We’ve introduced a new category to the blog, to help you wade through the somewhat complicated language often associated with marketing.
Whilst we are hugely passionate about marketing, we’re equally passionate about making it practical, no nonsense and realistic, so we hope you find this useful…
This stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
In truth, this is a model used across business, and for individuals, rather than being exclusively a marketing term.
However, it is very common in marketing, and will always be found if you have the kind of weighty marketing plan that is good for holding doors open!
So, what does it actually mean?
This is a great opportunity (sorry – no pun intended!) to identify what is really good about your business – your strengths – and, frankly, what is not so good – your weaknesses.
To do this well, we think it is worth having some meaningful conversations with customers, suppliers and staff, so you get a really rounded, and realistic view of your business – not a rose tinted perspective.
You should look at both strengths and weaknesses from the view of what gives you a competitive advantage, and what counts against you in the market place.
Whilst strengths and weaknesses tend to be inward focusing, that is to say on your business, opportunities and threats are outward focusing on the environment within which your business works.
So, here, you will be looking at ways you can take advantage of your position and expertise relative to what is happening in the market – opportunities. Weaknesses are where you have identified risks, such as areas where competitors can easily steal a march on you, or developments that your business has been slow to adopt.
SWOT is usually done as a matrix – see the image above for how it is most commonly set up. It can also be very effective when done for a specific product or service in the business, rather than trying to tackle it for the whole company at once.
A word of warning:
Whilst this is a hugely useful tool, and certainly provides a framework for the questions we ask clients, don’t get so bogged down by analysing your business, that you don’t move forward and actually do anything.
If you’d like some help with getting your marketing sorted,
give us a call on 01256 83 11 10.
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