Whether you’re planning out your next marketing strategy or just getting started, a SWOT analysis is one of the most useful tools in your marketing kit.
A SWOT analysis is a review of your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats that helps you understand where your business is and how to move it forward.
It’s a popular method that allows you to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of your business, while mapping out potential opportunities and risks on your horizon.
The first part of your SWOT analysis, strengths and weaknesses, should look at internal factors, while the latter parts, opportunities and threats, should address external factors outside your organisation.
A breakdown of a SWOT analysis
Let’s take a closer look at each area and what to look for:
For strengths, look at things that your company excels at and the qualities that make your business stand out from your competitors.
Think about your internal resources like your experienced staff and note down tangible assets, whether it’s specialised equipment or intellectual property.
For smaller companies, a strength might be agility and speed at making business decisions, whereas larger companies may rely on a strong reputation and existing client base.
Your weaknesses include things that your company lacks or areas where your competitors are better than you.
Make sure you consider where your resources are limited or any unique selling propositions that aren’t clear.
You should look to develop a strategy to either eliminate or reduce the severity or focus on your weaknesses when developing your marketing plan.
Reviewing your opportunities takes some brainstorming because you want to look for underserved markets for your products and services.
Ask yourself questions like: Where is there less competition in my niche? or what is the emerging need for my products or services?
Are there government grants, rebates or other incentives offered for your product or service?
Threats could be emerging competitors, changing customer preferences and new regulations.
It’s important to be aware of them so you can have a realistic view of any competition your business may face.
Develop strategies or contingencies to mitigate or manage the risk if these threats were to come to fruition to avoid being caught off guard or putting all your eggs in one basket.
How to run a SWOT analysis
You can set up your SWOT analysis in columns, a 2×2 table or whatever layout works best for you.
A tip for SWOT first-timers is to initially focus on three major points for each category — this will help you get some ideas down on the page rather than getting bogged down on every little detail.
While it’s a good place to start following the SWOT in sequence order, don’t be afraid to jump around as you’ll often identify items from multiple categories at the same time.
Assemblo founder and creative director Steve De Niese said SWOT analyses were an important step in developing results-driven marketing strategies.
“The SWOT process is about looking inwardly at your business to ensure your market position matches the reality of your business,” he said.
“It’s also about problem-solving the issues facing your business, so remember to recommend countering strategies to each problem listed under weaknesses and threats.”
If brand awareness is a weakness, for example, then an effective countering strategy might be a content marketing strategy that establishes your business as a thought leader while boosting its profile.
Call in the marketing experts
If you still have questions about SWOT analyses or need some help crafting a successful marketing strategy, the team at Assemblo can help.
Assemblo is a full-service marketing agency based in Melbourne, with highly-experienced marketing strategists and other specialists who have worked on countless strategies for clients.
To learn more, give us a call on (03) 9079 2555 or drop us a note via our contact form below.