SWOTWe’ve had so many questions lately from various institutions and organizations about performing a SWOT Analysis for their initiatives. This is great. We’re glad we are being asked.

But we are finding that further discussion is uncovering a few misunderstandings of the exact the purpose of a SWOT Analysis, what you can expect as a report from the SWOT Analysis and how it can be used in support of a full-blown Marketing Plan.

This should get us started again on the right foot and at least on the same thinking level.

SWOT Analysis, is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project or in a business venture. It involves specifying the objective of the business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieving that objective. The technique is credited to Albert Humphrey, who led a research project at Stanford University in the 1960s and 1970s using data from the Fortune 500 companies.

Simple rules for successful SWOT analysis:

  • Be realistic about the strengths and weaknesses of your organization when conducting SWOT analysis.
  • SWOT analysis should distinguish between where your organization is today, and where it could be in the future.
  • SWOT should always be specific. Avoid grey areas.
  • Always apply SWOT in relation to your competition i.e. better than or worse than your competition.
  • Keep your SWOT short and simple. Avoid complexity and over analysis.
  • SWOT is subjective.

Some of the problems that you may encounter with SWOT are as a result of one of its key benefits – flexibility. Since SWOT analysis can be used in a variety of scenarios, it has to be flexible. However this can lead to a number of anomalies. Problems with basic SWOT analysis can be addressed using a more critical POWER SWOT.

Internal and external factors:
The aim of any SWOT analysis is to identify the key internal and external factors that are important to achieving the objective. fake montblanc watches SWOT analysis groups key pieces of information into two main categories:

  • Internal factors The strengths and weaknesses internal to the organization.
  • External factors The opportunities and threats presented by the external environment.

The internal factors may be viewed as strengths or weaknesses depending upon their impact on the organization’s objectives. fake chopard watches What may represent strengths with respect to one objective may be weaknesses for another objective. The factors may include all of the 4P’s; as well as personnel, finance, manufacturing capabilities, and so on. The external factors may include macroeconomic matters, technological change, legislation, and socio-cultural changes, as well as changes in the marketplace or competitive position. The results are often presented in the form of a matrix.

References & credits:
Marketing Teacher
Wikipedia

Photo credit: Philippe Boukobza

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2 Comments

  1. Bill Boyer

    Good article on SWOT. It really does work if you can get people to be honest. Getting to the honesty is sometimes difficult.

    And sometimes when working with the analysis you need to push the question, why? This may get you to the basic issue.

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