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A marketing situation analysis eliminates guesswork and helps drive the desired outcomes to grow your business. Most small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) begin their marketing efforts with tactics like SEO, social media, email marketing, advertising, etc. Marketing your business by diving first into tactics wastes time and money--the two things you need most in your SMB.
Without performing a complete marketing situation analysis before you make any marketing decisions, you are guessing which tactics to employ and hoping they work. Guessing and hoping is expensive and inefficient.
A marketing situation analysis is valuable because it delivers a thorough understanding of your business’ strengths, weaknesses opportunities, and threats, its current customers, target markets, industry, and competitors. With that kind of business intelligence, you can make more informed decisions about which tactics will be best to achieve your objectives.
What follows is a list of the parts of a situation analysis, categorized by internal and external studies. There are links to each section where you will find a more detailed description of what each analysis covers.
These are all possible studies. Your goals may require some or all of these.
Most marketing systems require studying all external factors, but your goals will determine which are necessary.
Industry research supplements the SWOT analysis, which examines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats surrounding your business. A SWOT analysis gives you the ability to make smarter decisions around your marketing spend as well as make your marketing work harder for you. When you know what your strengths and opportunities are, you can implement marketing strategies that leverage these advantages. Similarly, awareness of your weaknesses and threats gives you the ability to mitigate these obstructions through your marketing campaigns.
For example, let’s say that through the SWOT analysis you discover that there is a competitor moving into your area next year who traditionally pays higher salaries than you can. You are already struggling to find qualified staff for your company and this new threat could seriously impact your ability to provide service to your customers. Having this intelligence, you can now implement an employee communication and recruitment plan aimed at targeting new sources of talent and retaining current employees. By the time the competitor moves in, you have already mitigated the threat.
This is just one example of how the SWOT analysis section of a marketing situation analysis helps inform your marketing decisions. There are many more. Want to discuss this in more detail?
A brand audit is essential if you are to understand the gap between how you are portraying your brand versus how it is being perceived. An audit examines the brand elements that communicate your value. These include your mission, vision, values, logo, colors, tagline, brand standards, and all of your messaging (website, social media, brochures, ads, etc.).
Through a brand audit, we may find ways to tweak your brand to be more consistent or discover that you need to rebrand entirely. Want to know more about a brand audit? Read this article on our blog or contact us.
Your customer relationship management (CRM) database is a treasure trove of consumer insights. A CRM analysis helps you extract the data that identifies your best customers, profit centers, lifetime customer value, and more. With these insights, you can identify the trends that will drive your business forward and which will inhibit your growth.
By mining the data from your CRM and using it to make strategic marketing decisions, not only will you retain customers and grow your business, but you will also be miles ahead of your competitors who don’t. (And trust us, most of them don’t.)
Even though just about every business has a website now, many business owners still don’t check their website statistics to see how visitors are interacting with their brand online.
Website traffic analytics show you who is coming to your site (their basic demographics like gender, age, and country) and what they do when they arrive. It details how long they stay, which pages they visit, what they search for, if they come back, and more. Drilling into this data helps inform the marketing decisions related to your website, brand, and digital messaging.
Google AdWords can help reach your audience, generate interest, and obtain leads. Grabbing a potential customer’s attention with an eye-catching banner ad may seem simple, but AdWords can be tricky and costly.
An Adwords analysis as part of your marketing situation analysis compares your keywords against your competitors’ to see which performs better. It also pinpoints ways to optimize your campaigns to lower your costs and gain more leads. In short, analyzing your AdWords spend and ROI is a smart investment.
The industry you are in has political, economic, social, and technological forces that influence its growth. Understanding the factors that can impact your industry gives you a view of how your business can be affected by these external contingents.
A competitor analysis examines your competitors’ marketing communications. It can include their brand elements, value propositions, differentiators, messaging, social media, website, and SEO. It provides an objective account of the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ marketing which, as a company with a horse in the race, you are likely unable to do yourself. Depending on the industry and your budget, a competitor analysis can include the examination of three to 15 competitors.
Our target market research identifies and studies your ideal customers so that you can obtain more of them. We use many different research methods in our target market research efforts including observation, interviews, surveys, and focus groups.
Target market research is typically the most time-consuming part of a marketing situation analysis because it often requires the coordination of many people’s schedules to complete it. Frequently, it is also the most costly part of a marketing situation analysis because of the need to incentivize people to participate in research studies.
When you began in business, any customer was a win. Over time, you learned that the wrong customer can cost you much more than any revenues earned from them. Your goal now is to get more customers who are like your best ones and stop attracting the customers who impede your success.
Our target market research uncovers the beliefs, fears, objectives, pain points, and obstacles of your ideal customers so you get you more of who you want and less of who you don’t want. Target market research is the key to better results from your marketing efforts.
We can customize a situation analysis for any business, including startups and established companies. With this type of project, we can uncover the issues preventing you from marketing your business effectively and make recommendations to mitigate those challenges.
We realize this approach isn’t for everyone. It is for business owners who have a long-term vision and who want to create a strategic and deliberate marketing plan. If this doesn’t seem like a fit for you, we understand. We are not the firm for you. If you are interested in a long term collaboration to grow your business, let's talk.
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