An understanding of some basic marketing models can be valuable for any business. This Marketing 101 article is about How to Make a SWOT Analysis, a framework of research that is essential to a well-built marketing plan.
SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. When you want to have a better understanding of your business marketing strategy you can make a SWOT analysis. This means you’ll be researching the strengths and weaknesses of your business, and analysing opportunities and threats to it.
The aim of a SWOT analysis is to turn your weaknesses into strengths, and your threats into opportunities. Ultimately you will identify areas for improvement and be equipped to create a strategic marketing road map. The outcome can include an increase in ‘value’ for customers and improvement of your competitive advantage. SWOT analysis also provides a self-assessment opportunity and can help with problem solving.
Does this article sound like it could benefit your business? Read on to learn more Marketing 101: How to Make a SWOT Analysis
Step 1: The SWOT Matrix
To start your SWOT analysis create a 2×2 SWOT matrix. The matrix is the model for identifying your businesses SWOT’s. You will use the matrix to brainstorm all of your ideas and discover links between your SWOT’s. Later you can use the model to create reports, spreadsheets and flow charts for mapping your findings in more detail.
Step 2: Identify Your Internal Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths are what is working well for your business. They could be things like your unique selling points, location advantage or online presence. Weaknesses are what are holding your business back. They could be poorly planned marketing campaigns, lacklustre designs or bad customer service.
Strengths and Weaknesses are internal factors. Examples of internal factors to explore include; business culture, operational efficiency and market share. You can use customer reviews, and social media research to find opinions about your business. You should look at your complete customer journey and note all strengths and weaknesses.
Try to keep your notes concise, add your Strengths and Weaknesses to the SWOT matrix.
Step 3: Identify Your External Opportunities and Threats
Opportunities are areas you can take advantage of immediately. These could be new resources available to you, emerging trends, or events you’ve yet to adopt into your marketing strategy. Threats are anything that could negatively impact your business or any obstacles you face. Threats could be; rising costs, suppliers or new legislation.
Opportunities and Threats are external factors because they’re beyond your control. During this part of the analysis you can look at the following; market trends, regulations, competitors, new technologies and promotion costs. Brainstorm all the outside potential obstacles to your business.
Add your Opportunities and Threats to the SWOT matrix.
Step 4: Evaluate Marketing Activities
Now you have filled the SWOT matrix, you can analyse each point to see how your marketing activities effect them. Analyse the effectiveness of your marketing assets using any data tools you can access.
After analysis figure out how to use your assets to promote your business’s strengths and address the weaknesses. You’ll be mapping the ways you can take advantage of marketing opportunities and minimise business threats.
Following completion of your SWOT analysis plot your findings and devise strategies to manage any issues highlighted. The idea is to disseminate the information and decide which points will be your businesses priorities. You can present the results of your SWOT analysis in discussion documents, presentations or spreadsheets
A SWOT analysis is an important piece of marketing research and impacts your overall marketing plan. They can be used in conjunction with the principal of the 7 P’s of the marketing mix for marketing evaluations.
Could a SWOT analysis benefit your business? Let us know in the comments or email email@example.com to discuss your project.