SWOT ANALYSIS: ITS ROLE AND HOW TO IMPLEMENT IN MARKETING
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Strategic planning is critical to a successful marketing strategy. While there are many methods to aid in strategic planning one of the most effective methods is to look at your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT). By analyzing these aspects of your company, you will see where your company stands and plan for the future. Below is a description of a SWOT analysis with tips on how to implement it into your marketing strategy.
What Is the Role of a SWOT Analysis?
A SWOT analysis is an effective marketing tool to assess your company. Having a set structure for analysis allows you to reflect on past analyses and see how they align with where you are now. A SWOT analysis also pushes your brainstorming process by focusing on specific aspects of your marketing strategy.
SWOT analyses are a practical method for stimulating ideas. By going down the list of strengths, weaknesses, oppoertinities, and threats, you are able to hone in on each of those categories and block out any distracting information. It is also helpful to start analyzing the internal workings of your company before the external aspects. Typically, the strengths and weaknesses refer to your internal organization and then the opportunities and threats lie with aspects outside of your company. This way, you can start off easy by analyzing what your company does well in and could improve in. After that, analyzing those external opportunities and threats will be easier as you already know where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
Not only do SWOT analyses stimulate ideas, but they also provide focus to your marketing strategy. Having four distinct categories narrows your discussion to get back to the foundation of your marketing strategy. Ask yourself, “what are we doing well?” and “how can we improve?”. While these questions seem basic, starting with these ideas will open you up to a deeper analysis of your company’s tactics.
What Are the Parts of a SWOT Analysis?
As previously stated, the parts of a SWOT analysis are: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Assessing your company with this type of analysis will not only push you to look at how your company functions internally, but it will also drive you to evaluate how external occurrences can impact your company.
Identifying your company’s strengths is the first step of your SWOT analysis. Look at the areas you excel in and are known for. Maybe your customer service is amazing or your products are top-of-the-line. Figure out how to keep excelling in these areas as well as how you can improve and adapt these successes.
Once you have examined your company’s strengths, it is easy to analyze your weaknesses. Now, having weaknesses does not mean you are failing. Look at areas you want to improve in and then focus on how you can make them more successful. If it is applicable, consider the areas you excel in and see if you can implement any of those strategies to improve. Ultimately, the goal is to turn all of these weaknesses into your strengths.
Opportunities usually lie in the external areas associated with your company. Caroline Forsey discusses in here article, “How to Do a SWOT Analysis [With Template & Examples],” at HubSpot how your weaknesses will help point you to possible opportunities. Once you turn those weaknesses into strengths, there will be new opportunities to capitilize on, according to Forsey.
Check out the rest of Forsey’s article to learn more about SWOT analyses and to see examples and templates to help construct your own.
Finally, assess your company’s possible threats. Think about what obstacles might pop into your way when pursuing any new opportunities. Plan ahead for what could be done to avoid or deal with these threats when they arise. While these threats may or may not be real threats, it is best practice to be aware of any potential harms to your company. This way, if crises or roadblocks arise, you will have a way to approach them.
How do I Implement a SWOT Analysis into my Marketing Strategy?
When implementing your SWOT analysis into your marketing strategy, it is best practice to first analyze where you are currently at. Then, you can use your newfound understanding to plan for the future.
Analyze Where You are at Now with a SWOT Analysis
Your SWOT analysis should provide you with an accurate understanding of your company and how effective its strategies are. Use this information to understand why you made the decisions you did and consider if your approach should change to meet your goals. Once you know the areas you want to improve in and what opportunities you want to take, you can effectively plan for the future.
Plan for the Future with a SWOT Analysis
Having clear goals is key to successful planning. Thankfully, SWOT analyses are perfect at providing you with the information you need to set those goals. Also, this analysis is a great record to keep for future years to come back to in order to see how the company has grown and can still improve. The next step is to plan for how you want to maintain and grow your strengths as well as strengthen your weaknesses. You should also look for the chance to seize any opportunities whilst keeping any eye out for potential threats.
All in all, a SWOT analysis is the perfect tool to boost your marketing strategy. By assessing your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats you will be able to strengthen your marketing tactics.
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