How To S.W.O.T. And Improve Your Marketing Plan

 
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The S.W.O.T. analysis is a great way to find your (marketing) footing. The acronym stands for:

  • Strengths

  • Weaknesses

  • Opportunities

  • Threats

This analysis works for any size business and is a valuable tool to find out where you stand and how you can move forward. The easiest way to think about the S.W.O.T. is that strengths and weaknesses are what’s internal to your company (what you can control) while opportunities and threats are what’s external to your company (what you cannot control).

The 4-box-chart is the most helpful visual approach. Once you have that (here’s one), start with these questions for each section:

Strengths

  • What does your business do well?

  • What do you clients say are your strengths?

  • What are your USP’s (unique selling points)?

  • What unique advantages does your company have over the competition?

  • What resources does your business have that others may not?

  • Has your company been innovative in any area?

  • Is your location an advantage?

  • Does your business have a price advantage?

  • Is your office culture an advantage? What about your company’s values?

  • What kind of certifications, qualifications or accreditations does your business have?

Weaknesses

  • What areas could your company improve upon?

  • Where is distribution more difficult?

  • What would your clients or competitors say are weaknesses?

  • What does your business NOT do well?

  • What unique advantages does the competition have?

  • What resources do other businesses have that you may not?

  • Is your location a disadvantage?

  • Does your business have a price disadvantage?

  • Does your business have a cost disadvantage?

  • Is your office culture a disadvantage? What about your company’s values?

  • What kind of certifications, qualifications or accreditations is your business lacking that would help?

  • Where is your company vulnerable?

  • Is cashflow an issue?

  • Is employee morality a negative issue?

  • Are there any problem areas with management?

Opportunities

  • First off, what kind of opportunities is your business open to?

  • Have there been any market developments?

  • What kind of trends (industry or otherwise) could your company take advantage of?

  • Are there any global influences that would help your business?

  • Do seasonal changes have a positive impact on your business?

  • Have there been any technological innovations that would help your business?

  • Have any new markets (niche or otherwise) emerged that you could take advantage of?

  • Are there any partnerships that would be a benefit to your business?

  • What kind of product developments could have other benefits?

  • Are there vulnerabilities within your competition?

  • Is there any new information and/or research that your company could use?

  • Are there any celebrity influencers your company could work with or piggyback off of?

  • How can you turn your company strengths (listed previously) into opportunities?

Threats

  • What kind of threats could have a negative impact on your business?

  • What is your competition doing that could hurt your business?

  • Are there any negative political effects?

  • Are there any negative environmental effects?

  • Has there been any change in market demand for your products or services?

  • What kind of threats might your company’s weaknesses (from your previously list) expose you to?

  • Have there been any market developments that would hurt your business?

  • What kind of trends (industry or otherwise) can hurt your company?

  • Are there any global influences that would negatively affect your business?

  • Do seasonal changes have a negative impact on your business?

  • Have there been any technological innovations that would hurt your business (like new automation, etc.)?

  • Have any new markets (niche or otherwise) emerged that somehow hurt your business?

  • Are there any partnerships that your competition has taken that would hurt your business?

  • Is there any new information and/or research hurts your company or industry?

  • How can you turn your company strengths (listed previously) into opportunities?

When used correctly, the SWOT analysis can help you see where your company currently stands and what improvements can be made. Don’t just limit the SWOT to your overall business, however, as it can also be used for one-off projects, new products or existing products.

If you would like to go ahead and get started on your S.W.O.T. analysis, we’ve created a helpful Word document you can download HERE. Or, if you need help figuring out your next marketing move, give Griffin & Co. a shout HERE.

Good luck!