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Short simple and sweet Doing your SWOT analysis is part and parcel of being a marketer and creating great marketing plans Lets explore what makes the analysis of Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats so significant We will start by continuing our look at the world beyond our firm We described what was happening in the Current Situation of the marketing plan Now we will analyze some aspects of that situation We are looking for two key things OpportunitiesThese are developments in the external marketing environment which will lead to new market segments or which will enhance existing ones A new law that makes a product required a change in consumer attitudes a group in the population that is entering a new stage -- any of these could be major opportunities Threats These are developments which threaten to disrupt the status quo in some way A new competitor especially an aggressive one will alter industry dynamics dramatically as Wal-Mart did A decline in interest for a major product category eg beer would be another threat A rise in interest rates can put a damper on the housing industry The Double-Edged Sword Remember that many developments create a double-edged sword The new competitor may be a threat to many staid players but could create opportunities for those firms who dont offer its style or can fill gaps it leaves in the market Dont be too hasty to classify things one way or another Above all remember that opportunities and threats exist in the external environment and are completely independent of whatever firm you are studying This is essential to understand because any of several firms could pursue the same opportunity A thorough analysis would consider likely competitor actions and recognize that others could get a share of the new segment Once we have identified the key opportunities and threats we can determine which opportunities to exploit and how
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