Our guide to creating a SWOT analysis to define digital strategy using the TOWS technique

A SWOT analysis is an essential part of any business or marketing plan. It allows you to create a plan of action based not on what you’re interested in doing or on your gut-feel, but what you need to do given the situation in the marketplace. It considers your capabilities for marketing against competitors plus looks at opportunities created as new technologies are introduced.

What is a SWOT?

As you’ll know it’s a 2 X 2 matrix summarising the internal Strengths and Weaknesses against external Opportunities and Threats. These external opportunities and threats are available to all competitors in the marketplace.

Why is a SWOT useful?

When creating a digital marketing plan, SWOT analysis is an essential step. I think it’s sometimes seen as an academic exercise and there’s the feeling that the time should be spent on improving the execution…

An introduction to best practices for using buyer web personas to create more customer-centric websites

Creating personas of website visitors is a powerful technique for helping increase the usability and customer-centricity of a website as part of a user-centered design (UCD) process. I've been a big fan of using personas since around 2003 I was introduced to it by Matt Dooley, a customer experience manager in the HSBC Global E-business team.  At the time, they were following reports by Forrester on creating web personas. This shows that they're certainly not new, indeed their equivalent of using customer thumbnails for customer segmentation or ad campaigns has existed for decades. However, I find they're still not so widely used when giving examples on training courses.

What is a web persona?

A simple definition of a web persona is: "a summary of the characteristics, needs, motivations, and environment of a key type of website user". A more specific…

Use the RACE Framework to review and improve all aspects of your competitor benchmarking

When I train or give talks to marketers on digital marketing, I see that competitor benchmarking tools are popular. Often people will reach for their pens when I mention a tool to help inform their marketing. New, free tools are naturally the most popular! I thought it would be useful to break down and categorize the most important aspects of online benchmarking, so you can check out tools you could use to support each stage. Today, there is a great breadth and depth of paid and free benchmarking tools available for marketers. Sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. That's why our competitor benchmarking guide and template includes a full list of free and premium online benchmarking tools integrated across the RACE Framework. [si_guide_block id="15270" title="Download our Business Resource – Competitor benchmarking guide and template" description="Whether in sport…

Our recommended free online tools for understanding your customers, competitors and campaign, and how you should use them - across 8 marketing analysis activities

I find that when running training courses, the tools I recommend to help marketers are always popular, especially free tools... I originally created this list in 2012, but keep it updated as new tools are released and some tools become paid! If you're relooking at your marketing strategy/budget, why not consider implementing some of these tools? There's a diverse mix of free tools available, one of the enjoyable aspects of working in digital marketing today. I’ll start with the most widely used. Please let us know about the “essential free tools” you use in the comments. For the full comprehensive list - check out our free guide to digital marketing tools. We've structured it around the RACE Framework of reach, act, convert, and engage - covering…

Strategic analysis of an organization is an essential factor when it comes to formulating a plan for the smoother working of your company

Strategic analysis refers to the process of researching an organization and its working environment to formulate a strategy. There are many other definitions of strategic analysis with a different perspective. But they all involve a lot of common factors.

What is strategic analysis?

Strategic analysis of an organization is an essential factor for planning and optimizing your marketing strategy. With the help of strategic planning, you can align and achieve your marketing objectives with your business' overall vision. Improvement is the one constant in any company. You need to keep improving your organization. So, to educate yourself, you must periodically conduct strategic analysis. This will then help your organization to plan ahead and determine which areas need improvement. We've got marketing solutions to support you and your team to conduct and implement…

Our recommendations on the top 10 free digital marketing statistics covering secondary data sources for Global, European, UK, US, Asia and Latin America

Online marketers love statistics about digital marketing. Us too. They allow us to review the growth in customer adoption of the latest digital platforms and technologies, make the business case for investment in marketing and allow us to benchmark our growth and performance against competitors. From reviewing thousands of stats sources over the years, we've found that there are a very small number of quality online marketing statistics sites and sources which are updated at least annually and have a representative sample size from different countries. Business Members can use our quarterly 2020 online marketing statistics compilation, aimed at saving you time when you need the latest stats for a presentation or report you're working on against a deadline. This guide contains a full rundown of…

Implement research-driven, customer-centric marketing to truly optimize your finance or bank marketing strategy and compete in a competitive digital landscape

A recent study of challenger bank marketing tactics caught my attention since it highlights the digital disruption in the financial services industry. What can businesses learn from this challenge in a situational analysis of their own environment, and how can marketers optimize their financial services marketing using this research? If you're a marketer in the finance sector right now, you will have witnessed huge changes in the industry in the last 12 months alone, with more customers making financial decisions online leading to increased competition and challenges for financial services and banking industry marketers in both the macro and microenvironment. Therefore, using research such as the challenger banks case study below can help you structure a winning marketing strategy. As we know, the first stage in a marketing plan is…

Six steps to writing research questions that get the best results

Eureka! You’ve got an idea for a business, product, service, or new functionality, a solution to a problem, or a hypothesis about why something is happening. Unfortunately, it’s a fact that not all ideas and solutions are good, and not all hypotheses are right. It’s a shame, but there it is. Before investing significant time and money, you’ll want to get a better idea if you’re on the right track. This is where primary research comes in. There is a lot to consider when conducting market research, far too many elements for one blog post. However, writing great research questions will go a long way to getting the answers you need to move forward. There are lots of market research methods but we’ll focus on writing great questions for an online survey, where the questions have to work their hardest.

Step 1:…

Using different insights tools to build an understanding of the opportunities for an agency to create value for a client

In a previous article, I defined and explained the need for marketing agencies and consultants to develop a robust Discovery process when they start working with new clients or on new market pitches or projects. In the second part of the article, I’ve broken them down the discovery process into nine distinct activities covering different insights sources, focusing on those needed for a digital or multichannel marketing project. Exactly who undertakes these will depend on your agency or team size, individual experience and skillsets. You will need to make a call on both the depth and breadth of discovery undertaken depending on the size of the opportunity/potential impact on the client business in the long run as mentioned in the…

A vital step towards marketing digital transformation

In the current climate, digital interactions between brands and their B2B and B2C partners have become a major feature in their customers' buying journey. Given the complexity of customer interactions via different touchpoints and channels across the modern customer lifecycle as shown in the visual, planning frameworks can help simplify the analysis and prioritization of digital marketing activities. It is sometimes difficult to orchestrate marketing activities in order to ensure that the right digital tactics are used at the right time and in the right place in that journey, to nurture a customer lead. However, in the partner world it’s a lot more complex, because before you embark on the development of any marketing campaign with or through a partner, an imperative step is to market to that partner to raise awareness of your brand and educate…