Advertising and marketing Planning – You should not Do SWOT

Advertising and marketing Planning – You should not Do SWOT

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Chances, Threats) is a well known framework for establishing a advertising method. A Google search for “SWOT” and “arranging” turned up nearly 93,000 hits (August 2004), most all of which laud the use of SWOT. Some pupils have explained that it is the most important detail they discovered at the Wharton Faculty.

Though SWOT is promoted as a useful method in many marketing texts, it is not universally praised: A single specialist mentioned that he desired to consider of SWOT as a “Considerable Waste of Time.”

The problem with SWOT is additional really serious than the actuality that it wastes time. Since it mixes notion technology with analysis, it is possible to reduce the selection of methods that are deemed. In addition, men and women who use SWOT may possibly conclude that they have finished an satisfactory occupation of arranging and overlook this sort of smart things as defining the firm’s goals or calculating ROI for alternate strategies. I have observed this when enterprise college college students use SWOT on cases.

What does the evidence say? Probably the most notable indication is that I have been not able to discover any proof to aid the use of SWOT.

Two scientific tests have examined SWOT. Menon et al. (1999) requested 212 managers from Fortune 1000 corporations about latest internet marketing approaches carried out in their firms. The conclusions showed that SWOT harmed functionality. When Hill and Westbrook (1997) examined the use of SWOT by 20 firms in the United kingdom in 1993-94, they concluded that the method was so flawed that it was time for a “solution remember.”

A single advocate of SWOT requested: if not SWOT, then what? Borrowing from company strategic setting up literature, a far better choice for planners is to adhere to a official written procedure to:

  1. Set goals
  2. Make alternate approaches
  3. Examine different techniques
  4. Keep an eye on results
  5. Acquire motivation among the stakeholders for the duration of each individual move of this procedure.

I describe this 5-stage method in Armstrong (1982). Evidence on the worth of this setting up method, received from 28 validation studies (summarized in Armstrong 1990), showed that it led to improved company performance:

  • 20 research observed better functionality with formal setting up
  • 5 observed no variation
  • 3 discovered formal organizing to be detrimental

This guidance was acquired even even though the formal organizing in the scientific studies ordinarily utilized only some of the ways. Moreover, the measures had been typically improperly implemented and the problems were being not generally perfect for official arranging.

Given the proof, SWOT is not justified under any instances. In its place, use the complete 5-phase arranging method.


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

Armstrong, J. S. (1990), “Evaluation of Company Strategic Setting up,” Journal of Marketing and advertising, 54, 114-119.

Hill, T. & R. Westbrook (1997), “SWOT Assessment: It truly is Time for a Products Recall,” Very long Assortment Arranging, 30, No. 1, 46-52.

Menon, A. et al. (1999), “Antecedents and Implications of Promoting Strategy Earning,” Journal of Promoting, 63, 18-40.

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