Have you ever heard of SWOT analysis? On the blog today, Mountain Air Marketing thought it’d be helpful to break down this helpful tool to analyze your small business’s objectives — especially when it comes to marketing.
What is SWOT Analysis?
SWOT analysis has been around for decades, and no one is exactly sure who came up with the idea and name first — although Albert S. Humphrey developed and refined the idea of SWOT analysis while working at Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International). Still, the concept has stuck around since at least the 1960s, and it’s a helpful way to think through business strategy.
So What Does SWOT Stand For?
In SWOT analysis, you analyze four different areas using the acronym SWOT. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
The first two areas to analyze are about internal characteristics within the company…
- Strengths: What are the unique strengths of a business (or specific section/project within the business) that can give it an advantage over other companies?
- Weaknesses: What are the weaknesses of a business (or specific section/project within the business) that place it at a disadvantage?
The second two areas to analyze are about external factors outside of the company…
- Opportunities: What are environmental elements around the business or project that the business could use to its advantage? (Think current trends, controversies, economic issues, government policies, popular topics, etc.)
- Threats: What are things in the environment that could derail the business or project? (Same idea as above.)
So How Does SWOT Analysis Apply Specifically to Online Marketing?
For marketing purposes, it’s helpful to look over SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) in a variety of ways. For example, the following things could be considered.
- Overall Marketing Strategies. Overall marketing strategies should be evaluated constantly, since so much is changing nowadays. Are you reaching the right audience? What is working and what isn’t working? Is it your execution or message that isn’t performing well? Are old strategies proving effective? What are new trends or new ways to marketing that might be better?
- Social Media Strategies. What are you good at? What are you bad at? What are the ways you could be using the online environment (say, keeping up on trending topics or figuring out trending platforms) to put your company at an advantage? Is there anything you feel you’re wasting time on (and what are the stats to back this up)? Anything that could harm your field coming down the line?
- SWOT With Other Companies. It’s often helpful to do an analysis on other companies in your field and compare their results to yours. Maybe reaching out to other companies and learning from them–or having a joint SWOT for your particular industry could be helpful for everyone involved. You could figure out how to offer referrals for each other if someone has better strengths in an area as opposed to you (and vice versa).
- What Are Customers Actually Saying? While it’s helpful to do SWOTs yourself, bringing in actual customers into a SWOT analysis can be extremely helpful. Sometimes, a business can get pretty used to talking a language that can come off as alien to the actual customer, so getting an outside perspective could be beneficial. Questions to consider: What drew them to the product? What made them hesitate? What could you do better to position and reach customers? What are your customers limitations as they think through purchasing from you? What are the actual needs and concerns from a customer’s perspective?
As you can see, SWOT analysis can be extremely helpful and used in a variety of ways for your business and your online marketing strategies. If you have questions, MAM is always here to help you walk through your online marketing! Contact us today.