The GOSAM Framework for Digital Marketing

Recently, while teaching the Digital Marketing course at Brainstation Vancouver, some students asked if I could provide a framework to organize their digital marketing campaigns.

I was amazed when I googled the GOSAM framework that I didn’t find any info or resources on it.

I first came across the GOSAM framework when writing courses for the University of British Columbia with Nikolas Badminton. In 2010-2011, we created Social Media Metrics and the marketing framework we used for the course was called GOSAM.

What is the GOSAM Framework?

GOSAM is a framework to plan, implement and measure business goals and objectives, particularly useful for digital marketing campaigns.

‘Think of it like a one-page business plan for your digital marketing goals.’

The GOSAM framework is a hierarchy of dependencies in that what you do in the section below depends on what you have selected in the section above (think of it as an ‘inter-dependent cascading waterfall’).

Here it is in a nutshell…

GOALSHigh level goals
OBJECTIVESSMART goals = more defined (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-based)
STRATEGIESHow will you get your results? A hypothesis to test. Your battle plan to beat your competitors.
ACTIVITIESThe specific short term actions based on your strategy. Commonly referred to as tactics for social media marketing.
METRICSHow to measure the success of your actions? Measure what matters

Perhaps the best way to explain this marketing framework is through an example.

Let’s dive in…

GOSAM Framework Example

Ripcurl #Winteristhenewsexy Campaign by Brian Andrews

Ripcurl logo

Full disclosure, this example is based on a presentation given by Brian Andrews. It is a hypothetical digital marketing campaign by Ripcurl, the Australian designer, manufacturer, and retailer of surfing sportswear.

Brian’s research found that compared to competitor, Patagonia, Ripcurl doesn’t have a prominent brand story. He also saw growth opportunities around ‘off-season’ winter surfing in Tofino, BC, Canada.

The campaign proposal contains some interesting strategical ideas. It is used here to illustrate how the GOSAM framework helps to align goals, objectives, strategies, activities, and metrics.

GOAL (High Level)

To increase sales of Ripcurl wetsuits.

OBJECTIVES (SMART Goals)

  1. To double the direct sales of wetsuits from Ripcurl’s e-commerce store in Winter 2020 compared with Winter 2019 (Dec 1st to March 1st) in BC, Canada.
  2. For Ripcurl’s Flashbomb wetsuit to be the best-selling wetsuit in Winter 2020 in BC.

STRATEGIES (The Battle Plan)

  1. Convince more people about the benefits of winter surfing in Tofino and BC.
  2. Communicate Ripcurl’s brand story around surfing in winter.
  3. Drive social commerce sales direct to the Ripcurl website from targeted social media channels.

ACTIVITIES (Also, known as Tactics)

The activities outlined below are high level and should be broken down further into a list of related tasks.

1.a. Create campaign #Winteristhenewsexy and promote on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest

1.b. Find ambassadors / influencers to promote campaign content

2.a. Host surfing event in winter 2020 in Tofino

2.b. Create surfing videos around the hashtag to promote on YouTube

2.c. Create specific content on website to tell story behind Ripcurl

3.a. Create landing pages on website to educate and convert traffic from social media channels

3.b. Create campaign specific urls to test and track success of different social media channels

3.c. Create analytics dashboard to track revenue from the different social channels

METRICS (Measure what matters)

The metrics can be broken down into a few key categories:

Macro E-Commerce Metrics
  1. Revenues of wetsuits sold on Ripcurl website
  2. Revenues of Flashbomb wetsuits sold on Ripcurl website
  3. Revenues of all products on Ripcurl website
  4. Number of wetsuits sold
  5. Number of Flashbomb wetsuits sold
  6. Revenues of wetsuits from different social channels
  7. Sales direct from social channels
  8. Role of social media in e-commerce sales (attribution models)
Micro Engagement Metrics
  1. Reach of campaign on each of the individual social platforms
  2. Engagement of campaign (reactions, comments, shares) across social platforms
  3. Influencer reach and engagement
  4. Event specific metrics e.g. attendance, digital reach, digital engagement
  5. Surfing video stats from YouTube
Website-Specific Metrics
  1. Product behaviour and e-commerce drop-offs
  2. Traffic to website
  3. Engagement on website
  4. Email subscribers
  5. Top pages for traffic / engagement
Campaign Awareness Metrics
  1. Survey on popularity of surfing in winter and whether it has increased
  2. Survey to surfers about Ripcurl’s brand awareness

Conclusion

The GOSAM framework is an awesome way to align your business goals with what you do on the front line, on a day-to-day basis. It is particularly powerful as a clear and concise way to organize ongoing or campaign activities for digital marketing, especially social media. It is ultimately a marketing framework that can be used in a variety of interesting ways.

Let me know what you think about the framework in the comments below or reach out with any questions or examples.

What do you think of Brian’s winter surfing campaign? Sounds a bit too cold for me… brrrrr!

Interested in aligning your digital marketing goals and activities? Let us know your website and email, and we’ll get in touch.

Check out our full-service digital marketing plans.




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This is an awesome post. Really very informative and creative contents.

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great article thanks for sharing it.