How Do I Write a SWOT Analysis for a Marketing Plan?

K.C. Bruning

To write a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis for a marketing plan, each of these concepts must be thoroughly explored. A SWOT analysis for a marketing plan can be accomplished by one individual but is often more effective when it is completed by a diverse array of employees. The method can be used for analyzing things such as an entire business, a new project or a potential product offering.

A SWOT analysis is a tool that can be used to measure the strengths and weaknesses of a business or individual.
A SWOT analysis is a tool that can be used to measure the strengths and weaknesses of a business or individual.

The SWOT analysis for a marketing plan is essentially composed of two elements: the exterior and interior factors affecting the business. Strengths and weaknesses of the business are internal elements. Opportunities and threats are exterior factors that can have an impact on a company. Understanding all of these elements can give a company an edge by helping it to make internal elements more functional while managing and forecasting the effects of external factors.

After completing a SWOT analysis for a marketing plan, a company usually will have a strong framework upon which to build a more comprehensive review. The basics of the method are simple and straightforward, but the complexity of the results can vary. An analysis also can be completed quickly, although the significance of the results can increase exponentially with more time investment.

A typical first step in conducting a SWOT analysis is to list the strengths and weaknesses of the company. The effectiveness of this exercise depends heavily on how thorough and honest employees are when providing a critique of the organization. This process typically is most effective when the perspectives of both the company and the customer are considered. The primary purpose of exploring these areas is to determine what things distinguish the company from its competitors and what elements damage its reputation.

Then the external factors of opportunities for and threats to the business can be explored. It can be useful to consider these elements together, because a changing economic climate can change one into the other. The main purpose of this exercise is to look for external trends in a variety of areas that can affect the business.

A carefully composed SWOT analysis can be an effective first step in helping a business to improve its marketability and longevity. By showing which strengths to build upon while addressing weaknesses, the company can bolster its internal structure. A company can also manage external elements more effectively by understanding the climate in the industry and the overall economy.

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