According to the 2018 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey, 61% of marketers ranked being able to measure and analyze their business’s marketing impact as a priority. This goes to show how important it is to measure and analyze marketing efforts for any business owner.
If you want to measure and analyze your marketing efforts, then you need to conduct a marketing SWOT analysis. If you’re thinking of conducting a marketing SWOT analysis, then you might be asking yourself questions like what it means, how it can help, and how do you can go about conducting the analysis.
If you are unfamiliar with a SWOT analysis, then chances are your marketing strategy is not as good as it could be.
That’s why we’ve put together this article. Once you’ve finished it, you’ll know all you need to assess and adapt your marketing strategy so that your business does better over time.
What is a SWOT Analysis?
Before we go into the details of how you can apply a marketing SWOT analysis to how you run your business, we’ll review what a SWOT analysis is. Basically, it is an analysis you apply to your business, so that you can assess what’s working, what isn’t, where to go from here, and what potential challenges to be aware of moving forward.
The analysis itself goes in the order of the words the letters in the term stand for.
So, the first step is S: Strengths. The second is W: Weaknesses. The third is O: Opportunities. Finally, the fourth step is T: Threats.
Even though a SWOT analysis might seem so simple that you think you already have the answers to all these questions, it’s still smart to do it. This is for several reasons:
– You’re actually writing all this down, instead of thinking about it in theory, making accountability possible
– You’ll think more critically about the factors you’re analyzing
– By writing everything down, you’ll identify what issues you need to deal with most
– You’ll be able to see how everything adds up to form a bigger picture
By doing a SWOT analysis, you’ll focus on what you need to work on, so your business continues to be successful. You can apply it to many factors of your company, which is one of the reasons it’s so useful. It can be applicable to nearly any aspect of running your business.
You can use a SWOT analysis to analyze internal factors such as financial resources, human resources, and current processes such as hiring processes.
You can also use it to analyze external factors such as economic trends and marketing trends.
Of course, you can use it to analyze your marketing plan.
Step 1: Set Up Your Analysis
To get started with a SWOT analysis of your marketing strategy, take out a sheet of butcher paper and draw four quadrants on it. While a sheet of normal-sized paper could work, but it might not be large enough to cover everything.
In the upper-left quadrant, write down Strengths. In the upper-right quadrant, right down Weaknesses. In the lower-left quadrant, write down Opportunities. Finally, on the lower-right quadrant, write down Threats.
Now you’re ready to get started.
Step 2: Review Your Strengths
The first thing you’ll analyze when conducting your marketing SWOT analysis is your strengths. This will help you understand how your marketing plan is already working. You can base your marketing strategy around these strengths, in addition to the opportunities you identify in the Opportunities part of the SWOT analysis.
Additionally, strengths are internal factors. This means that the strengths you’ll be analyzing are ones that are within your control.
Once you’ve found them, you can continue to use them with more intention, which will be easy to do since they aren’t external factors.
Let’s review some examples of strengths when conducting a marketing SWOT analysis.
Locations of Your Business
If you run a brick-and-mortar store, then the location of your business is one of your marketing strengths. You choose where your businesses are, and it’s likely that their location is a strength because much of your business comes from here.
Even if you do some of your selling online, your physical location is a strength.
If you have much success here, then writing it down while completing your SWOT analysis can help you with strategic planning later if you choose to open up additional stores.
Brand recognition is another type of strength. Since starting your business, you have worked hard at establishing your brand, reflecting it in your logo, website, brick-and-mortar stores (if you have them), packaging, content, and social media presence.
By now, your brand is known by many of your customers.
If this is one of your strengths, then you can work on getting your brand out there even more.
You can create additional products or materials related to your brand. You can also make it known not only to customers but also to other entrepreneurs in your industry.
Your Marketing Team and Their Ideas
If you have a marketing team, or an individual you’ve hired to do the marketing for your business, this is another strength. They’ve helped you with your branding, created content, and come up with ideas regarding your content and products.
If this is one of your strengths, then keep doing what you’re doing in the future.
If you’re the only one managing your marketing, and it’s been going well so far but you’re expanding, consider hiring someone who has ideas similar to your own.
Step 3: Review Your Weaknesses
Once you’ve identified your market strategy strengths, it’s time to go over your weaknesses. These can include a weak online presence, not providing something special as compared to your competitors, and poor or unfocused distribution.
Let’s review each of these to see where you can potentially improve your marketing efforts.
A Weak Online Presence
Even if you provide amazing products or services, a weak online presence means that there are many potential customers out there who aren’t seeing your product. Additionally, if you don’t establish your brand properly online, people won’t see as much value in your products or services.
This means you can’t sell them at competitive rates.
When analyzing your online presence, it helps to do market research to find out where your customers spend most of their time online. This way, you can pinpoint where you aren’t posting or advertising enough.
Additionally, you should ensure that your website is visitor-friendly and that your content is SEO-optimized.
Not Providing Something Special
This is probably the most difficult weakness to face. No one wants to look at their product or service and have to admit that there’s nothing special about it, or that it doesn’t really stand out from the crowd.
However, considering that around half of businesses in the US are struggling to survive by the end of their fifth year, it’s best to face this now.
If your service or product is similar to others out there already, it’s time to come up with something that distinguishes you.
Brainstorm about what it is that could. If you still don’t have an answer, you may want to create a different product or service within the same industry.
Poor or Unfocused Distribution
Even if you have a great product and have spent a lot of time perfecting your online presence, your business isn’t going to get anywhere if you have poor or unfocused distribution. If you don’t have the right setup to get your ecommerce products out on time or your brick-and-mortar store isn’t in an ideal location, then your distribution will suffer.
Additionally, if you aren’t focusing your marketing efforts in the right places, then your distribution will be unfocused. If you haven’t already, identify your niche and ideal customer so that you’re selling to them in a focused way.
Step 4: Review Your Opportunities
Once you’ve reviewed your strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to look toward the future and think about the opportunities you may have coming your way. Now that you’ve established your business, these opportunities can help you grow your business and become more successful.
Seasonal Trends and Events
When it comes to marketing, one of the best ways you can bolster your strategy is by planning for future seasonal trends and events. For example, if you run a technology store, then you can promote your products on Black Friday and near Christmas time.
If you sell clothing, then you can have promotions every time the seasons change. Don’t forget to take advantage of Christmas and the New Year, when you can sell higher-priced formal clothing. These holidays have many marketing opportunities.
By planning how you’re going to sell your product in the future, you’ll have more time for both product development and marketing strategizing.
Increase in Demand
Perhaps recently you’ve seen that your product or service is starting to become more popular. Maybe this is because of external trends, or maybe it’s because your branding efforts are finally starting to pay off. Whatever the reason, you should make note of this increase in demand so you can plan accordingly.
If you’ve noticed an increase in demand, then it’s time to think about creating more similar products and services, expanding your team, or opening up additional brick-and-mortar stores.
Start planning now, so that when your customer base grows and your products become more popular, you can be ready for the increase in demand.
Advances in Technology
If there are advances in marketing-related technology that can help your company do better, you should make note of them. That way, you can start saving so you can invest in these advances when the time comes.
Step 5: Review Your Threats
The final step of a marketing SWOT analysis is reviewing your threats. By identifying potential threats early, you can prepare for facing them. This will make it more likely that your business will survive, no matter what the threat is.
Lower Prices from Competitors
One of the most common threats is lower prices from competitors. If you’re facing this threat, consider lowering your prices. You can also brand yourself to demonstrate that your products and services are higher-quality than those offered by your competitors.
Additionally, you can up your marketing efforts so that you’re noticed more than your competitors.
Economic changes are entirely out of your control most of the time. Take, for example, the economic consequences of the COVID-19 Pandemic. No one saw that coming, but businesses had to readjust accordingly. The sooner you face this type of threat, the better your business will do.
Changes in Consumer Preferences
Sometimes, consumers change their minds. That’s just part of being in business. If you’ve identified this threat, then update your products so that it reflects consumers’ new preferences.
Need More Information on Your Marketing SWOT Analysis?
Now that you know what a marketing SWOT analysis is and how to do it properly, you might need more information. Maybe you’re wondering about how to plan to improve your business once you’ve completed your marketing SWOT analysis, or maybe you want help with other elements of marketing.
Whatever information you need, we’re here to help. At Five Channels, we’re experts when it comes to marketing. To learn more about how we can help you, visit us here.
Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry. With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.
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About the author...
Located in the heart of the Emerald Coast - Destin, FL, founder and Chief Marketing Officer, Jason Hall, and his team specialize in creating brand awareness / traffic and lead generation / marketing funnel and conversion optimization / and PR campaigns, while utilizing the appropriate marketing channels available within your industry.
With diverse clients throughout the world, Jason's team is well connected within many industries to assist with your marketing strategies. With no long term contracts and various levels of service, Jason's team will increase the quality of your online traffic, leads, and sales.