If you’re at all affiliated with marketing, or in any strategic role in your organization, then you’re probably all too familiar with a SWOT analysis.
SWOT, an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, is an easy to conduct analysis that helps you stop and strategize, no matter what phase of business growth you’re in. Strengths and weaknesses are more internal, whereas opportunities and threats are more external.
Here’s how you can conduct your own SWOT analysis.
1. Know Your Top Competitors
When we say “know your competitors,” we don’t just mean knowing who your biggest competitors are. We mean not only knowing your biggest opponents in the direct marketplace, but being an expert on their brand, brand positioning, analytics, and of course, their market share. The more you know about your direct competitors, the better.
2. Conduct a SWOT for Each One
SWOTs are most traditionally used internally for your own organization. However, for the sake of knowing your competitive landscape, we’re going to turn them completely external by suggesting that you conduct a SWOT on each one of your top competitors. This allows you to gather key insight about your competition that will be necessary later on.
3. Know the Market
Again, we don’t just mean demographics and surface-level stats. We mean really knowing your market in a way that can only be successfully done by eagle-eye market research. You should know your market well enough to make confident forecasts and predictions about where the market is moving. In terms of using a literal landscape as an analogy, if the market is a garden, knowing your market will allow you to know just how big your path is, and how well your fruit or trees will grow. You should assess the soil, size, weather, or possible invasions. In business speak, you should asses the consumers, size of the market, and environmental factors, such as potential legal threats, economics, etc.
4. Cross Compare
Now that you have a SWOT analysis of each of your competitors and you’re an expert on your market, you can cross-reference them to identify trends, gaps, or make any other observations that will allow you to formulate a sound strategy. You’ll be able to capitalize on areas where each of your competitors are lacking, or make adjustments to your own strategy if you see competitive density in certain niches.
With any sort of analysis, the insight and clarity you’ll gain from it depend largely on the data you’ve prepared to help you conduct it. Fortunately, with market intelligence solutions such as Fuel Cycle, you’ll have all the insight you need to pilot your company toward the growth you’re looking for. If you’re ready to cultivate your competitive landscape to have the biggest share of the garden and the best fruit, contact us today.