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What is GAP Analysis?

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GAP analysis can be used alongside marketing cost analysis. But it’s transferable to management, customer experience, employee training and more.

Here we’ll discuss what GAP analysis is and why it’s necessary for making positive changes in your business.

Your GAP analysis goals

In GAP analysis, the goal is to identify current behavior and acknowledge what new behavior you want to see. Basically, what is your current state and what results do you want to see in a specified timeframe?

In essence, this analysis will help “close the gap” between one state into another. The change doesn’t need to be overly detailed. But it should move your business down a path of success.

An example of using GAP analysis

For instance, maybe you’re looking to grow your Twitter account. You’re currently at 500 followers and want to increase it to 1500.

The ‘500 followers’ is your current state. ‘1500’ followers is where you want to go. And now you need to cement why you want this change.

Do you simply want a boost in followers, which will make you appear as an authority in your industry? Or do you want increased authentic engagement which means building a following will lead to that?

In the end, what is the goal for these 1500 followers?

Perhaps you’re looking to convert them into customers. Maybe you intend to have them contribute to your user generated content strategy. Either way, you’re looking to implement this change in your GAP analysis for a reason.

Understanding your why is the first step to seeing it happen.

How to use GAP analysis for success

The first step is to identify the current behavior you want to change and the future behavior (or result) of the change. But that’s only the start. Because a goal is just words if a plan isn’t involved.

Back to the growing your Twitter following example. Several methods can lead to increasing the number from 500 to 1500. Such things include:

  • Tweeting regularly
  • Identifying your target market
  • Researching hashtags your target market use
  • Following and interacting with influencers in your industry
  • Creating a Twitter marketing plan for promotions/engagement
  • Bringing attention to your twitter account on your business website

All of these methods work together to help increase engagement and interaction on Twitter. Tweeting regularly is easy, but what to tweet — that your target market will enjoy — takes more research. As does creating a business campaign or conversion strategy to move these followers into customers.

So, alongside knowing your current situation (500 followers) and where you want to go (1500 followers), you need a plan to get to that point.

When you use GAP analysis, it’s important to have enough information about how you’re going to “close” the gap between the current situation and the results you’re after. Too much information can lead to confusion. But too little information may make it difficult to bring the goal to fruition.

Remember GAP analysis is not just related to marketing. It can be used in leadership programs, to increase customer experience, helping to increase the morale of current and prospective employees, and much more.

In any department you’d like to increase or change current behaviors, GAP analysis applies.

Next week we’ll dive more into the GAP analysis by explaining the truth behind Skills GAP analysis and Fit GAP analysis, and how it applies to your future goals!

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