A SWOT analysis, covering an organisation’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, is a tool often used as part of an organisation’s policy and decision-making process. A well-constructed SWOT can provide powerful insights into the situation facing an organisation and can demonstrate, in a clear fashion, the direction an organisation needs to take. Poorly constructed SWOTs will, at best, provide only a bland interpretation of an organisation’s position. At worst, they can be misleading and will lead to wrong conclusions and misguided policy. It is, therefore, important for marketing managers to be well-versed in the issues involved in developing a good SWOT, since it is their interpretation of the market and the organisation’s position within it, which will form the basis of a SWOT, whoever in the organisation performs the analysis
A marketing SWOT is derived from a market audit
A SWOT analysis must be derived from a marketing audit. In conducting an audit, it is important to remember that the results will be used to identify points which will appear in the SWOT. In this way, an audit can be given focus, and when the time comes to create the SWOT, the chances of relevant information being absent will be reduced. Poor SWOTs tend to be based on opinion or are constructed without reference to market and marketing information.