Data-Driven Marketing: How SWOT Analysis Helps to Grow Your Business
What is a SWOT analysis?
SWOT is an abbreviation for Strengths (S), Weaknesses (W), Opportunities (O), and Threats (T).
A SWOT analysis is a method of planning and comprehensive assessment of a business/project that allows for a complex review of internal factors (company’s strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (opportunities and threats) affecting the company. It is important to note that a SWOT analysis is often based on qualitative data that cannot be measured, expressed in numbers, or calculated. They are subjective and reflect how customers and employees perceive your company. We will leave more detailed and academic interpretations of a SWOT analysis and its components to other resources, and instead focus on marketing strategies based on a SWOT analysis to promote your business.
When conducting a SWOT analysis
To understand how a SWOT analysis helps businesses, it is best to look at examples of situations when and why it is used. We have found a table that shows how a SWOT analysis has been used to promote businesses over the years in different industries and contexts.
At Livepage, we use a SWOT analysis in the following cases:
- when a business is new and/or has no established positioning and value proposition;
- when forming a marketing or brand strategy;
- when determining the current position and formulating the position we aspire to take;
- when looking for new opportunities and creating hypotheses;
- when comparing and rebuilding against competitors;
- when summarizing the results for a certain period.
An example of business strengths described in the SWOT analysis
However, a SWOT analysis often tracks dynamics, which requires regular repetition. To update the SWOT analysis results, it is sufficient to repeat the analysis once a year, but we recommend choosing the exact frequency depending on your strategic goals. For example, if you want to change the company’s image or test a new approach, you can and should conduct the analysis more often.
When testing or launching a new product or service, you can also use the SWOT analysis method to determine how customers perceive the innovation and its impact on the company’s image and positioning.
Since this method is quite versatile, we would like to offer you a formula for its application. A SWOT analysis is appropriate in cases where you need to:
- Assess internal opportunities (where the project or team is ahead of others in the market), internal threats (what within the project or team weakens potential opportunities), external opportunities (factors that provide additional opportunities to achieve the ultimate goal and result), external threats (possible factors that slow down the process of reaching the team’s aims).
- Develop a clear positioning, value proposition, strategy, product or service description, description of your approach, and a common understanding among the team.
- Analyze the result. When you make changes or introduce new services/products with the help of a SWOT analysis, you can measure the starting point “A” and compare it with point “B” after achieving results.
How a SWOT analysis helps promote your business
As you understand, a SWOT analysis helps you evaluate a project/product/service and, using strengths and opportunities (components of SWOT analysis), find ways to develop your business and even build a blue ocean strategy described by W. Chan Kim. Thanks to weaknesses and threats, you can improve your product or service and develop effective strategies to protect against external dangers. Therefore, it is best to set tasks related to:
- searching for new opportunities and building hypotheses;
- comparing the company/project/product/service with the previous period or competitors;
- formulating strategies;
- visualizing the real situation in the company;
- making key decisions on changing the direction of development, rebranding, and launching new products or services.
A SWOT analysis is a powerful and quite versatile tool in business development. However, to achieve maximum efficiency, you need to:
- Understand the purpose.
- Set relevant goals and objectives.
- Maintain the correct methodology.
Tips on how to perform a SWOT analysis
Now, we will tell you about the peculiarities of a SWOT analysis for business promotion and share a few tricks we use when choosing this method for Livepage clients:
- Find or make a convenient and visual SWOT matrix in which you will conduct the analysis, for example, this template in Figma.
- Conduct the analysis in a brainstorming session involving the core project team, namely managers of different departments. This will help you see the pros and cons from various angles and get more objective data.
- Limit the time for discussing each element, which will help you consider only the facts that are important and noticeable to the audience (clients and colleagues).
- Make decisions together. If only one department considers something your advantage, it is likely not an objective advantage of your company or service/product.
- Survey employees and clients to collect information about the company/product/service from all strategic groups.
- Formulate the task before the SWOT analysis as clearly and concisely as possible, and communicate it to all parties involved. You should understand what goal you want to achieve and how the SWOT analysis can help you. For example, suppose your goal is “to increase the number of new customers by 10% next year”. In that case, the objectives of the SWOT analysis may be “to understand what weaknesses and external threats may hinder you, what strengths you have that can help you achieve this goal, and what new opportunities you can use for this.” If you follow all the previous points, the SWOT analysis results will help you formulate strategies and tactics to achieve your goal, prepare a plan to counter external threats, and improve the weaknesses of your product or service that hinder your goal.
Now businesses in Ukraine are becoming interested in data and base their business and marketing strategies on this.
We hope you can use a SWOT analysis in your business development.
Please contact us if you need help with your SWOT analysis or want more sales from SEO, PPC, and email marketing.
We are happy to help.