In this module SLP2, conduct SWOT analysis for your charge based on the situation analysis in SLP1. This is the second step of this cumulative research project. Be sure to revise the sections in SLP1 and include them in this paper following the marketing plan outline provided above.
A thorough situation analysis in the Module 1 SLP is the foundation for a SWOT analysis. Develop statements of the company’s internal strengths and weaknesses, and external opportunities and threats. If there is any question as to whether a fact or issue is external (these lead to opportunity and threat statements) or internal (these lead to strength and weakness statements), ask this key question, “Would this issue exist if the company did not exist?” If the answer is yes, then the issue should be classified as external.
Note: Remember that alternative marketing strategies and tactics are not opportunities. Opportunities and threats exist independently of the firm. Strategies and tactics are what the firm intends to do about its opportunities and threats relative to its own strengths and weaknesses.
The SWOT will play a critical role (along with an in-depth understanding of target market needs/preferences and competition) in the development of goals, objectives, and marketing strategies and programs. Key strengths need to be matched to opportunities and converted to capabilities that help serve customer needs better and lead to competitive advantage. Goals, strategies, and program ideas stem from an attempt to convert weaknesses into strengths and threats into opportunities. Some alternatives will also come from thinking about how to minimize the repercussions of weaknesses and threats that cannot be converted, and/or how to avoid them altogether. Follow the instructions below to identify strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats.
- Strengths and Weaknesses (Internal)
Think about internal conditions; those things that management has some control over that are relevant to future success and effectiveness. The task is to identify internal strengths, which must be taken into consideration as management plans for the future.
Remember, a strength is any internal characteristic that improves effectiveness. Look for factors that help the company improve positioning in the marketplace, enhance financial performance, and most importantly, fight off threats and take advantage of opportunities in the external environment.
A weakness is any internal characteristic that limits effectiveness, performance, and the ability to accomplish objectives, meet threats, and take advantage of opportunities.
It is also important to point out that a particular fact about the internal environment may have a weakness and a strength dimension. For example, we might say that the company’s technical skills are of the highest quality and this is a strength, but since these skills are possessed by only a few employees, it is also a weakness in that we need more people with such skills and would be hurt if a few key people left the company.
Using the following 16 internal factors to stimulate your thinking, list all of the company strengths you can think of for each category. Then review the same list of 16 internal factors and develop a list of company weaknesses. (You may not have access to all of the information below, but try your best to identify at least five of them for your project).
The following categories of internal factors are commonly used to generate a list of specific company strengths and weaknesses. This list is to be used to stimulate your thinking about internal strengths and weaknesses.