Conducting a SWOT Analysis During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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If you captured a before-and-after shot of any organization’s SWOT analysis between January and December 2020, the differences would be stark.

If you’re not familiar with the term, a SWOT analysis outlines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with a brand’s communication or marketing efforts.

Nathan Ellering, head of marketing at CoSchedule, explains, “A SWOT analysis helps you understand internal and external factors that can make or break your success toward your marketing goal.” The internal factors are strengths and weaknesses, and the external factors are opportunities in threats.

Since the start of COVID-19 in the United States, businesses have experienced extended uncertainty, economic difficulty and disruption to in-person business operations. Depending on the business, these changes caused shifts in what a SWOT analysis looks for organizations of all sizes.

Below are some of the ways that strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for an organization might have changed as a result of COVID-19.

Strengths

Businesses that prioritized their digital presence before the pandemic can now count that as one of their greatest strengths. As consumers spend more time online, digital marketing channels including social media, email, blogs and search ads have gained considerable weight in almost every organization’s marketing strategy.

Weaknesses

At the same time, many other businesses are struggling to catch up, and slashed marketing budgets aren’t helping. A lack of resources — whether that’s finances, digital channels or team expertise — reveals weaknesses for already overwhelmed marketing teams.

Opportunity

Marketers who can find creative ways to capitalize on new trends will benefit from external changes. Organizations can leverage virtual events and live video to inexpensively reach a large audience. These digital avenues are exciting opportunities with endless potential.

Threats

Unfortunately, many businesses came face-to-face with the threat of COVID-19 completely unprepared. Wise marketers will learn from this, observing the threats that aren’t going away — such as the decline of in-person purchases — and anticipating the threats that are coming soon.

Future Implications for Marketing

As we head into 2021, it’s important for organizations to learn from the unpredictability of 2020. Rather than hoping that things will go back to the way they were before COVID-19, businesses should focus on leveraging strengths, improving areas of weakness, jumping on opportunities and responding to new threats.

The organizations that wisely respond to internal and external changes are the ones that survive and, ultimately, thrive.

Sources:

Ellering, N. (2020, November 16). SWOT Analysis: How To Conduct Your Marketing SWOT. Retrieved from https://coschedule.com/marketing-strategy/swot-analysis/

Macbook Pro on Brown Wooden Table by Andrew Neel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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