SWOT Analysis: How To Conduct Your Marketing SWOT
Chapter 1
Chapter 1

SWOT Analysis: How To Conduct Your Marketing SWOT

A lot goes into creating the perfect marketing strategy for you, your team, or your whole company. First things first, it’s important for you to have all of your ducks in a row and understand what exactly you’re up against.

This doesn’t JUST mean what you’re facing as marketers now, but you need to ensure you have all future possibilities in mind, too. You don’t want to have to completely adjust your path as soon as you hit a bump in the road, so we need to create a SWOT analysis.

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What Is A SWOT Analysis?

A SWOT analysis helps you understand internal and external factors that can make or break your success toward your marketing goal. SWOT is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

The SWOT analysis process is a brainstorming technique. It’s designed to help you understand what might differentiate you from your competition and what resources you have to execute upon that opportunity. In the same breath, the SWOT framework helps you understand what might prevent you from seizing that opportunity.

The four areas it encompasses are meant to help you explore internal and external factors:

  • Internal (your resources)
    • Strengths
    • Weaknesses
  • External (market, competition, etc.)
    • Opportunities
    • Threats

What Are Your Strengths?

Ask yourself:

  • What advantages do we have to make the marketing goal a reality?
  • What tools do we have available to help us reach the marketing goal?
  • What unique differentiators will help us?
  • What resources (people + time) will help us?
  • How may we leverage our existing audience to reach the goal?

Open your marketing strategy template spreadsheet and click on the SWOT Analysis tab. Enter in your strengths in Column A rows 5-23.

What Are Your Weaknesses?

Ask yourself:

  • What improvements could we make?
  • What’s not going so well right now?
  • What factors may suck time away from the work we’d do to make the goal a reality?
  • What tech limitations may prevent us from achieving the goal?

Enter your weaknesses in Column B rows 5-23 in the SWOT Analysis tab of your marketing strategy spreadsheet.

What Are Your Opportunities?

Ask yourself:

  • What tactics are our competition not utilizing?
  • What kind of stories isn’t our competition sharing?
  • What new trends could we capitalize upon?
  • What could we do to get 10x results with 10% of the work?

Fill in Column A rows 25-43 with your opportunities.

What Are Your Threats?

  • What market conditions (or audience sentiment) may prevent us from achieving the marketing goal?
  • What are we doing that our competition is also doing?
  • What is our competition currently doing better than us?

Enter your threats in Column B rows 25-43.

Now that you’ve worked through your rough ideas for your SWOT analysis, you may also opt to enter a cleaner version of these points in the editable PowerPoint deck also available in the marketing strategy template kit.

This will help you present your marketing strategy to team members and stakeholders in a format that’s a little easier on the eyes.

A SWOT Analysis Example

Let’s dive back into the CoSchedule example. If CoSchedule wants to hit the goal of 6,000 marketing-qualified leads by December 31, 2018, the SWOT Analysis may look something like this:

Strengths

  • Audience of 200,000+ professional marketers.
  • We use the tools designed to do the job (no hacks or cobbling things together that “just work”).
  • CoSchedule’s standards of performance help us publish better content than any competitor.

Weaknesses

  • We should publish more content faster. We can improve our efficiency while still publishing effective content.
  • We need to explore new 10x ideas faster to scale beyond the blog and advertising.

Opportunities

  • The competition isn’t exploring new content delivery methodology (courses, ultimate guides, etc.).
  • No one seems to focus on helping marketing managers actually plan, strategize, and execute more efficiently + effectively with how-to methodology.

Threats

  • All of our competition is blogging and doing paid advertising.
  • Our competition outranks with domain authority + many search results we’d like to own.

This is what that SWOT analysis example looks like in the PowerPoint deck available in that marketing strategy kit:

Now, there are likely many more thoughts to list under all of these areas. However, I recommend drilling into only a few factors to capitalize on (strengths + opportunities) and mitigate (weaknesses + threats).

This way, you don’t stretch your resources so thin that it’s nearly impossible to dramatically influence what could really help you make the marketing goal a reality.

Doing fewer things well often produces better results.

Now you have a clear understanding what the factors that will make or break your success:

  • Capitalize on your strengths + opportunities
  • Mitigate your weaknesses + threats

Congrats! You’ve found your unique differentiators and understand how you’ll compete with your marketing.

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