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constraints Archives - Syneka Marketing

Beyond the SWOT – Revisiting this elementary tool

By | Advice, Advice for Businesses, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Government, Resources | No Comments

The SWOT analysis (the consideration of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) is a tool that is often incorporated into most business and marketing plans. While the SWOT analysis may be trivialised, it can provide a suitable starting point to assess your current context.

A SWOT analysis looks at both internal factors (the strengths and weaknesses internal to your business) and external (the opportunities and threats that exist externally). Your SWOT analysis will only be useful if you clearly distinguish between these internal and external factors.

A SWOT Analysis lets you review the internal and external factors influencing your business.

A SWOT Analysis lets you review the internal and external factors influencing your business.

The Internal Factors

Understanding the distinction between internal and external factors is key to developing a SWOT analysis. Internal factors are those that are entirely controlled within your business.

Strengths

A SWOT begins by exploring your strengths. These are internal attributes that are stronger in your business when compared to your competitors or the broader industry. Consider factors such as assets, staff, or processes that give your business an advantage above others.

What is it that you do better than your competitors and why is it important? Leveraging your strengths enables you to develop a competitive advantage.

Weaknesses

Weaknesses are the areas of your business that are weaker, relative to comparable organisations. Explore the capabilities of your business, such as staff constraints, production barriers or policies.

What limitations exist for your organisation, and why are these an issue? Weaknesses may need to be mitigated to prevent adverse effects on your business.

External Factors

External Factors are dependent on factors that are beyond your immediate control. For example, these elements may be influenced by competitors or broader industry trends.

Opportunities

Opportunities are areas of potential growth, or activities that could be undertaken by your business. Consider new markets, such as demographics that could be interested in your products or services, or adaptations that could enable you to encourage repeat purchases.

Why do these opportunities exist and what is required to pursue them? How feasible is it to develop these opportunities, and what is their likelihood of success? Remember that opportunities need investment to be realised.

Threats

Threats are aspects that may pose a risk to your business. Examples include new competitors, regulations, economic conditions or industry trends that will have a detrimental impact on your business.

How likely are each of the threats and what would be the potential impact? How can you mitigate these threats to minimise the potential ramifications? Understanding these threats lets you consider how best to allocate resources towards mitigation.

Undertake the Analysis

While it is often easy to list multiple items, it is important that you also consider the context behind each entry. Clearly identify why an item should be listed within one of the components and consider the broader context.

For example:

  • What are the ramifications if a threat is not mitigated?
  • Are your weaknesses able to be exploited by competitors?
  • Can you leverage your strengths?
  • Are you able to develop the identified opportunities?

These are some of the questions that you should be answering as you develop your SWOT analysis. Remember that a SWOT is only useful if you do more than just list items, ensure that you add the analysis as well.

A marketing plan lets you receive a positive return from marketing.

Marketing is an Investment – Make sure it delivers results

By | Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities | One Comment

For many businesses and organisations, marketing is more often than not, regarded as an expense, rather than being viewed as an investment. Marketing should be measurable so you can track your return on investment. It is critical not to haphazardly spend on marketing, but to be guided through a plan that identifies opportunities and mitigates risks.

A marketing plan is the guide that identifies how you can achieve outcomes, such as increased sales, growth in market share and ways to improve the design and distribution of your product or service. A marketing plan will also provide you with metrics so you know how to measure your success and outcomes.

Unfortunately, far too many businesses and organisations ignore the need for a marketing plan. Instead these organisations implement individual marketing and communications tools, such as advertising, websites and social media without considering how best to reach and motivate target audiences. Outcomes are always going to be diminished when there is no cohesive strategy. Furthermore, this approach fails to take into account potential constraints, such as the need to collect relevant market intelligence, or sales training, to better service customers and to demonstrate responsiveness.

A marketing plan lets you receive a positive return from marketing.

A marketing plan lets you receive a positive return from marketing.

Most businesses and organisations are not in the business of marketing, yet marketing is fundamental in developing capacity to achieve ongoing growth. A plan, like any other investment, lets you develop a full picture of what is required and how to allocate resources accordingly.

Existing marketing plans need to be reviewed to ensure they are relevant. A marketing audit involves a healthcheck on marketing activities, enabling an assessment against the identified strategies. A marketing audit does not replace the need for a plan, but can identify when strategies may need to be revised, or if actions are not generating the required results.

Before you embark on marketing expenditure, consider the need for a marketing plan to deliver a positive return from marketing, saving you time and money.

Ensure that there is sufficient time to consider media releases and promotion for your event.

Training Workshop: Marketing for Media and Events

By | Advice, Advice for Not-for-profit Organisations and Charities, Presentations, Resources | No Comments

Many not-for-profit organisations conduct events to raise awareness or as fundraisers to provide support to their core services. We conducted a half-day workshop on events and media in conjunction with Eastern Volunteers.

There are considerable challenges in managing events, particularly in ensuring that the activities support the aims of the organisation and provide a positive return. Many not-for-profit organisations do not have the resources available for a dedicated events team. Subcommittees can be useful in overcoming these constraints by encouraging staff and volunteer participation, while also enabling a range of people and skills to become involved in planning and conducting an event.

Events should be evaluated against objectives to justify the commitment and resources. For example, it may be useful to evaluate the effectiveness of an event in regard to fundraising, staff resources, financial return and awareness.

Ensure that there is sufficient time to consider media releases and promotion for your event.

Ensure that there is sufficient time to consider media releases and promotion for your event.

Business Sponsorship is often required to support community events and it is critical that an organisation is able to demonstrate tangible benefits for this support. Not-for-profit organisations should prepare information packages that outline the benefits of sponsorship, including the audience reach and ongoing coverage. It is often useful to determine whether an event attracts a particular demographic and to target businesses who wish to reach a similar target market.

Several levels of sponsorship should be provided, with clear differences in value between each package. Providing a range of sponsorship packages, enables several businesses to become involved and encourages the potential to upgrade support in future years.

Businesses should be encouraged to be present during the event and to see first-hand the results of their investment. Providing photographs and videos also enables businesses with ongoing materials from the event and can support discussions for support in future years.

Events also need to be sufficiently promoted and it is often useful to plan backwards when organising an event. This approach will help ensure that invitations, media releases and other promotional tools are dispatched in time.

Media releases should be relevant to the audience of the media outlet to assist in coverage. Often it useful to speak to a journalist directly to reiterate key points from the media release. Journalists will not be able to cover every aspect of an event so ensure that the essential information is conveyed in the media release and during conversation.

The Workshop received extremely positive feedback and will hopefully assist organisations in planning and conducting their events.