Marketing can often be just as much about analysis and evaluation as it can be around delivering and executing. Empowering yourself, your colleagues or staff and your organisation with more and more knowledge and expertise is essential to building success. The more you understand your competitors, the more you can promote your strengths against their weaknesses and hopefully win the battle for the customer. The more you understand where your product or service might be weak, the more you can ensure your marketing highlights the good and not the bad.
A simple yet highly effective exercise delivered by organisations of all sizes, including some of the biggest brands in the world is called a SWOT analysis. No, nothing to do with counting the number of flies that appears during hot days, but instead it focuses on defining your organisational Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. If you’ve never run this sort of analysis on your company, do it now. Spend some time to put the analysis together and be assured that it’ll give you new insights and motivations to help create better ways to promote your business.
So how do you create a SWOT analysis? The easiest way to perform this simple yet powerful exercise is by getting a piece of paper and drawing it up into 4 sections, labelled Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. What you’re aiming to do now is to brainstorm each of these areas against how your company is positioned today. Think about the market, your competitors, your products/ services and any other factors that impact how you operate.
If you’ve got other members of your organisation you can involve, do it. Stay open minded and neutral and canvas as wide and opinion as you can on these areas. Include your customers if you can.
What you’ve now created are 4 key areas that you can incorporate into your business and marketing planning. Don’t just look at it once and throw it away, but keep reviewing it and working on it as an organic document to help you track the shape of your business.