• Marc in Madison

The Combination of Control and Constituents

Updated: Mar 31, 2021

This was written for CAS 827: Digital Media Strategies in the Michigan State University Strategic Communications MA program.



This week, I wanted to briefly discuss control and constituents/stakeholders. 

From this week's lesson and reading, we know that control—the “C” in the SOSTAC model—helps marketers identify what metrics should be monitored, how often they are recorded, and what happens when there is a “blip” (Chaffey & Smith, 2017, p. 560). 

Without control mechanisms, all of our work with models and theory and strategy amounts to a shot in the dark. Strategy and planning are the first parts of the process, but control is the logical (and ongoing) conclusion. The antidote to wasted strategy is a constant analytical relationship between targets and performance—ideally using SMART goals (Alhabash, 2020; Antevenio, 2019).

  • Monitoring KPIs

  • Evaluate overall objectives using the 5s of digital marketing

  • Tracking website analytics

  • Analyzing social media metrics

  • Recording conversion rateså

  • Determining frequency for each of the above

  • Reporting results to appropriate stakeholders


Image: Vecteezy


Stakeholders are more than management and employees. They include anyone who has an interest or can be affected by a company or an organization—and it’s important to identify, understand, and prioritize them (Chen, 2020; Murphy, 2019).

  • Founders/Owners

  • Customers

  • Creditors

  • Competitors

  • Shareholders 

  • Investors

  • Vendors

  • Suppliers

  • Government

  • Local communities

  • Trade associations

  • Boards of directors (non-profit)

Similar to the need for strong follow-up and maintenance with digital marketing strategies and campaigns, there is a need to understand who you are reporting information to and how they will process it. 


Image: Vecteezy


The combination of control and constituents came up in a job interview I had this week for a sales and marketing position. 

The interviewer asked about the StratCom program and how the courses are relevant to the job. I explained that in addition to digital marketing and communications strategy, consumer psychology, and research courses, the StratCom program focuses on the enhanced ability to compile and to analyze analytics. This position was for a non-profit organization.I explained that when dealing with a board of directors, one must be able to provide performance snapshots, to justify pitches and budgets, and to analyze downturns and victories. In short, I like to be the person who, when asked, has answers, figures, and statistics immediately. If not, I should know where to find the answers and how to generate them quickly.


Image: Vecteezy


There is no sense following marketing models if you are not following up on the other side by controlling the data and interpreting/disseminating it to the appropriate stakeholders. As an added professional bonus, control helps us differentiate ourselves in our work teams because it demonstrates our commitment, from concept to implementation. 

So the link between control and constituents is crucial because stakeholders are watching—and not just the ones who sign our paychecks.


Image: Vecteezy


  • Who are the stakeholders in your role?

  • What type of data control do they require?



Alhabash, S. (2020). Lecture 9.1: Developing a Plan. Retrieved from the Michigan State University D2L site. 

Antevenio. (2019, September 3). What is the SOSTAC methodology. https://www.antevenio.com/usa/what-is-the-sostac-methodology/ Chaffey D., & Smith, P.R. (2017). Digital Marketing Excellence: Planning, Optimizing, and Integrating Online Marketing. (5th ed.). Routledge.

Chen, J. (2020, March 4). Stakeholder. Investopedia. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/stakeholder.asp

Murphy, B. (2019, September 26). There are 8 stakeholders in any business. (Wait, did I miss any?). Inc. https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/there-are-8-key-stakeholders-in-any-private-business-wait-did-i-miss-any.html #SOSTAC #KPI #DataControl #Stakeholders #MSUStratCom #GradSchool

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