How to perform the SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)? Well known to marketers and unavoidable in any marketing plan and in any folder of opportunities, business plan, innovation or new product launch plan, SWOT is the pivot between analysis and marketing decision-making.
Before we start, let’s take a look at the questions that you need to answer in order to perform a SWOT analysis :
Here are 10 useful tips to optimize this analysis for perfect results:
SWOT Analysis: 10 Tips for better results
1- Distinguish the External from the Internal
External facts are those that explain the market and its environment. They are classified either as opportunities or as threats. The internal facts are those belonging to the brand, the Strategic Activity Area or the product portfolio. For example, branding, although perceived by the marketplace, is an internal fact.
2- Relying on facts, not on intuitions
Avoid word like “esteem”, “it would seem” and privilege facts words, such as “the market is growing”, “the segment has a potential of ..”.
3- Clarify and encrypt the data
For example: “The segment is growing by 10%”, “The rate of notoriety increased by 3 points in the period”.
4- Prioritize the facts
It is advisable to highlight the facts that have an impact on the decisions to be made and to point out the emerging trends that may have an influence. Sometimes it is interesting to prioritize by numbering the facts, from the most significant to the least significant.
5- Being synthetic, going to the essential
Ideally, a SWOT analysis would fit on a page, slide, or screen. The interest is to have an overall reading in order to glimpse the whole situation. The analysis should provide a clear picture of the overall situation.
6- Put the analysis in perspective of the general objectives
The SWOT analysis is relevant when the facts are analyzed in such a way to serve the general objectives of the company, the Strategic Domain of Activities, the subsidiary or the Business Unit.
7- Linking SWOT with recommendations
The SWOT analysis to confirm or deny the best way to achieve the general objectives, it is necessary to make the link with the marketing recommendations. Often I advocate axes aimed at :
- Securing weaknesses and guarding against threats,
- Consolidating its strengths,
- Developing on the opportunities.
8- Define the scope of the SWOT
Specify the scope of the analysis, on which Strategic Activity Area, which market, what product range or brand.
9- Identify Threats, Opportunities, Strengths or Weaknesses
Begin by analyzing external facts and identifying them as threats or opportunities to achieve the overall objective, and then analyzing the internal facts into strengths or weaknesses, always in relation to the overall objective. Sometimes a fact is both a threat and an opportunity or a strength and a weakness, it is necessary to specify why in both cases.
10- Support with appendices
In order for the analysis to give a global view and to enable it to be understood, more explicit annexes such as matrices, syntheses of studies are welcome. It will proof that your analysis is based on real world data, that took you time to gather and especially to analyze in order to get at the end realistic results, which you can rely on to make decisions and recommendations.