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Planning

Marketing Planning – Don’t Do SWOT 640 426 ImplicitPay CO

Marketing Planning – Don’t Do SWOT

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is a popular framework for developing a marketing strategy. A Google search for “SWOT” and “planning” turned up almost 93,000 hits (August 2004), most all of which laud the use of SWOT. Some students have said that it is the most important thing they learned at the Wharton School.

Although SWOT is promoted as a useful technique in numerous marketing texts, it is not universally praised: One expert said that he preferred to think of SWOT as a “Significant Waste of Time.”

The problem with SWOT is more serious than the fact that it wastes time. Because it mixes idea generation with evaluation, it is likely to reduce the range of strategies that are considered. In addition, people who use SWOT might conclude that they have done an adequate job of planning and ignore such sensible things as defining the firm’s objectives or calculating ROI for alternate strategies. I have observed this when business school students use SWOT on cases.

What does the evidence say? Perhaps the most notable indication is that I have been unable to find any evidence to support the use of SWOT.

Two studies have examined SWOT. Menon et al. (1999) asked 212 managers from Fortune 1000 companies about recent marketing strategies implemented in their firms. The findings showed that SWOT harmed performance. When Hill and Westbrook (1997) examined the use of SWOT by 20 companies in the UK in 1993-94, they concluded that the process was so flawed that it was time for a “product recall.”

One advocate of SWOT asked: if not SWOT, then what? Borrowing from corporate strategic planning literature, a better option for planners is to follow a formal written process to:

  1. Set objectives
  2. Generate alternative strategies
  3. Evaluate alternative strategies
  4. Monitor results
  5. Gain commitment among the stakeholders during each step of this process.

I describe this 5-step procedure in Armstrong (1982). Evidence on the value of this planning process, obtained from 28 validation studies (summarized in Armstrong 1990), showed that it led to better corporate performance:

  • 20 studies found higher performance with formal planning
  • 5 found no difference
  • 3 found formal planning to be detrimental

This support was obtained even though the formal planning in the studies typically used only some of the steps. Furthermore, the steps were often poorly implemented and the conditions were not always ideal for formal planning.

Given the evidence, SWOT is not justified under any circumstances. Instead, use the comprehensive 5-step planning procedure.

References

Armstrong, J. S. (1982) “The Value of Formal Planning for Strategic Decisions,” Strategic Management Journal, 3, 197-211.

Armstrong, J. S. (1990), “Review of Corporate Strategic Planning,” Journal of Marketing, 54, 114-119.

Hill, T. & R. Westbrook (1997), “SWOT Analysis: It’s Time for a Product Recall,” Long Range Planning, 30, No. 1, 46-52.

Menon, A. et al. (1999), “Antecedents and Consequences of Marketing Strategy Making,” Journal of Marketing, 63, 18-40.

Source by Scott Armstrong

Planning for an eCommerce Startup? Choose WooCommerce 640 426 ImplicitPay CO

Planning for an eCommerce Startup? Choose WooCommerce

Thinking of starting your own eCommerce venture? Well, in that case, you will need to build a website first. Starting a business involves a huge investment in diverse segments and building an entire eCommerce site is undoubtedly the most crucial part of it.

According to worldwide developers and market analysts, WooCommerce is an excellent choice for devising eCommerce sites for startup businesses. Why? Well, read on to know.

→ WooCommerce is Free

Yes! You read it right. You can get this amazing eCommerce development platform in free of cost. Worrying about the quality? No need to do that. Despite being an open source free platform, it is going to offer you extensive and out of the box features that will not only enhance the functionalities of your online store but will make it more flexible which is befitting for startup businesses.

→ Wide Customisation Options

In an eCommerce business, customisation of the store is very important. It can help you to present your online store the way you want. Suitable customisation makes your store unique and helps you to stand out from market competitors.

Multiple themes are available free of cost. You can choose any of these options that suit your business type the most. More interestingly, depending on the theme you select, you can make necessary changes in the colour style, CSS styles and experiment with the store features.

→ Familiar Friendliness

WordPress platform is pretty much popular as almost 51% of the hugely acknowledged websites are WordPress-built. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin and most of the developers are already well versed with the diverse functionalities and features offered by WordPress.

Now, working with WooCommerce becomes extremely easier for them as they are already kind of familiar with the working environment. Working on a familiar interface definitely helps to avert major complications as well as to save time and bring out the best creativity.

→ Flexibility

When you are new in this eCommerce business and building websites, not having an in-depth technical knowledge is not a sin! The interesting fact about this platform is that it will not let you feel lost in the race. You can easily categorise your products, can add independent attributes, give your desired sale prices and many more.

Moreover, WooCommerce-built stores can sell any type of products including virtual, physical, downloadable and external or affiliate products. This utmost flexibility is one of the main reasons of this platform being very popular with the startups.

→ Easy Analytics

Accurate and precise store analysis helps to understand business owners direction of the business such as how the store is performing. Statistical figures such as total orders and sales, business graph, sales by date, individual statistics of customers etc. will help the store owners to understand whether the business is performing in an expected way or not. In this way, you can set your next strategies to enhance the productivity.

If you opt for WooCommerce platform, it will give you a room for future growth that is very crucial. Suppose you started as a startup and now, your business is expanding. In this platform, making necessary changes will be extremely easier. Additionally, the vast range of available plugins is another reason behind its immense popularity.

So, if you are looking for such a platform that will give a professional look to your business site yet simple in nature, yes, this is the best option for you!

Source by Rob Stephen