How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis - The First Step in Advertising Planning : Swat the competition!

in Planning

The first step in planning just about any business activity is to conduct a SWOT (Strength Weakness Opportunity Threat) analysis on your business. Surprisingly, many businesses have never done a SWOT analysis ... but advertising planning time of year is as good an excuse as any to get this vital business function done. Today we investigate the whys and also the hows of SWOT analyses in an advertising planning context.

Why Do I Need a SWOT Analysis for Ad Planning?

To begin creating your advertising planning strategy, you'll need two key pieces of information. These are:

  • An assessment of the marketplace.
  • An assessment of how your company and product/service fits into the marketplace.

It is useful to think about your business' positioning in the marketplace in terms of what your current assets are (Strengths), what opportunities exist to leverage those assets (Opportunities), the liabilities or weaknesses of your company (Weaknesses), and the ways that others might exploit those weaknesses (knowingly or unknowingly), to take clients or profit or reputation away from your business (Threats). You could answer the two questions above any way you liked ... but the advantage in doing a SWOT analysis is that the path is 
well-trodden.

How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis

You'll need to consider the features of your company itself and the products or services you sell as a unit when conducting your SWOT analysis for ad planning purposes. However, in most industries the product or service will guide the end advertising planning strategy far more.

Start by analysing your company's and products' strengths and weaknesses. These are internal factors. Some examples of strengths which may apply to your company, or may help you identify your unique strengths, include:

  • Your physical location
  • The quality of your products
  • The innovativeness of your products
  • Your quality control procedures
  • Specialist expertise

Some examples of weaknesses that may be relevant to your ad planning strategy:

  • Lack of differentiation (or USPs) with regard to your products or services
  • Poor reputation
  • Relative newness in the market
  • Products or services with quality issues

If your Strengths and Weaknesses are internal factors affecting your business, Opportunities and Threats are external factors. Your list of Opportunities may include things like:

  • A competitor vacating the market
  • New markets - either new platforms, such as the internet, or new export markets, for example
  • Changing social perceptions (note that these can be opportunities or threats ... sometimes the same shift can be both things to the same company!)
  • Changing government regulations (again, they can be threats or opportunities)

Some examples of Threats facing your organisation, product or service may be:

  • Changing technologies that outdate your product
  • New competitors
  • A heavily price-driven market that encourages price war.

Most Threats and Opportunities fit into one of the six PESTLE factors - Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal and Environmental factors. 
Having a sound understanding of your products (and company's) Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats is the first key step in formulating an advertising planning strategy.

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Mia Cusack has 1 articles online

Knowing the best way to advertise your business can be tricky. Adboss can help your business with its advertising planning and media buying. Adboss uses a tendering system that makes Ad planning simple and affordable.

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How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis - The First Step in Advertising Planning : Swat the competition!

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How to Conduct a SWOT Analysis - The First Step in Advertising Planning : Swat the competition!

This article was published on 2010/10/23