SWOT Matrix- The Secret Weapon for Any Marketing Plan
We've written hundreds of marketing plans since getting out of business school. It's absolutely one of those tools you use regularly after graduating, in fact sometimes we write them as often as every quarter. Although we don't recommend that (it can be very time-consuming!).
When we look back at the plans we wrote 10 years ago....it's cringe-worthy. Ahhh to be so young and naive. Marketing seemed so simple back then, set up a Facebook page and you're set.
But there is one thing that has remained consistent from then until now, and that is our love for SWOT Matrixes.
You've likely heard of SWOT Analysis which is a table comparing Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
A SWOT Matrix is the more detailed and refined version that should be included in every business or marketing plan you write.
There’s a common mistake that we’ve made countless times when it comes to writing these plans and that is coming up with the strategies and tactics before properly assessing the internal and external landscape.
How many times have you thought of a brilliant idea and then come up with the reasons you should do it after?
A SWOT Matrix essentially eliminates any marketing planning that isn’t supported by the environmental landscape.
You begin by laying out the same factors you would in a SWOT Analysis but the difference here is that you pair up the negative factors with the positive ones to create the strategies you will expand upon further in your plan.
Below is an example from a case study on Toyota. You can see how strategies aren't baseless and make use of the business landscape.
- Your Strength/Opportunities strategies take advantage of your strengths and exploit them to your full advantage
- Weakness/Opportunities strategies use your external environment to make your organization stronger
- Strength/Threat strategies use your capital and assets to address the less-than-accommodating aspects of your business environment
- Weakness/Threat strategies turn the table on the weakest elements of your organization and the environment and use them to your advantage.
Once you start using this tool, business and marketing plans because much easier to write and become much more effective when executed.