Chapter 4. Understand Competitors’ SWOT

Understanding your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (S.W.O.T) is fundamental to any strategy. The SWOT analysis is important to feed into your marketing plan. It gives you the data that highlights the pitfalls which you need to avoid in order to be successful. SWOT gives you the opportunity to analyse your own internal strengths and weaknesses and see the opportunities and threats outside of your company.

Strengths

Analyse the strengths of your competitors, what they are doing well and why? How can you do better than them? For example, do they have excellent customer service? Do they have a lot of reviews on their site reflective of speedy delivery and quality product? What do the customers see as their biggest strength? Is the company a market leader?

Then analyse their content, do they keep their blog updated? Do they send out great email newsletters? Are they ranking for Universal SERPs?

What do their customers see as their biggest strength? If they are offering more features than you, is this something you can do? Can you focus on one area of your product and develop it further?

Weakness

What areas are your competitors not doing well? Are they for example paying for paid traffic when they are ranking well ? Do they have poor links?

What are they lacking within their tools? Is the Minimal Viable Product lacking features?

Play to their weaknesses and win customers. For example, they may not have an in-house development team (to fix issues on their site). Their customers may be complaining about their checkout journey. Make sure your buyer journey is smooth with no hiccups.

Jo Juliana Turnbull

Growth Marketer at Authoritas

Jo also known as SEO Jo Blogs is Growth Marketer at Authoritas. She is a Chartered Marketer with over 12 years of experience in SEO and online marketing. She is also the organiser of one of the largest and longest running networking groups called Search London since October 2010. SEO Jo runs Turn Digi an online event which supports entrepreneurs, rising talent and has a diverse range of speakers. Outside of work she is a mentor to other business professionals,is an #IamRemarkable Facilitator and shares budget travel tips on her blog being30.com. She was a Global Freelancer of the Year Finalist in 2020.

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Opportunities

Think about the ways to get ahead in the market. For example you may have a new product launching. Instead of spending months on the perfect product, why not release a beta version. Invite ambassadors to try and test out the beta version of the product. Encourage feedback which will then give you time to work on an even better version, the go to market one.

What are your competitors doing in the market? Are they exploiting a demand you have not yet thought of or were hesitant to do? For example during the coronavirus, many restaurants who were always ‘dine in’ had to work hard to survive the lockdown. They had to adapt their set up so they could have customers order takeaway from them when previously they did not.

Some companies are very big and cannot move quickly. VIsit the social media channels they are on. Are they consistent or is it on and off? Where are they ranking in the SERPs?

Threats

Can you see new competitors emerging in the marketplace? Do they expose other competitors to new threats? For example the taxi service Uber was a real threat to London cabbies. It undercut their price and with Uber, customers could order and see where their cabs were in real time. This gave them more confidence that the taxi was on the way.

Another example of a threat in the carbonated soda market is bubble tea. Consumers are looking for healthier drinks and alternatives to sodas and they have found it in bubble tea. As a result, it has become very popular outside of Taiwan and China over the past 10 years. The market is valued at $2.4 billion and set to grow to $3.6 billion by 2025.

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