Archive for January, 2010

Using a SWOT Analysis to Fine-Tune Your Marketing

SWOT AnalysisA SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is an effective way to make sure your marketing activities align with your business strategy.

Why is that a good thing?

It means that the money you spend on marketing is more likely to produce the business results you’re looking for (more customers, larger market share, increased revenue… whatever your particular objective is).

When you do a SWOT analysis, you brainstorm and list out your company’s

  • Strengths (what are the positive attributes of your company, product or service?),
  • Weaknesses (what are the negative attributes of your company, product or service?),
  • Opportunities (where are the market opportunities for your product or service?),
  • Threats (what are the main threats to your company?).

The SWOT analysis can help you find a way to use your company or product strengths to take advantage of market opportunities, and identify and work on weaknesses that might inhibit your ability to take advantage of those opportunities.

To be successful, it’s important to always be on the alert for market threats. Leverage your strengths to either eliminate or reduce the impact of threats, and work to address any weaknesses that may increase the criticality of threats.

Finally, prioritize marketing activities and messaging that highlight your strengths, and help you take advantage of opportunities.

For more on doing a SWOT analysis, take a look at this article: “Doing a SWOT Analysis to Focus Your Marketing Strategy.”

SWOT analysis is also included as part of our Software Company Business Plan Package and the SaaS Business Planning Package.

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What NOT to Post on your Customer Blog

OK, here’s one of my pet peeves: if you have a blog or a twitter account linked from your business website, make sure the posts and tweets are targeted to your customers and what they care about.

Seems obvious, right?

But I see so many small technology and software companies that use their blog to discuss the trials and tribulations of being a startup rather than addressing the customer pain point that they designed their product to solve in the first place.

If you want to write about the experience of running your business, and share best practices with others, then by all means have a separate blog. But don’t think your customers could care less! Even worse, you don’t want them seeing your dirty laundry (why tell them about the firefighting you were doing yesterday to deal with the outage you had…?).

Make sure you have a customer-focused blog on your website, with posts that are of interest to your customer. Try to weave your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) through the blog, while making sure not to appear too salesy. Your blog should contain additional helpful information, tips, and product-related announcements that your customers and prospects will find useful.

Update your Business Plan for the New Decade

New Year start business planning It’s now 2010… do you have an updated business plan or marketing plan to address the new decade?

If you’re a software company, the industry is changing with the move to SaaS, outsourcing and other trends. It’s important to make sure you have a current business plan to make sure you’re positioned to take optimal advantage of these changes.

Take advantage of our SaaS business plan template, or the Software Company business plan template, and get started optimizing your business today!


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