How to Create and Use a SWOT Analysis

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A SWOT analysis is a strategic evaluation technique designed to put a company’s market position into perspective based on its strengths and weaknesses. The SWOT acronym stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. This analysis provides insight into the health of a company. They are used to evaluate various topics.

For marketing purposes, a SWOT analysis is used to observe how a company approaches its marketing and its effectiveness. A SWOT can be a high-level overview of a company or focus in on one specific target area. This article will address how to execute a SWOT analysis when evaluating credit union marketing.

First, let’s dive into what SWOT entails.

Four pillars of a SWOT

As I mentioned before, there are four pillars in a SWOT Analysis. To create a useful analysis, you’ll want to examine each of these aspects for the company or product you are reviewing.

Strength

The first pillar is Strengths. Observe what the credit union does well in their marketing and overall business; what are their advantages, capabilities, assets, value, financial position, and quality of products?

In a general business analysis, here are a few questions to ask: What is their value proposition? What do they offer that’s unique or special? What sets them apart from similar companies? What is unique about their products and services comparatively? What is the efficiency the product or service offers? What problems do they solve, needs do they meet?

For a marketing analysis, look at how well the credit union approaches its marketing. What are the strengths of their branding, tone, and digital channels?

Weakness

The second pillar is Weakness. Identify the disadvantages, gaps in capabilities, lost sales, and causes of problems. Maybe there are workflow issues or bad customer experience of products, and improvement areas. Are there logistics problems, process improvement needs, or obstacles blocking goals?

For marketing analysis, examine their graphics and branding. Does the tone effectively convey the mission of the company? Maybe they don’t have enough brand recognition or are not utilizing the necessary digital channels.

Some questions to ask in the analysis: what could be done better, what deficiencies are present, and areas needs are not met. Are enough resources being allocated to marketing? Is there poor communication of the marketing message?

Opportunities

The third pillar is Opportunities. This part really explores the direction of the company. What are the goals? What are possible new demographics, competitor weaknesses, industry trends, or new products, services, and innovation? What’s their growth potential? What potential new markets could they reach?

What digital channels can be utilized? Are there new platforms & audiences to target? How is the brand perceived by the public? What are ways to innovate the marketing strategy and make the company stand out in the industry?

Threats

The last step in the SWOT is examining Threats.

Who are the competitors in the industry? What are the economic and political influences? Are there environmental effects, losses of staff, market demand, or external factors that will put pressure on business? Any changes in technology and social platforms that could impact marketing or industry factors?

Example of an analysis

Now that you understand what goes into a SWOT analysis, let’s practice making one. Here is an example of a SWOT analysis I created for a sample credit union’s marketing.

“Strengths: They offer a variety of loans, prompt service, and rates are affordable and consistent with the market. They have a straightforward message and a catchy slogan. Their website is easy to navigate with clear visuals and a solid aesthetic. They use a good flow of colors, wording, and links that convey their products and services. They also highlight the use of their banking technology options.

Weaknesses: They have lots of competition with other credit unions. They offer the same products at the same rates. What makes them stand out in their industry? It’s unknown, they need to build more awareness of their credit union. What’s a unique thing about them? They are currently only on two social media platforms. They need to utilize more digital channels. The brand and tone are disjointed and could be more succinct.

Threats: economy—people are saving not spending or taking out loans, unemployment is an issue. Other credit unions may have more resources to invest in their marketing. Limited market opportunity—they have a very specific market they’re targeting. They are competing for the same members as other credit unions.

Opportunities: What are new demographics to tap into? They have a younger generation to target. What are social media platforms they can expand to? They can update their graphics and slogan to more current aesthetics. They can market product upgrades and technology innovation.”

Benefits of a SWOT analysis

Now that you’ve completed your analysis, what do you do with it? What benefit does it offer? A SWOT analysis gives insight into how a business is doing overall. It enables management teams to implement new strategies and make decisions beneficial to the company.

A SWOT is helpful at any stage of growth and level of operation. It offers valuable perspectives, explores new strategies to implement, creates new solutions to problems, and helps employees make decisions about the best path for growth, along with clarifying the direction. You can make unbiased evaluations of the brand, market position, initiatives, campaigns, and channels.

Create your own

The SWOT analysis helps a business navigate the obstacles, challenges, and opportunities that come up. This offers a starting point to determine priorities, maximize opportunities, and reduce unnecessary obstacles. With the strategies you’ve learned in this article, you can now execute a SWOT analysis to improve your credit union’s marketing!

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