SWOT and PEST analysis

SWOT and PEST analysis

An honest and rigorous SWOT analysis – looking at your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – is a good starting point for your marketing strategy document.

Strengths could include:

good customer service
special product features or benefits
specialist knowledge or skills
Weaknesses could include:

poor cashflow or a lack of capital
lack of an established reputation
inefficient accounting systems
Opportunities could include:

increased demand
using the internet to reach new markets
new technologies that allow you to improve product quality
Threats could include:

new competitors
more attractive or cheaper versions of your product or service
new legislation increasing your costs
a downturn in the economy, reducing overall demand
See a SWOT analysis example. Having done your analysis, you can then measure the potential effects each element may have on your marketing strategy.

Business environment
Understanding the environment your business operates in is a key part of market planning, and allows you to identify the threats and opportunities associated with your area of business. A ‘PEST’ analysis helps you identify the main opportunities and threats in your market:

political and legal changes – such as new regulations
economic factors – such as interest rates, exchange rates and consumer confidence
social factors – such as changing attitudes and lifestyles, and the ageing population
technological factors – such as new materials and growing use of the internet