When the “stuff hits the fan,” law enforcement calls in the SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team.

In marketing and business growth, information is the special weapon that drives our tactics. If you want to grow faster, you need a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity & Threat) team.

Be honest, when was the last time you did a comprehensive SWOT analysis?  When was the last time you seriously looked at it?

Unless you’ve recently rebranded, I’ll bet it’s been a while.

You should do a SWOT analysis at least once per year!

For a SWAT team, conditions in the field are constantly changing … they are constantly changing for us too. You need to assign team members to have their eyes open for anything that can impact your business. Then, funnel that information to one person – usually Marketing – who analyzes how the changes may impact your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Look at Your Market(s)

  • What are the demographics? How are they trending?
  • What does the economy look like? How is it trending?
  • Is each market growing or shrinking?
  • Does each market provide a different opportunity for your bottom line?
  • Where do people from each market hangout? What do they do for fun?
  • Do people in the market know who you are?
    • If so, what do they think of you?

Watch Your Competition

Talk to Customers

  • Are you the first financial institution that they think of?
  • Why did they choose you?
  • What products do they use? Why?
  • Who else do they use? Why? For what products?
  • What is their perception of you?:
    • What do they think you stand for?
    • What do they think you do best?
    • What would they like to see you do better?
  • What does your average customer look like? Demographic, psychographic, geographic, life stage, etc.

* If you have the budget, talk to non-customers too.

Talk to Staff

  • What do they think you stand for? Do they understand your mission, values and brand?
  • What do they think you do best?
  • What would they like to see you do better?
  • What do they think makes you different?
  • Why do they think customers choose you?
  • Why do they think customers DON’T choose you?
  • If they were CEO, what would they change?
    • What would they never change?
  • What are their thoughts on the company’s organization?
  • What are their thoughts on the company’s internal communications?

Yes, this is a lot of information. But every piece is vital to your planning. Every element will provide you with better information on your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

You don’t need to do it all at once and you don’t need to rely on one person to collect all the data. Consider real-time collection of as much information as possible.

Put It All On The Calendar:

  • Schedule quarterly meetings with each branch manager.
  • Create alerts to review market share and market demographics/economics every year.
  • Plan and budget for an annual customer survey.
  • Include the employee survey as part of each team member’s annual review. We can learn from them during this time and make them feel more valuable.
  • Assign a few people to keep an eye on key competitors. Maybe assign one employee to watch a specific competitor.
  • Compare competitive pricing quarterly on key products or while you’re planning each campaign.

By taking the data collection burden off one person, you are more likely to secure more and better data and you’ll start to train your entire team to think like marketers.

Then you’ll have your very own SWOT Team!

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