What is Marketing SWOT analysis?
How does it spur innovation and marketing strategy development?
After analyzing your business and market environment along the 4 key dimensions outlined in the strategic marketing analysis page, you are then ready to consolidate and categorize your findings and insights using the SWOT matrix.
Start by putting those analysis findings into a 4 quadrant matrix (or some other tabular form) identifying them as STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, THREATS.
Known as SWOT analysis, an acronym from the initial letters, it is the most important tool for developing marketing strategy and running your business.
When performed correctly, SWOT can be an extremely powerful tool that guides (almost forces!) the core team to acknowledge both the positives and negatives in their market / competitive environment – rather than relying on wishful thinking or outdated assumptions.
The SWOT matrix stimulates creative / strategic thinking – pushing the team to develop strategies, solutions, and tactics to address the identified weaknesses, and build on the product and company’s strengths.
Online Marketing Strategy 101
Power of strategic questioning and validation
Value of objectivity and perspective in marketing analysis / strategy development
This is one area where an external, objective perspective is particularly valuable and pays rich dividends. It helps to counter the usual human qualities that often accompany the desired qualities of strength and confidence – blind spots, over-optimism, attachments, biases. These inevitably and understandably develop among the core team members who become "too close" to their brainchild.
Getting an external viewpoint / review also helps to offset another phenomenon – subordinates / analysts who may not feel comfortable enough to raise uncomfortable questions or challenging ideas about key assumptions or "accepted wisdom".
In order to achieve success (assuming finite allocations of money and time!), it is vital that all issues / threats (and true, verified strengths) are surfaced & appreciated sooner rather than later (after spending a ton of money in launching the business on assumptions and hope!)
Right timing for strategic analysis / SWOT
Best frequency for ongoing marketing success
For a lot of businesses, this is a strategic exercise done at the beginning / startup phase while creating a business plan, but not updated or utilized much later on. The real value / ROI of strategic marketing analysis (summarized in the SWOT matrix) comes from ongoing guidance – similar to primary, ground-sensing radar to guide your flight through through unknown & changing terrain in foggy & dynamic weather!
Your marketing strategy and plan needs to be kept up-to-date on a monthly (or at least quarterly) frequency – so it can guide and shape key business decisions on a regular basis. Doing that leads to winning ideas and decisions across critical priority areas such as: product innovation & product development; services & business processes for sales, delivery, and support; marketing strategy & key messages; communications & promotion.