A SWOT Analysis is a brainstorming technique. It gives you the structure and data needed to achieve your marketing goals and should be integral to your marketing strategy. It can be applied to an entire company, however big or small, or to individual projects, and is an incredibly simple tool which when done effective can be very powerful.
So what exactly is a ‘SWOT analysis’? It is a review of the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of your company. Strengths and weaknesses are both internal- they are things that you have control over and can change, whereas opportunities and threats are external – they exist in the wider market and are not exclusive to your company.
As things are constantly changing you may want to conduct a SWOT analysis every 6 – 12 months. It requires a team effort with collective members of your company, including company leaders. As with any brainstorm it works more effectively with some structure. A SWOT analysis can therefore done by a very simple two by two grid.
Now lets break it down:
Pretty self explanatory, these are things that your company do well. This of course varies based on company but some example questions you can ask yourself are; Do we have qualities that separate us from competitors? Do we have advanced technology? Strong internal and external resources? Education and trainings? Brand attributes? Marketing results- social media, website etc?
This is a criticism of your business upon deep reflection. Examples could include lack of budget, resources or communication.
This focuses on how you can improve; What content are competitors not publishing? What are current trends and how to capitalise on them? Are there upcoming events that can help grow the business? Is there any further educational / training opportunities you can utilise?
These are risks to your company that impact success. Are there new competitors? Industry changes ? Legal changes? What are the market conditions like? What are we doing thats not making us stand out from competitors? Are consumer behaviour patterns changing? A clear example of a threat is the impact of COVID-19 and its impact on industry, law and market conditions.
So let’s take an example of owning a restaurant in London. How could your SWOT analysis look?
- Location – city location with large footfall in the area from local workers
- Uniqueness – only restaurant doing this food type in the area
- Great social media results
- Strong communication team
- Weekend trade slow as footfall reduces when workers aren’t working
- Lack of budget for digital promotions
- Lack of internal marketing – floor staff not passionate about brand and communicating it to customers
- Area growth – new companies being built in the area
- Upcoming networking opportunities
- New trainings available on digital marketing
- Competitive market in London
- Change in trends – due to Covid19 peoples opinions on eating in restaurants may change and more people working from home which will reduce area footfall
Now what? So now you have conducted your SWOT analysis it is time to create a strategy.
Come up with a plan of action, look at your strengths and see how you can combat your weaknesses. Look more in detail at your threats and try to understand your consumers, for example conducting a survey asking peoples opinions or attitudes to eating out. And most importantly use the analysis to put goals in place and set achievable benchmarks.