Digital marketing plan structure

A digital markmarketing plan is typically an annual plan defining improvements to digital marketing, usually including a digital marketing strategy. It can also be related to a longer digital transformation plan.

The guides and examples for creating a digital marketing plan we have created at Smart Insights are based on a structure combining PR Smith’s SOSTAC(R) and Smart Insights RACE Planning.

We’re often asked how the two fit together best.

SOSTAC(R) gives the best overall structure which can be applied to any form of marketing or business plan, i.e.

  • Situation analysis
  • Objective setting
  • Strategy
  • Tactics
  • Action
  • Control

RACE is specific to communications activities, especially those for digital marketing. It stands for:

  • Plan
  • Reach
  • Act
  • Convert
  • Engage

So, within the overall plan structure, you can review each of RACE within the situation, then each withing Objective setting and so on. Within our example plans we show how tables can be used to integrate these sections for a one-page summary.


Welcome to my personal site where I blog about the latest developments in digital business to help students, professionals or lecturers using my books in their studies or careers.

Visit my mainĀ Smart Insights Digital Marketing Strategy site to download planning templates, strategy guides and daily updates on the latest developments.

I also write about assistive technology to help others teaching the visually impaired as part of my volunteering work for charity AbilityNet.

My latest books

Full details on Amazon:

Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice
8th edition

Digital Marketing Excellence
6th edition

About Smart Insights

Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of digital marketing advice site Smart Insights. We’re a publisher and learning platform that helps our 150,000 active members in over 100 countries plan, manage and optimize their digital marketing activities by applying the actionable advice in our planning templates, guides and interactive e-learning tools.

Free members can download our free templates and benchmark their digital capabilities.