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The good, the bad and the ugly of detailed SWOT analysis

Whether you are an advertising or marketing student, entrepreneur, or business professional, prepare to learn about one of the most basic and functional tools for marketers that is still widely practiced today: the SWOT analysis. Like many topics in school that students seem to avoid (learning the quadratic formula in calculus, reading Brave New World for English, or that extremely awkward topic that everyone in health class is embarrassed to learn), detailed SWOT analysis is something that you are going to have to face learning and getting used to writing no matter how advanced our advertising methods are. Detailed SWOT analysis will be around forever and can really help you understand the environment your product or service is getting into and what you have to offer your potential customers that your competitors have forgotten about. So here it is in plain language: the good, the bad, and the ugly of detailed SWOT analysis.

As a professional marketer who has been working in this field, representing a multitude of companies throughout North America for over 15 years, I continually champion the benefits and effectiveness of developing and using a detailed SWOT analysis. Before beginning any new project, either for myself or for a client, I have and will continue to include the development of a SWOT analysis. My suggestion to you is that if you want your marketing initiatives to work like a professionally developed plan, you need to think and act like a professional marketer. In this article I am going to share with you…

o The good thing about developing a proper SWOT analysis “The good thing”

o What is the downside of developing a proper SWOT analysis? “The bad”

o What if the SWOT analysis doesn’t seem to add value to my marketing plan? “The ugly one”

So why do seasoned advertising executives claim that a detailed SWOT analysis of their product/service could open your eyes to an opportunity you never imagined? Let’s put it this way: If you’re a new business owner and need to sell your business to your future employees, who are ultimately responsible for reselling your business idea, you’re probably better off having a clear idea. sense of what your business is. The vision, mission and core values ​​of your business are very important in determining whether or not customers see your product/service as a need. Is the product category you’re in thriving, full of competition, or yesterday’s trend? All these answers can be yours, breaking down your company in a SWOT analysis.

What’s good about a SWOT? The easiest way to answer this question is in the acronym, put plainly, a SWOT will tell you what the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are to your business. Strengths and weaknesses are attributes of your business that are identified internally. What happens within your own company environment? Some of the strengths you may have are that you were the first entrant in a category (i.e. Red Bull in the energy drink category), whether your company won any awards, what makes you different from your competitors (do you have anything They don’t. Is it that hard to copy?) Weaknesses could be that you weren’t “one of the originals” and that you’re lumped in with all the other thousands of soap varieties available today – it lacks that “must have” feature. Or maybe your product or service is a seasonal item, so your key sales peak only occurs during a certain quarter of the year, in which case how does the business survive the other 3 quarters? Strengths and weaknesses are easy to identify if you really sit down and think about what your company is, what it stands for, and what it offers your customers. Opportunities and threats are identified externally: These are things that happen outside of your business that you can’t control. Going back to the Red Bull example, the fact that the general public was feeling exhausted more often and looking for a “lift” paved the way for Red Bull to really resonate with the public. And perhaps the easiest example of a threat is something that most businesses seem to be facing today: the depressed state of the economy and the spending-wary public. These four aspects are quick and easy ways to break into your business, and with a little thought, you can open up your business to opportunities you didn’t originally see.

What’s wrong with a detailed SWOT analysis? Well, for a newbie, get ready, this is just one of the millions of SWOT analyzes you will perform on a variety of companies and products. But don’t worry, practice makes perfect. Sometimes the first SWOTs can take a bit of time to nail down the formula, but it will soon become as simple as riding a bike.

The ugly of detailed SWOT analysis is very rare but it has seen the light of day. Perhaps the product category is so complex that a SWOT doesn’t really answer any immediate questions for your business. Or you’ve finally completed what you thought was an amazing analysis, only to realize that after spending a lot of money on your “dream project” you’ve entered an overly saturated market and your product (without much added value) . ) will soon be lost to the masses – YIKES! Additionally, some companies confuse their internal strengths with external opportunities, where their SWOT analysis becomes biased and unhelpful.

So while as a first-timer you may be frustrated with what makes an attribute internal or external, the fact that you sometimes need to research your category to really access some interesting opportunities once you get familiar with this process, there is a good chance you can Start dreaming about SWOT analyzes and start applying them to your everyday life: One of the best things about a detailed SWOT analysis is that it is a basic structure that really puts your business in perspective for you, your employees and , more importantly, what you have to do. offer to your customers.

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