MAJOR BENEFITS OF SWOT ANALYSIS

1. Simplicity
Requires no extensive traiing or technical skills to be used successfully.  The analyst needs only a comprehensive understanding of the nature of the company and the industry in which it competes.

2. Lower Costs

Reduce the costs associated with strategic planning.  Many opt ot downsize or eliminate their strategic planning departmens.
flexibility
SWOT analysis can enhance the qulaiyt of an organization’s strategic plannin even without extensive marekting inofrmation systems.  Presence of a comprehensive information system can make repated WWOT analyses run more smoothly and efficiently.

Integration and Synthesis
SWOT analysis gives the anaylys the ability to integrate and synthesize diverse information, both of a qualitative and a quantitative nature.  Can deal with a wide diversity of information sources.  Helps transform information diversity from a weakness of the planning process into one of its major strenghts.

Collaboration
Fosters collaboration and open information exchange between different funcitona areas  By learning what their counterparts do, what they know, what they think, and how they feel, the marketing anaylyst can solvd problesms, fill voids in the analysis, and eliminate potential disaagreemetns before finalization of marketing plan.

Directives for a productive SWOT analysis
Stay focused-separte analysis for each product-market combination is recommended.

Search extensively for Competitors
Product, generic, and total budget competitors.  Potential future competitors also.  Collaborate with Other Functional Areas.  SWOT promotes the shahring of inormation and perspective across deparmtnets.  Allows for more creative and innovative solutoins to marketing problems.  Examine Issues from the Customer’s Perspecitve.  Customer’s beliefs about the firm, its products, and marketing activites are important considerations in Swot.  Views of employess and other key stakeholdrs.  Look for Causes, Not Characteristics.  Rather than simply list cahracteristics of the firm’s internal and external  environments, the analyst must also explore the resources possessed by the firm and/or its competitors that are true causes for the firm’s SWOT.  Separate Internal Issues from External Issues  Marketing options, strategies, or tactics are not a part of the SWOT analysis.  Separate product/market analyses can be combined to examine the issues relevant for the entire strategic business unit, and business unit analyses can be comnbine to create a complete SWOT analysis for the entire organization.  Only time a single SWOT analysis would be appropriate is when an organization has only one product/market combination.  Search extensively for competitors.  The firm must watch for any current or potentiaal direct substitues for its products.  Porduct, generic, and total budge competitors are important as well.  Collaborate with other Functional Areas.  Generates information and perspectives that can be shared across a variety of functional areas in the firm.Look for causes, Not characteristics

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