Session 5: Performing a marketing SWOT analysis | A Marketing Podcast

Session 5: Performing a marketing SWOT analysis

In session 5 of A Marketing Podcast I discuss performing a marketing SWOT analysis as part of your marketing strategy. I walk through why your need to do one, and what you will get out of the process. I also walk you through developing each element of the SWOT and provide plenty of examples.

Session 5 Show Notes:

Recap of Previous Sessions (related to strategy development):

What’s the purpose of a Marketing SWOT Analysis

  • To identify marketing opportunities and marketing weaknesses, so that you can exploit opportunities and protect yourself from threats
  • This process will be instrumental in the development of your marketing mix.
  • If you’re not starting a new business and you’ve done marketing before the SWOT analysis, through no extra work, can be used as an Audit tool as well.

How is it different to a regular business SWOT analysis

  • A marketing SWOT is strictly concerned with marketing Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats
  • For example, the business strength of a long standing history – would be comparable to a marketing strength of a well established brand
  • We’re doing this to help us develop our marketing mix later in the strategy, so focusing on marketing SWOT’s is how the process and outcomes are different from a typical business SWOT.

Get your marketing strategy template that includes a SWOT template

Marketing SWOT Analysis: Strengths

  • Strengths are the elements of your marketing that you should lean on and use to position yourself, and your business above, your competitors
  • Internal and Helpful Elements
  • You should build your marketing mix to make use of as many strengths as possible
  • Compare yourself to your competitors and identify how you will stand out from them in your marketing

As a new business (no marketing yet):

  • You can develop strengths by thinking about your personal knowledge and experience and how that could apply to marketing for the business
  • Example: You’re starting a new personal coaching service for corporate 50+ year old males. You’ve worked in the corporate world for 5 years, and you know about the logistics and challenge to get to the gym. This knowledge is a strength.
  • Example 2: A less complicated example would be if you had 500+ connections on LinkedIn – the strength is a strong LinkedIn presence

As an audit tool (previous marketing performed):

  • When using the SWOT as an audit tool, think of the outcomes from your marketing and where you stood out from the crowd those are strengths
  • Example: if you were using  Facebook to drive traffic to an inbound marketing landing page, and you saw great results in terms of conversions- you could identify that you delivered a coherent message between platforms – your strength – understanding of your social community and how to communicate to them
  • As you can see, to develop and identify strengths from previous marketing, you have to do some research and find out exactly what it was that was successful or failed – this is auditing

A business strength example

  • as the last two were heavily focused on personal marketing strength here’s a business specific example:
    • if your business has been around forever, and everyone knows who you are – your strength is “Amazing Brand Awareness”

As a quick review – your marketing strengths can be leaned on to position yourself ahead of your competitors when executing your marketing

Marketing SWOT Analysis: Weaknesses

  • Weaknesses should be improved or avoided
  • Internal harmful elements

As a new business (no marketing yet):

  • Example: You’re not a seasoned marketer but are planning on taking on all the marketing for your new business – a weakness is – your experience
    • Understanding and identifying in your SWOT will identify that the marketing mix should be less complex than a seasoned marketer
  • Example 2: You’ve been marketing your business for years, but never did any social media marketing – your weakness is – no social media presence

As an audit tool (previous marketing performed):

  • As an audit tool is much the same process that we used for developing our strengths, except we’re looking for where our tactics failed and determining why to identify weakness
  • Example: you tried to implement a Facebook contest and failed – weakness executing online contesting, or a specific element of the contest

A Business Weakness

  • Once again the previous examples were more personal related weaknesses, here’s an example of a business weakness
  • Example: Poor print collateral
  • Example 2: Your business has zero public speakers – yet you perceive needing it as a marketing tactic

To improve or avoid?

It’s up to you to determine if it’s better to improve or avoid. It can be tricky to decide. Try talking with an expert related to the particular weakness to help answer the question.

Marketing SWOT Analysis: Opportunities

  • Opportunities are the elements you should research and identify as the best way to apply your strengths
  • External helpful elements
  • Due to the fact that they are external you’ll want to talk to others to help identify opportunities.

As a new business (no marketing yet):

  • This may just be the hardest of the SWOT elements to develop
  • Without any comparison to what you’ve done in the past the best you can do is some basic research, and as I mentioned talk to others.
  • Example: Identifying that your competitors are not using SEM
  • Example 2: Your competitors do not use social media 

As an audit tool (previous marketing performed):

  • You have more exposure to what’s possible in your marketing and can identify, much easier, where the opportunities lie.
  • Example: you spent several years working on developing an email list, and your conversions are amazing. But you just can’t seem to build the list as you had hoped. The opportunity is to build your lists’ size – the sales will be there, so get that list size increased.

Marketing SWOT Analysis: Threats

  • Threats are the elements you should be aware of in order to prevent any wasted time and effort in your marketing
  • External harmful elements
  • Again as an external element, so do some research and talk to others.
  • It’s important to know that threats aren’t just your competitors – there are also Tactical Threats

As a new business (no marketing yet):

  • There are many different types of threats
    • Competitors marketing tactics
    • A tactical threat (like social media backlash)  
    • New marketing platforms (if your competitor capitalizes before you, that would be bad)

As an audit tool (previous marketing performed):

  • Simply think back to your previous efforts and identify situations or events that could have gone bad
  • Example: you were heavy into trade shows last year, but your competitors have figured out how successful your were

Threats are important but not the most important

Reason being marketing is fairly insulated from your competitors’ direct influence, in that they can’t directly affect what you’re doing. There are ways to effect other companies by marketing them yourself in a poor light. But what you do in your marketing is in your control

The best they can do is copy your tactic and do it better. Which is actually the biggest marketing threat there is.

Quick review

  • Identify marketing opportunities and marketing weaknesses, so that you can exploit opportunities and protect yourself from threats
  • The Marketing SWOT analysis is a huge factor in determining our marketing mix
  • A Marketing SWOT is different than your business SWOT (but you can use your business SWOT to get your brainstorming going)
  • Strengths are internal helpful elements that you should make use of in all your marketing efforts
  • Weaknesses are internal harmful elements that you should improve or avoid – and that decision of which is up to you (but get some expert advice)
  • Opportunities are external and helpful elements – once again talk to someone else after you’ve done your own brainstorming to identify opportunities
  • Threats are external and harmful elements – put some time into identifying these as both competitor and marketing channel threats, once again as they’re external talk to someone else to help

So I hope that give’s you everything you need to perform swot analysis on small business marketing. Good luck!

Next Session – Session 6: Unique Sales Proposition

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