What is the RACE model?

The RACE model was created in 2010 by Dave Chaffey, author, and co-founder of the digital marketing training and consultancy site Smart Insights. Chaffey developed the model after his research showed that 50% of businesses did not follow a digital marketing plan when marketing their products.

Understanding the RACE model

The RACE model is a framework that enables organizations to take a more structured, agile, and strategic approach to digital marketing.

The RACE model provides a simple framework that is used to create a digital marketing plan that combines both online and offline communication.

Structured around the traditional marketing funnel, the model also possesses these characteristics:

Practical and action-oriented

The focus of the RACE model is on tactics and their implementation across multiple platforms.

Modern marketing activity integration

This includes paid, owned, and earned inbound marketing activities. Offline marketing activities are also considered.

Based on a performance improvement process

The model also encourages marketers to define, set, review, and analyze KPIs as part of a continuous optimization process.


As we hinted at above, Chaffey’s model focuses on the customer lifecycle from awareness to conversion, repeat purchases, brand advocacy, and social sharing.

The four steps of the RACE model

The RACE model features four steps across the customer lifecycle that comprise the RACE acronym.

Some interpretations of the model also feature an initial planning step where the digital strategy and its SMART objectives are formulated.

Below we have provided an explanation of the four steps:

Reach (R) 

The first step is to build awareness of a brand and its products and services over online and offline channels.

Traffic should be sent to different web presences such as microsites, social media pages, and landing pages. 

Reach can be maximized by the utilization of paid, earned, and owned media.

Relevant KPIs include social media followers, value per visit, and unique website visitors.

Act (A) 

Act is an abbreviation of interact and concerns persuading visitors or prospects to progress to the next step.

For B2B businesses, this normally entails lead generation.

For the average consumer, actions may encompass searching for a product, viewing a product, registering as a new member, or reading a blog post.

In either case, a lead magnet that provides value to the prospect is a good way to encourage the start of a relationship.

Marketers also need to develop ways to encourage prospects to share their content with others.

KPIs for this step include leads, lead conversion rate, shares, likes, and time on site.

Convert (C)

This step describes the process of transforming a lead into a paying customer.

It’s important to note that most businesses will not hit a home run on the first attempt, with many strategies experiencing low conversion rates. 

To determine the course of action that most resonates with the target audience, A/B split tests can be used to analyze strategy variants.

Different CTAs on a landing page, for example, could be split tested to identify the one that converts the best.

Alternatively, the marketing team can survey its target audience to build a detailed, data-driven customer profile for each segment.

KPIs include average order value (AVO), online sales, offline sales, and revenue.

Engage (E)

The final step deals with creating long-term relationships with first-time buyers that encourage repeat purchases and brand loyalty.

At the very least, the company should interact with buyers via social media and email.

But many are also turning to SMS, phone, live chat, and online communities to build customer lifetime value.

In addition to initiatives that improve customer experience, relevant KPIs here include repeat purchases, customer retention, and positive mentions.

Customer satisfaction surveys should also be used to determine Net Promoter Score (NPS).

Key takeaways:

  • The RACE model is a framework that enables organizations to take a more structured, agile, and strategic approach to digital marketing.
  • The RACE model provides a simple framework that combines online and offline communication channels. It is practical, action-oriented, customer-centric, and KPI-focused. 
  • The RACE model is an acronym for four stages: react, act, convert, and engage. Collectively, the stages loosely represent the customer progression through a traditional marketing funnel.

Other connected business strategy frameworks

PESTEL Analysis

The PESTEL analysis is a framework that can help marketers assess whether macro-economic factors are affecting an organization. This is a critical step that helps organizations identify potential threats and weaknesses that can be used in other frameworks such as SWOT or to gain a broader and better understanding of the overall marketing environment.

STEEP Analysis

The STEEP analysis is a tool used to map the external factors that impact an organization. STEEP stands for the five key areas on which the analysis focuses: socio-cultural, technological, economic, environmental/ecological, and political. Usually, the STEEP analysis is complementary or alternative to other methods such as SWOT or PESTEL analyses.

STEEPLE Analysis

The STEEPLE analysis is a variation of the STEEP analysis. Where the step analysis comprises socio-cultural, technological, economic, environmental/ecological, and political factors as the base of the analysis. The STEEPLE analysis adds other two factors such as Legal and Ethical.

Porter’s Five Forces

Porter’s Five Forces is a model that helps organizations to gain a better understanding of their industries and competition. Published for the first time by Professor Michael Porter in his book “Competitive Strategy” in the 1980s. The model breaks down industries and markets by analyzing them through five forces.

SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis is a framework used for evaluating the business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It can aid in identifying the problematic areas of your business so that you can maximize your opportunities. It will also alert you to the challenges your organization might face in the future.

BCG Matrix

In the 1970s, Bruce D. Henderson, founder of the Boston Consulting Group, came up with The Product Portfolio (aka BCG Matrix, or Growth-share Matrix), which would look at a successful business product portfolio based on potential growth and market shares. It divided products into four main categories: cash cows, pets (dogs), question marks, and stars.

Balanced Scorecard

First proposed by accounting academic Robert Kaplan, the balanced scorecard is a management system that allows an organization to focus on big-picture strategic goals. The four perspectives of the balanced scorecard include financial, customer, business process, and organizational capacity. From there, according to the balanced scorecard, it’s possible to have a holistic view of the business.

Blue Ocean Strategy 

A blue ocean is a strategy where the boundaries of existing markets are redefined, and new uncontested markets are created. At its core, there is value innovation, for which uncontested markets are created, where competition is made irrelevant. And the cost-value trade-off is broken. Thus, companies following a blue ocean strategy offer much more value at a lower cost for the end customers.

Scenario Planning

Businesses use scenario planning to make assumptions on future events and how their respective business environments may change in response to those future events. Therefore, scenario planning identifies specific uncertainties – or different realities and how they might affect future business operations. Scenario planning attempts at better strategic decision-making by avoiding two pitfalls: underprediction, and overprediction.

Main Free Guides:

Scroll to Top