When marketing tactics are falling flat, teams have various ways to investigate why they cannot meet their goals. Social media account, blog, and other channel-specific audits are invaluable for informing targeted adjustments. Still, there is one incredibly valuable—although resource-intense—way to explore how each of these and much more is factoring into the team’s success: a marketing SWOT analysis.
A marketing SWOT analysis is the most effective way to understand your holistic marketing program’s results and identify ways to increase the likelihood of meeting your goals (and staying in business). The process is thorough and can be daunting for those unfamiliar with the steps. Still, there are several ways to stay focused during your analysis so that it can drive meaningful results instead of trapping your team in an endless analysis paralysis loop of evaluation and brainstorming.
What is a (Marketing) SWOT Analysis?
Simply put, a SWOT analysis is a framework that your marketing team can use to assess your team’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT).
Strengths and weaknesses generally involve internal factors that your team controls, whereas opportunities and threats are external factors, like general market conditions and your competitive landscape.
The SWOT framework helps inform many business planning processes—and you’ll almost always want a cross-departmental team to inform the analysis—but we’re going to focus just on marketing applications here.
We recommend that you conduct a formal SWOT analysis at least once a year. You can complete more frequent mini-analyses to help you stay ahead of the trends. This also allows you to pivot sooner rather than later if there is evidence that your strategy may underperform.
Why Should Your Team Conduct a Marketing SWOT Analysis?
This strategic process ensures that your team is taking a full look at the factors that could impact your success, both internal and external. During the analysis, your marketing team will get a 360 look at your organization and leverage insights from other departments to ensure you’ve considered all angles and priorities.
Here are just a few ways that a marketing SWOT analysis can benefit your team:
- Hard data is better than assumptions. Teams should not build a year-long program simply based on someone’s gut feeling or because “this is how we’ve always done it.” The SWOT analysis will gather data to either reinforce or challenge assumptions, allowing your team to make informed decisions.
- Organizational alignment drives efficiencies. Because the SWOT analysis involves members from your entire organization, teams can become better aligned on their priorities and understand what each group is focused on and creating.
- Overcome creative hurdles. If your team feels stuck on what to do next or how to approach a new campaign, a SWOT analysis can often fast-track your brainstorming and find a more viable solution to drive the desired results.