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Marketing - SWOT analysis and marketing

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.
 

Internal

Explanation

Strategy Implications

Strengths

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)

Weaknesses

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.

External

 

 

Opportunities

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

Threats

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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Revision quizzes for business students

Starting a Business

Sources of Finance for a Startup
Franchising
Cash Flow Forecasting for a Startup
Creating & Protecting Business Ideas
Startups and Understanding the Market
Market Research for a Startup
Locating the Startup Business
Choosing a Legal Structure for a Startup
Employing People in a Startup
Generating and Protecting a Business Idea
Using Breakeven in Decision-Making

Finance

Revenues
Breakeven Basics
Costs, Revenues and Profits
Business Costs
Using Budgets
Using Breakeven in Decision-Making
Investment Appraisal Basics
Financial Strategies
Measuring and Improving Profit
Improving Cash Flow
Working Capital
Balance Sheet
Income Statement
Financial Efficiency Ratios
Profitability Ratios and ROCE
Liquidity Ratios
Gearing

Marketing

Competition
Products & Brands
Place (Distribution)
Promotion
Pricing
Price Elasticity of Demand

Business Organisation

Basics of Business Growth
Business Activities
Legal Structure Basics
Franchising
Sole Traders and Partnerships
Limited Companies
Generating and Protecting a Business Idea
Organisational Structures

People

Working in Teams
Communication Basics
Communication Methods
Workforce Planning
Recruitment, Selection & Training
Employee Motivation
Organisational Structures

Operations

Operational Objectives
Critical Path Analysis
Scale and Resource Mix
Lean Production
Capacity Management
Customer Service Basics
Managing Quality
Operational Decision-making
Using Technology in Operations
Working with Suppliers

Economic Environment

Economic Sectors
Government Spending & Taxation
Inflation
Unemployment
Interest Rates & Monetary Policy

Business Strategy

Leadership styles
Business Culture
Change Management







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