SWOT marketing is when you look at a particular type of company and you focus on the SWOT analysis which includes strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Your next step is going to be that as you look at these various categories closely. If you are a manager who works in the marketing department, you’re actually going to put down the various types of companies that are similar to the company you want to review.
If you were looking at the top cable companies, you might have Time Warner Cable in one column, you may have Cablevision in another column, and you may have Dish Cable in the third column. Because you’re going to do a SWOT analysis on each one, you can fill in the information down the page with strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and sometimes, you can add another category called considerations.
Let’s go through each step more in depth.
SWOT Marketing Strengths
As you look at the different types of strengths, you are going to look at where the company has a competitive edge, where they are strong and you also want to see where they stand out from the competition.
Because your focus is going to be on marketing, you want to look at areas where they are strong as it relates to marketing. That means if you’re looking at Time Warner Cable, you might know that they’ve run a lot of ads recently. They have a lot of popular shows on HBO like Game of Thrones. Or if you were looking at another type of cable company, maybe they’re running a lot of new ads online which can help them with their online business.
SWOT Marketing Weaknesses
Next when you get to weaknesses, as you look at the weaknesses that a company has, you are going to look at this from a marketing standpoint. That means maybe they didn’t have a good brand, or there was a problem with their brand.
Do you remember hearing about that peanut butter company that had the recalls a few years ago? Or maybe you heard about the formula for Coca Colas that was Coca Cola Zero or Coca Cola clear and no one liked it so they pulled it off the market? These are all weak marketing problems that the companies had that gave them more negative press.
Even when Walmart has bad press (news) about their problems with their staff and with labor unions, these are all things that are looked at in a bad way because it means that they’re getting negative feedback. That means negative ads and negative marketing.
Keep in mind that a company works hard to try to make sure that their ads are seen in a positive way. Negative press or bad news means that they’re going to get bad publicity about them and that’s still advertising, too.
SWOT Marketing Opportunities
Next as you look at the opportunities, you want to think about ways in which marketing is doing well for a company. Maybe if Time Warner Cable merged with Comcast, the new opportunity would mean that they’re going to have a bigger cable company. That’s a big opportunity for them and from an advertising standpoint it’s strong. That means a lot more money for them, more ads and more promotions that they can use to reach more people.
SWOT Marketing Threats
As we look at threats, remember threats are similar in a way to weaknesses. These are problems that the company might have. Because you’re looking at marketing, you have to think about ways where other companies might be doing a better job at marketing.
A few years ago, Dominos faced a marketing threat when their customers complained about their pizza. They said it was bad and other companies started to talk badly about them, too. What ended up happening is because they turned that bad press into something good, they made more money for themselves. Dominos ran ads telling people to try their new pizza and the public loved it! A company can include this as it relates to marketing even with the negative press if they know how to use it to help their business make a turnaround.
For example, there are still some stores that only have print ads. That means that there are some local grocery stores where you have to go in and pick up their flyer to see what’s on sale and you can’t go online to look at the grocery store items.
This could be because they’re understaffed. That means they don’t have enough people in their advertising department or in their inventory department to update the items regularly and this can affect their sales.
If there’s a Whole Foods, a Costco or even a Walmart in the area where you can go online to see what their prices are, this is a threat to that small store because they’re lagging behind in marketing.
SWOT Marketing Considerations
Your next area that you’re going to focus on is considerations. Some companies use this and some don’t. The benefit to having the considerations listed is that you can list the additional areas where the company may be strong and where they may have a good marketing plan.
Sometimes managers who work in a marketing area actually want to put down all the different points where a company may be strong in their marketing. You might want to look at different things like:
- their budget
- how they set up their ads
- are their ads viewable and usable online, on TV and in print ads, as well
Because you’re looking at companies and the marketing that they do, you have to remember this is going to depend on different marketing areas. There may be billboard ads like the big ads we see when we’re driving across the highway and you see that really, really large ad. Other areas can be different like in print ads. These can include newspapers you can carry with you. Ads can also be online, like the ads we’re starting to see more of on sites like Facebook. Ads can also be on TV and in stores where you go to the mall and see an ad that is hanging up.
All of these considerations and factors could help you to better understand SWOT marketing analysis.