Away Thoughts

Online Assessment



Continuing Professional Development

PR Smith Blog Posts and Conversations

Continuing Professional Development

30 min Clubhouse Chat in the SOSTAC® Club

every Fri 3.30pm GMT/BST

None – open to anyone (e.g. young/junior-level executives) but must be over the age of 18.

  • Learn how to write an outline marketing plan
  • See how it all fits together
  • Get an SOSTAC® Associate Certificate
  • Become a SOSTAC® Associate
  • Resources

Registration Fee: £125 (includes one free re-sit of the test if required). For UK residents, the standard 20% VAT applies i.e. UK Fee £150. Non-UK fee is £125.

1-hour, open book, online, MCQ test (60% score required to pass and become an associate). Take the 60-minute SOSTAC® Associate online test after you have read the manual or attended a workshop or read either of the books. You have 90 days from date of registration to take the assessment. After taking the online assessment you:

  • get an instant result
  • give instant feedback
  • get your instant certificate

After passing the exam, you will be able to write outline plans with confidence. SOSTAC® Associate can also register to take the elite SOSTAC® Certified Planner course and test. The SOSTAC® Certified Planner is accredited by the UK CPD Standards Office.

• Online Test is ‘always on’ and ready as soon as you are ready

• The test is ONE (1) hour in duration.

• You must have a stable internet connection to take any SOSTAC® tests.

• If your browser displays a ‘back’ button DO NOT EVER click the ‘back button as this will terminate your test.

• Do not close your browser once you have started the online test (as this will end the test).

• If you fail the test, you have 48 hours to take a free re-sit.

• You must score a minimum of 60% to pass.
• You must take the test within 90 days of registration (otherwise you incur another registration fee).