Author: Jim Riley Last updated: Sunday 23 September, 2012
Marketing - SWOT analysis and marketing
An important part of the planning process is looking at the existing position of the business and trying to decide how factors external to the business may affect the business.
A business can perform a SWOT analysis as a way of deciding which marketing strategy to use. The business performs an audit on the internal and external nature of the business looking at the current and future situation. An audit is a review of all the business’ activities.
Reviews the business’ current strengths such as a good brand or strong sales performance
Can develop the strengths, perhaps in the way they promote the product, or wish to develop new products (Virgin have used their strong brand name to launch several products)
Reviews the business’ current weaknesses such poor response times to requests for information or late deliveries
Can implement strategies to eradicate these weaknesses e.g. more resources put into a better warehousing system for the despatch of goods.
Reviews the business’ future opportunities e.g. new technology making it easier to manufacturer certain goods or new markets abroad
Can use strategies to take advantage of the potential opportunities e.g. developing new products to meet the potential increased demand
Reviews the business’ future threats, mostly from increased competition from other firms or from changes in the economic situation.
Can employ strategies to ward off these problems, e.g. setting lower prices or increasing promotion
Thinking about the use of a SWOT analysis in assessing the contribution of marketing to a business’ strategy;
Possible strengths in marketing might be:
Specialist marketing expertise
An innovative product or service
The location of the business – convenient for customers
The reputation of the brand – perhaps it is trusted or recognised as the highest quality
Possible weaknesses in marketing might include:
Lack of a clear product differentiation compared with competing products
Weak distribution compared with competitors
Inadequate online presence
Potential marketing opportunities could include:
The use of technology to develop new products
Growing demand from overseas markets (e.g. China & India)
The use of social media like Facebook and Twitter to reach new customers
A list of possible marketing threats could include:
Competitors introducing better products at lower prices
Changes in the economic environment which encourage customers to be less loyal to established brands
Changes in customer tastes and fashions
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