SWOT Analysis in a Marketing Plan

Last Updated
July 20, 2010

SWOT

This is a commonly used form of marketing analysis. It looks at both your business and the external environment to anticipate possible future action you may need to take to defend or expand your market position.

SWOT stands for Strengths; Weaknesses; Opportunities; and Threats.

(i) Strengths

Here you should list the main strengths of your business and products/services. This should include not only the areas that your business or products are good at, but also high profit margins, successful current marketing campaigns and similar strengths. e.g. Our business has a reputation for excellent quality customer service.

Strengths are internal factors, and are usually related to your business only.

(ii) Weaknesses

Here you should list the main weaknesses of your business and products/services. This should include the areas that you feel your business could improve on, or are limiting your quality or expansion. e.g. Our slow production speed makes it difficult for us to meet shipment dates effectively. Weaknesses are internal factors, and are usually related to your business only.

(iii) Opportunities

Here you should list what you believe to be the best opportunities available in your market, or new markets you believe your business can succeed in. e.g. Gap in market for smaller versions of our products. Remem ber, a weakness may be an opportunity in disguise! e.g. If we fix the weakness in our manufacturing speed whilst maintaining quality, we have an opportunity to offer faster delivery to our customers. Opportunities are almost always external, although they may rely on internal strengths. e.g. An opportunity is available by advertising our strengths in quality of service.

(iv) Threats

Here you should list what you believe to be the biggest threats to your business. This could include competitors, government regulations, changes in customer attitudes and other such areas. e.g. Our competitors are pl anning to launch a big new product in the next 6 months. Threats are almost always external, although they may rely on internal weaknesses or external factors that limit your strengths. e.g. If our competitors lower their prices and we match them, we may be left with an unprofitable product.
SWOT Analysis - Understanding Your Business

Article Index

  1. How Can a Marketing Plan Benefit Your Business?
  2. How do You Make a Marketing Plan?
  3. Place and Product in a Marketing Plan
  4. Promotion in a Marketing Plan
  5. SWOT Analysis in a Marketing Plan
  6. Summary and Further Reading on Marketing Plan
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