Hello, class. Welcome to Marketing Strategy 101. My name is Amanda, and I’ll be your instructor over the next few days.
Are you bored out of your mind yet? You shouldn’t be. It gets more interesting, I promise.
When I was a kid, I LOVED to play strategy-based board games. I won’t lie, I still like them as an adult. Games like Battleship, Sequence, and Scrabble are some of my favorites. The business world is a lot like those board games. You have to pay attention not only what you’re working with, but what your opponent has, as well.
Let’s Start With SWOT
Any business majors in the class? If so, you’ll recognize the graphic to your right. The SWOT matrix is a building block for any business. SWOT is an acronym for “strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.” These can be further grouped into two sections:
- Helpful (strengths and opportunities) or harmful (weaknesses and threats)
- Internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) or external factors (opportunities and threats)
Though simplistic, the SWOT matrix is actually one of the most useful charts for business decisions. Sometimes, the answers are harder than you may think. Plotting them out on a piece of paper can also get your brain going.
So What Does SWOT Have To Do With Marketing?
Only everything. Though marketing is just a portion of your overall business, it’s also one of the most critical components. Without marketing, you can’t stay in front of your client base. Before creating a marketing strategy, you’ve got to know where to start. A SWOT matrix is one of the easiest ways to evaluation where your business sits, both internally and externally. A few examples:
- Your team has been in your region for the longest of any in your industry. [STRENGTH] [helpful/internal]
- The sales team is relatively new. [WEAKNESS] [harmful/internal]
- One of your competitors recently went out of business. [OPPORTUNITY] [helpful/external]
- A competitor recently signed an exclusive deal on a new technology. [THREAT] [harmful/external]
In order to properly gauge your marketing plan, you need to know where you company stands overall business-wise. You can’t play without a full deck…or without all of the information you need to make the right decision.
Interested in learning more about how you can use SWOT to evaluate your marketing plan? We’ll be moving on from Marketing Strategy 101 to Marketing Strategy 102…so stay tuned for tomorrow’s follow-up blog. Or just contact us and we’ll help you figure it out: