As a marketer you need to be aware of your firm's abilities and the market in which you operate. As you begin a marketing campaign, a marketing audit can help you recognize your external and internal environment. One particularly useful tool in a marketing audit is the SWOT analysis. The SWOT analysis assesses your internal marketing strengths and weaknesses as well as the external market opportunities and threats.


You should begin your SWOT analysis by looking at your marketing strengths. Your strengths are internal abilities or assets that give you a marketing edge. For instance, having excellent market research or a top team of designers to work on your ad campaign are strengths. Identify your strengths so you know what assets you have to work with in your marketing campaign.


With your strengths identified, you need to move on and identify your weaknesses. Your weaknesses are any essential skills or assets that your firm is lacking. For instance, you may lack access to distribution channels through which to market your product or you might have poor brand reputation. Keep these weaknesses in mind and plan your marketing strategy around them.


Recognize opportunities in the external market. Look to your market research and identify growing target markets. For example, you might find that the number of immigrants moving into the area where you are marketing your products is growing. If you have a product that appeals to this group, you would then want to market your products specifically to them using ads that appeal to them, possibly even in their native language.


Look to the external markets for potential threats. Threats usually will come in the form of a competitor's marketing. For example, if you are marketing a food product and your competitor markets a similar product as being healthier, then it could pose a threat to your campaign. Address the threat by focusing on similar benefits if your market research shows that your customers are motivated by them, or on differences that might appeal to those same customers.