How to Prepare for a Digital Marketing SWOT Analysis

January 13, 2014

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” asked Alice. “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where–” said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat. “–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation. “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.” (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 6)

Marketing without direction is a lot like wandering around wonderland. Heck, sometimes marketing with direction feels like a wonderland, a world filled with things that may not always make sense, under constant change and assault. However, with a little planning and thought, direction can add a lot of clarity and you’ll know which way you’re going.

Seizing opportunity with a digital marketing SWOT analysis

Whether you’re in planning mode for a new campaign or about to embark on a new project, a good rule of thumb is to perform a digital marketing SWOT analysis on your online marketing program from time to time.

This analysis provides an opportunity to gather insights from all areas of your organization providing a clear understanding of your current market landscape so you can overcome obstacles and seize opportunities in marketing planning.

When we work with new clients at Lake One, one of the exercises we do is to perform a digital marketing SWOT analysis together so we can set expectations and align solutions to overcome those obstacles and seize those opportunities together. If you’re curious about how to do a digital marketing SWOT analysis with your team, download our free ebook. It includes a template to get you started, explanation of the benefits and instructions to get you going.

In conducting a SWOT analysis, there are three stages: Planning, Analyzing, Reviewing.

Planning for your SWOT
During the planning phase, you’ll prepare your competitors list used in conducting your SWOT. You can also use a PEST (Political, Economic, Social and Technical) analysis to gather this information. Make a list of individual factors in those categories that will be reviewed during your SWOT analysis in the Opportunities and Threats section.

Analyzing with your SWOT
When you get ready to conduct your SWOT, you’ll want to document the questions your team will be comparing.  Give people guidance of what topics or themes you’re looking to measure and prepare to document those. For example: are you measuring your company’s ability to be found online,  the ability for your company to stay present in a visitors mind, etc.

Reviewing your SWOT
Once you’ve completed your digital marketing SWOT analysis you can either tally them up or list out your top Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in a matrix so you can see if there are any overlaps. The information gained from this exercise will inform your marketing planning and project work going forward. For example a lot of strengths in your company’s ability to drive traffic to your website will inform your team to defend that, while threats to your traffic will inform your team to be offensive and increase resources in planning.