If you want your marketing strategy to work for you and help you reach your long-term business goals, you must first create a solid foundation based on research, data and facts to guide your decision making process. The best place to start is with a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) Analysis. A SWOT analysis is a method for identifying and analyzing an organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as its external opportunities and threats. This exercise is also a great way to consider how you compare to the competitors in your market.
Ready to get started? Let’s dive in! Also, feel free to use our free SWOT Canva template to jot down your thoughts as you go through this exercise.
Uncover Your Strengths
Strengths are what your organization does well. This includes the unique selling points and capabilities that help your company stand out, internal resources such as skilled employees, and assets such as intellectual property or proprietary technology. This is where you’ll identify your organization’s unique market position and what characteristics make it attractive to your ideal client base. For example, it could be that your product is less expensive and more durable than your competitors or a service you offer may be more comprehensive in scope or completed more quickly. Additionally, you’ll need to analyze how you’re communicating these differentiators to your target audience.
- What characteristics (that can be backed up by factual data vs opinion) make our organization stronger than our competition?
- Which strengths strike a chord with our prospective clients?
- What customer pain points does our product or service address?
Once you identify your strengths, you can use this knowledge to create relevant content that will influence customers through your sales funnel and/or business development process.
Consider Your Weaknesses
When listing your company’s weaknesses, consider where your organization needs improvement. Make sure you don’t let pride get in the way! It’s important to be brutally honest so you can properly address areas of improvement.
- What are competitors doing better than our organization?
- Does our organization accurately and proactively communicate your capabilities and differentiators?
- Do our customers, employees, and other stakeholders understand our organization’s story and mission? How could this affect customer relationships, sales, recruitment, etc?
- What internal resources are we lacking to accomplish our marketing goals? Note this can be skill, capability or personnel-based.
The overall goal of recognizing your weaknesses is to give you the ability to confront them and in turn, transform them into your strengths. For example, if your business wants to establish thought leadership in a key market through content writing but doesn’t have the skilled labor to accomplish the goal, you’ll likely struggle to meet this objective. As a result, you may consider hiring an in-house marketer or outsource to a marketing agency to overcome the weakness.
This segment of the analysis examines all the possibilities and markets that the company could potentially capture. Opportunities are part of the external factors that are beyond your control and affect your company’s marketing strategy. Possible opportunities arise when competitors falter, new markets emerge, or a business capitalizes on market trends. Decision makers should remain vigilant and ready to take advantage of potential opportunities to increase brand exposure, infiltrate new markets, and more.
- What market trends work in our favor?
- Which markets are insufficiently covered in our industry?
- Which factors influence demand for our products or services?
- What upcoming events or changes (federal and/or state policies, new technologies) can we use to our advantage?
Step outside of your company’s public face and examine all factors that could cause your strategy to fail. If your organization sells itself on excellent customer service, consider the possibility that higher sales may affect client interactions if you’re not staffed appropriately. By clearly identifying each threat, your organization will be better equipped to address concerns, if they arise.
- Who are the potential competitors that could enter the market?
- Are any of our resources unstable?
- Which upcoming events or changes (policies, new technologies) pose a risk to our growth?
Develop a Marketing Strategy
Based on the data gathered in your SWOT analysis, you can now set realistic goals for growth in your Huntsville strategic marketing plan. Now it’s time to translate your findings into actionable strategies. Based on your findings, you should walk away from your SWOT analysis with a new plan for key action items. Not sure where to start? Reach out to our team and let’s chat about how you can build a strategic growth plan to help your business thrive.