- What Is a SWOT Analysis?
- How Do You Do a SWOT Analysis?
- What Are the Benefits and Limitations of a SWOT Analysis?
- Common SWOT Analysis Mistakes
When creating a marketing campaign, you can use many different tools to help guide your process. One method many marketing teams use is a SWOT analysis. Assessing your brand’s strengths and weaknesses can help you come up with better branding and find unique ways to reach your target audience. Here we discuss doing a SWOT analysis in more detail.
What Is a SWOT Analysis?
A SWOT analysis is the process of looking at your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in great detail. When looking at these four components, you can break them into internal and external factors that have an impact on the success of your brand. Let’s look at what each one entails:
- Strengths (internal) – These are the things your brand does especially well. They are what sets you apart from any other company. When deciding your strengths, you’ll want to include your unique selling point and any other advantages you have. You may even want to discuss what’s working within your company structure and what has led to your achievements so far. Make sure to also pinpoint any resources or tools you can leverage.
- Weaknesses (internal) – These include everything your company can improve upon. Look at things that aren’t going according to plan right now or any major changes you hope to make on a company level. Try to figure out what limitations your brand has. For example, what resources or tools are you lacking? What do you need to overcome to reach your goals?
- Opportunities (external) – Your opportunities are what you can do to leverage yourself against competitors. What area of the market are competitors forgetting about? What trends can you embrace? Look at how your industry is doing right now and what you can take advantage of.
- Threats (external) – These are any external forces that may be negatively impacting the success of your company. Market trends, competitions, and industry news can all be threats. Take a look at what market conditions are preventing you from reaching your full potential.
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How Do You Do a SWOT Analysis?
Follow these steps when doing a SWOT analysis marketing plan:
1. Create a template
You can use a SWOT analysis for any business initiative, including marketing. Start by sending each member of your marketing team a template that is broken up into strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Under each section, have them ask a series of questions related to each factor.
2. Do your research
Let your team know they’re going to have to do some marketing research to back up their answers. Provide them with all the analytics they need to come up with thoughtful points.
3. Meet to discuss
Once everyone finishes their worksheet, meet as a team to discuss. If you see patterns emerging among the things everyone came up with, you may want to address these factors first. The key is to not only base your SWOT analysis on what your team thinks. Try to also get some outside perspective. For instance, your team could hire an outside consultant to complete a thorough SWOT analysis for your company. You may want to also conduct some consumer surveys.
What Are the Benefits and Limitations of a SWOT Analysis?
Here’s a look at the biggest benefits and limitations of a SWOT analysis in marketing.
- Building better strategies – Don’t assume your company exists in a vacuum. A SWOT analysis looks at how both internal and external forces act upon your brand. It’s a great opportunity to acknowledge how others see your brand, making you more aware of the marketing strategies you need to implement.
- Minimizing mistakes – Looking at your weaknesses and threats can help your team avoid any mistakes moving forward. If you noticed that something didn’t work in the past, you can get a fresh start by trying something different in the future.
- Allocating resources – Learning your strengths and weaknesses can help your marketing team be more aware of all the tools you can leverage in your campaign. Likewise, you can learn which resources are worth investing in.
- Lack of prioritization – A SWOT analysis doesn’t tell you about the most urgent thing to tackle. Your team may have to figure that out once you are done discussing your SWOT analysis.
- Unusable information – Not every bullet point on your SWOT analysis may be useful at the moment. For instance, you brand may have certain weaknesses that you can’t afford to correct right now.
- An abundance of ideas – You can only cover so much in each marketing campaign. Your SWOT analysis may make it challenging to narrow down what to focus on.
Common SWOT Analysis Mistakes
Avoid these mistakes when conducting your next marketing SWOT analysis:
- Not defining your goal – If you simply hand your team a blank sheet and tell them to run wild, you’ll likely get a laundry list of ideas that don’t focus on your most pressing problems. Prior to your meeting, come up with a goal or purpose for your SWOT analysis. For example, you can use it to find out what your next social media campaign should focus on.
- Being too generic – Avoid this common mistake by elaborating on each point you make. If you say your strength is customer service, go into detail about what that means. Try to come up with a few examples to get a better picture of what you’re talking about.
- Being too relaxed about weaknesses – Try to overcome cognitive bias and truly come to terms with your team’s weaknesses. Be honest about what you can all improve upon. This can make your strategies stronger and give everyone better direction.
- Feeling too confident about strengths – Although it’s likely that your team does great work, you need to be realistic about what you are writing. Use this exercise as a chance to understand what your company is actually capable of.
By following these SWOT analysis best practices, you can have a better understanding of where your company sits. A SWOT analysis should be a part of every company’s marketing plan.