Resolve to Reexamine Your Assumptions.

Keeping with our commitment to share a few New Year’s resolutions your organization can make to drastically improve your marketing efforts, we give you the third installment in the series:  Check your assumptions.
How long has it been since you started your business?  How long has it been since you wrote a marketing plan?  Chances are your markets have changed.  New markets have emerged.  Your market position may have slipped, even if your sales volume has grown.  Or your market share may have grown, even on declining sales, if the market space is shrinking.  You need to know.

More importantly, your customers’ needs are evolving, and some of their new needs are still not met.  If their values are shifting, as most people’s do, your legacy position may not be congruent with their new values.  Take a close look at new competitors who have entered your market – even if they seem inconsequential – because the fastest way for new competitors to gain a foothold is by tapping into an unmet need.  The success of a new competitor is often a sign that your organization has failed a customer or prospect.

SWOT analysis is an easy way to gain a better understanding of the internal and external factors that determine your organization’s success.  Armed with probing questions based on experience with many organizations, a seasoned marketing consultant can significantly improve the results of your SWOT exercise.