Sometimes the best way to see new opportunities is to introduce a fresh perspective. If you’d like help considering your options, reach out to my team. We’re happy to offer our thoughts and help you build an effective strategy.
4. Locate Threats
Ideally, you should perform a SWOT analysis every 6 to 12 months or whenever you notice changes in your campaign ROI.
By now, you should’ve come across a few opportunities already. While reading customer reviews, looking at support tickets, and digging into GA data, you’ve likely already noted a few areas where you could improve.
Can I use SWOT for marketing at my small business?
A few other benefits of SWOT for marketing include:
- a better understanding of which marketing channels to focus on
- helps you address weaknesses in your ads or marketing assets
- makes it easier to see threats to your campaigns before they impact your bottom line
- enables you to leverage the assets and strengths you already have
- improves long-term goal setting for your marketing
The first step in performing a SWOT analysis for marketing is determining the scope. Do you want to look at your marketing as a whole or a specific part of your overall marketing strategy? For example, you might want to focus only on your content strategy, SEO, or a specific ad campaign. Defining the parameters of your analysis helps keep you focused.
As you look for strengths (through customer and employee surveys, for example), also keep an eye out for weaknesses. Other places to locate weaknesses might include:
- Customer reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, etc.
- In support tickets. If you constantly get complaints about the same topic, that may need to be addressed.
- In a competitive analysis.
- Exit interview data, for customers or employees.
- Analyze your exit pages in Google Analytics. Why are customers leaving those pages?
- Assess time-on-page. Do customers spend less time on crucial pages in your marketing funnel?
3. Find Opportunities
There’s still a good chance you are wasting money, and that’s because most businesses measure the impact of marketing after the fact. While knowing the cost per click of your search or social ads is essential, understanding the overall impact of your marketing campaigns can provide deeper insights into your business.
This is my favorite part of SWOT—looking for areas to grow and build on your past successes. Where can you make changes and see the biggest impact? This step will help you figure it out. Begin by asking these questions:
- How can you improve your marketing funnel or UX?
- What kind of marketing messaging resonates with your customers? Can you leverage that on more platforms?
- Who are your most vocal brand advocates? How can you use them more effectively?
- Are your budget, tools, and human resources being utilized to their full potential?
- Which marketing channels exceeded expectations, and why?
Where to Find Opportunities Data
How often should I perform a SWOT for marketing?
A few other limitations to keep in mind:
- SWOT analyses can be time-intensive. Make sure you have the personnel and the time to invest before getting started.
- You might generate too many ideas on how to improve your marketing and get overwhelmed.
- It can generate a lot of data but doesn’t tell you how to use that data.
Don’t answer the questions above off the top of your head. Instead, use data to inform your answers. Depending on your business, that might include the following steps:
- Perform a customer satisfaction survey, like a net promoter score, to understand how customers view your business.
- Pull campaign data from separate tools into one dashboard, like Power BI or Google Data Studio to better understand the most effective campaigns.
- Poll your employees to better understand your resources and how your team views your company.
2. Look for Your Marketing Weaknesses
Take a step back and try to look at the data with an open mind. What areas, platforms, or strategies are most likely to drive the best results? Make a list. You can also look at:
If you’ve run a Google Ad campaign or boosted a Facebook post, you already understand how to track the impact of your campaigns. A SWOT analysis looks beyond the standard metrics like ROI, CPC, and CAC to uncover the most crucial factors impacting your marketing—whether that is customer satisfaction, competitors squeezing you out of the market, or failure to promote your assets effectively.
The goal of SWOT analysis is not just to track metrics or see which ads perform better but rather to get a high-level view of the impact of your marketing so you can improve it.
What Are the Benefits of SWOT Analysis in Marketing?
It can also be difficult to analyze very complex factors that could be either a weakness or a strength. For example, running ads on TikTok might have the highest cost and drive higher quality leads, which could be both a strength and a potential weakness.
That data can be powerful, especially if it’s available when you need it the most. According to Airtable, 46 percent of marketers say lack of timely data holds their team back. A SWOT analysis can help.
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How can you improve your current strengths? What steps can you take to reduce the impact of your weaknesses? What changes can you make to take advantage of the marketing opportunities you uncovered? Finally, how can you prepare for the threats you face?
Remember, your answers and the questions you ask might vary depending on whether you are analyzing a specific campaign or your marketing strategy as a whole.
How to Find Strength Data
Start by asking questions. Again, feel free to adjust the wording to fit your campaign or overall strategy.
- What do your customers most dislike about your company or offering?
- What complaints are often mentioned in negative reviews?
- Why do customers churn?
- If you sell products, why don’t customers come back?
- What could your campaigns do more effectively?
- What are the biggest challenges in your current marketing funnel?
- Where in your funnel do you lose the most customers?
- Where do your competitors win? (This could be specific strategies or platforms they are doing well with.)
- What resources are you lacking?
Start by asking these questions and documenting the answers. Adjust the questions as needed to focus on a campaign or your entire marketing strategy.
- What does your company (or your campaign) do better than others in your industry?
- What do your customers love most about your company/product/services?
- What positive attributes do customers associate with your brand?
- What is your unique selling proposition? Is it effective?
- What resources do you have that competitors don’t? This includes people, financial resources, and expertise.
- What campaigns are most successful? Consider not just conversions but also lifetime value and cost per acquisition.
What does SWOT stand for?
Whether you use SWOT to analyze your overall marketing strategy or focus on specific campaigns like your content marketing, this approach provides the information you need to launch more effective marketing campaigns.
Once you’ve performed your SWOT analysis for marketing, it’s time to put that information to work.
Understanding the limitations of a SWOT analysis can help marketers and business owners better prepare and improve their chances of success. Now that you know its limitations, how do you perform a SWOT analysis?
How to Perform a SWOT Analysis for Marketing Campaigns
Have you performed a SWOT analysis before? What is holding you back?
Yes, SWOT can be used to analyze the effectiveness of marketing for any sized business. It’s particularly helpful for small businesses to find ways to stand out from their competitors.
Conclusion: SWOT Helps Marketers Make Smarter Decisions
How do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns? Do you track ROI? A/B test ads to improve performance? Maybe you use a fancy Google Data Studio dashboard to generate slick reports.
Nearly 40 percent of marketers report having no documented marketing strategy at all, and that can hold you back. Looking at your weaknesses is the first step toward creating or improving your marketing strategy.
Where to Get Weakness Data
The average business spends around 12 percent of its overall budget on marketing—a SWOT analysis ensures your budget is put to good use.
What Are the Drawbacks of SWOT in Marketing?
What do you do well? If you’re looking at a specific campaign, think about what elements of the campaign are really working. For example, does your landing page convert at a higher rate, or are ads with people more likely to earn clicks?
For example, many websites were devastated when Google rolled out its Panda update, which targeted thin and spammy content. Those who saw it coming had already made changes and weren’t nearly as impacted. That should be your goal—to see threats on the horizon and take action.
Keep in mind, there’s no one right way to perform a SWOT analysis, and that’s because every business has a different marketing strategy and faces different threats.
This is often the most challenging part of a SWOT analysis. That’s because you have to be honest with yourself, and it can be hard to admit where campaigns have fallen short.
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