One of the most basic, and most effective, marketing tactics in the books is the tried and true SWOT analysis. This exercise will help users identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, hence the abbreviation. While the SWOT analysis has been around since the dawn of freshmen marketing classes, they aren’t always that easy to do. That being said, here’s a guide to running SWOT analysis the right way.
When making a list of your strengths think about competitive advantages. A competitive advantage is something you have that your competition doesn’t. It could be buying power, service offering, or brand recognition. Thinking this way will help you identify why you stand out against your competition. If you get stuck on this point ask yourself, “why do our customers come to us instead of our competitors?”
Now it’s time to look in the mirror and talk about everything you don’t like about yourself. Listing out your company’s weaknesses takes a certain level of honesty some aren’t comfortable with, but if you want the SWOT to do its job everyone at the table needs to check their feelings at the door. Focus on things you’re not doing that you know you should be doing and things that can be done better. A good primer question for weaknesses is, “if I were a consumer, what would prevent me from buying this product, or engaging with this business?”