Do you want to maximize your marketing agency’s potential for success? (Of course you do!) We suggest that you start off by positioning yourself accordingly. One way to accomplish this is to do a SWOT analysis on your marketing agency.
While the name SWOT may sound like something to chase away gnats, it’s actually an acronym that stands for “Strengths,” “Weaknesses,” “Opportunities” and “Threats.”
This method is one of the easiest ways for you to analyze the internal and external factors that can affect your marketing agency’s future performance as well as help you plan for and accomplish future goals.
Every agency has a finite supply of workers, finances, supplies and other resources. So you probably want to know (like every other agency out there) how you can use these resources to benefit your company. A SWOT analysis will answer this question.
The purpose of doing a SWOT analysis marketing workup is to create business strategies that will help your company adapt and align its available resources with the environment where it operates.
When you conduct an analysis on your agency, it allows you to pinpoint issues that can either help or hinder the organization. In doing this, you are better able to create strategies that help you remain competitive and position your company for maximum growth. Sounds pretty great, right??
Now Let’s Try Creating One…
This may be one of the easiest marketing tactics to actually create. All you need a paper and pencil (or in this technologically advanced world, a computer and… that’s it)! Create four squares on a piece of paper (or your computer) and label one strengths, one weaknesses, and the two others opportunities and threats.
Next, examine your company based on their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and organize them in their corresponding square. And that’s it! It seriously is as easy as it sounds.
But there are a few rules you want to follow to make your SWOT analysis as effective as possible, and here they are…
- List only three items per category
- Stick to the facts (no opinions!) to avoid biases and unreliable information
- Make weaknesses and opportunities action oriented
- Be as specific as possible when listing items in each category
The strengths and weaknesses of your marketing agency represent internal factors that you have some measure of control over and are probably the easiest to identify. For example, manpower can be categorized as a strength or weakness, depending on whether your available manpower is lazy or properly trained.
When you are doing your SWOT analysis on your marketing agency, leave no stone unturned. Look for strengths and weaknesses in the following areas:
- Resources such as knowledge and brand equity
- Company culture
- Human resources
Opportunities and threats, on the other hand, require a little more thinking. They are external factors that you have absolutely no control over. For instance, changes in the economic climate or a shift in competitors’ actions are considered external threats. These factors can represent either opportunities or threats, it simply depends on the situation.
When you look for opportunities and threats, identify all the external forces that could have an impact on your internet marketing agency. You can find these factors by evaluating:
- Market changes
- Economic changes
- Social and demographic shifts
- Regulatory changes
Let’s Dive Deeper Into Each Category…
In simple terms, your strengths are the things that you are good at. But in a SWOT analysis, you want to see which strengths your marketing agency has that will help meet your organizational goals. Whether the goal is to earn bigger profits, improve staff training or expand operations, a SWOT marketing analysis can help you figure out what kind of resources and processes you have available to help you forge ahead.
The SWOT analysis can also give you the foresight you need to sustain and improve on your agency’s goals once you achieve them. When you are trying to pinpoint your company’s strengths, ask yourself what is it you have or do that’s better than your competitors? (Hopefully it’s a lot!)
If your team did a SWOT analysis on your agency today and the results revealed that one of your key strengths was above average marketing expertise, how would you leverage this quality to make gains in your organization? An ideal solution would be to come up with a marketing tactic that communicates your expertise to the right demographic to help them see how your agency can give their companies an edge.
No matter how powerful or successful a company is, they all have weaknesses they have to balance or turn into strengths. The key is to be completely honest. When you are, it will allow you to take a realistic look at any products, services, resources and behaviors that are inferior to your competitors’.
When you are trying to pinpoint your marketing agency’s weaknesses, ask yourself, what you can improve on to catch up with or leave your competitors in the dust?
An example of a SWOT analysis marketing agency weakness is unskilled employees. If you workers are undertrained and don’t know their hands from their feet, it puts your company at risk for failure. In order to combat the weakness of poorly trained workers, you could put together a benefits package that attracts more qualified workers. You can also simultaneously implement educational programs to improve the skill-level and training of your current employees.
Part of growing your marketing agency and staying competitive is being able to identify opportunities so you can capitalize on them. Your SWOT analysis will allow you to identify opportunities that you can seize right now, as well as longer term opportunities you can take advantage of later. When you’re always on the lookout for opportunities, you can rework business plans to stay ahead of the game.
When you are trying to identify opportunities, ask yourself how you can use non-controllable external factors to your agency’s advantage?
Unlike with other industries, a downturn in the economy can be a major opportunity for a marketing agency. Think about it… when the economy tanks, business owners are willing to do just about anything they can to keep their customers spending money.
If you position yourself properly, you can convince these businesses that your services are indispensable to their survival. When they go in and reevaluate their budgets, they will likely scale back spending on other processes and allocate a larger chunk to marketing development.
Since crystal balls don’t really work, you can only guess how a perceived threat will affect your marketing agency. In most cases, you will have to rely on analysts’ forecasts and other reliable, unbiased information to help you make the best possible judgment.
Threats can ruin your company, so once you identify what they are, it’s important to take steps to avoid them. In instances where it is not possible to avoid threats, your goal should be to reduce their impact as much as possible.
If your SWOT analysis identifies one of your agency’s threats as competition, you might consider doing a SWOT on competing agencies. You can research the competition and give your best effort to identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Knowing how your business compares to others can help you develop a contingency plan to reduce the threat from your competition.
How have SWOT analyses improved your marketing agency? Let us know in the comments below!