No, SWOT is not SWAT. SWAT stands for Special Weapons and Tactics, an elite unit in police departments. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It is for marketers – and if you use it correctly, you can become an elite unit in marketing.

SWOT analysis is a building block in all marketing strategies. It is a management technique used to help a person or organization identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats related to business competition or project planning.

  • Strengths: characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others
  • Weaknesses: characteristics that place the business or project at a disadvantage relative to others
  • Opportunities: elements in the environment that the business or project could exploit to its advantage
  • Threats: elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project

SWOT in Marketing

In competitor analysis, marketers build detailed profiles of each of their competitors, focusing on their strengths and weaknesses using SWOT analysis. Marketing managers examine their competitor’s cost structure, sources of profits, resources and competencies, competitive positioning, and product differentiation, vertical integration, and history of product or service developments.

Marketing managers invest huge amounts of money and time to research and collect data required to perform accurate marketing analysis. They employ a variety of techniques to conduct market research like:

  • Qualitative marketing research like focus groups
  • Quantitative marketing research like statistical surveys
  • Experimental techniques like test markets
  • Observational techniques like on-site observation

SWOT in Email Marketing

Email marketers can apply SWOT analysis in their email strategy by following the guideline above. But you don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to utilize it. It can be as easy as an A/B test, which is simply comparing one variation of an email campaign with another.

If you want a more thorough SWOT analysis, here’s a matrix that targetinternet put together that won’t cost you a dime:

Choose one of your email marketing campaigns and list four or five points relating to that project for each of the four SWOT factor types: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

Strengths include any existing facet of the project that you consider to be advantageous or enabling.

Weaknesses cover all the internal factors that might hold the project back. Think about operational and people-based shortcomings in particular.

Opportunities include any outside factors which your project/team/organization could capitalize on. Focus on opportunities to drive the growth of sales, audience, revenue, reach, etc.

Threats include any external prospective blockers to your success.

Once you’ve identified four or five points for each category, type them up as bullet points in a SWOT matrix. This will help you formulate a better email marketing strategy and, ultimately, a more effective email campaign.

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