A S.W.O.T. analysis is included as part of the competitive advantage in your business plan, and outlines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for your company. For your marketing plan, also create a S.W.O.T. analysis as it will assist with goal setting, resource planning, and deciding on what marketing tactics to use.
Here are a list of guiding questions to use when developing a SWOT analysis for your marketing plan. Strengths and weaknesses are focused on internal attributes, while opportunities and threats come from external sources. There are a variety of ways you can present your SWOT in your marketing plan, but the most typical format is in a quadrant. See an example of a SWOT chart below.
Strengths and Weaknesses
- What marketing skills do you, or your staff, have? e.g. design, digital tools.
- Do you have access to external marketing support?
- Do you currently have marketing channels in place? Are they successful?
- If you are expanding your business, do you have expertise in the local market?
- What resources do you have available? Budget, Time, Skills
- Are there any competing initiatives within the company? Resources
Opportunities and Threats
- What trends or changes are influencing best-practices? Social media or search engine algorithms, concerns for privacy on digital platforms
- Any new channels or tools now available or are now more affordable?
- Are there any new opportunities for marketing? Community events, new regulations that support your industry, new research.
- Are there any changes to competitors’ marketing activities? SEO, Digital Branding, Events.
- Are there any events or initiatives within the marketplace - economy, community, industry - that can cause interference with your messaging? Too much noise to compete for your audience’s attention.
- Any new legal or regulations to be considered? CASL - Canadian Anti-Spam Law affects email marketing, GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation affects data rules for EU members