SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Chances, Threats) is a well known framework for creating a advertising and marketing tactic. A Google lookup for “SWOT” and “organizing” turned up just about 93,000 hits (August 2004), most all of which laud the use of SWOT. Some learners have explained that it is the most vital issue they realized at the Wharton School.
Though SWOT is promoted as a helpful method in a lot of advertising and marketing texts, it is not universally praised: A person specialist claimed that he preferred to feel of SWOT as a “Important Squander of Time.”
The difficulty with SWOT is far more critical than the simple fact that it wastes time. Due to the fact it mixes thought generation with evaluation, it is most likely to lower the vary of procedures that are regarded as. In addition, persons who use SWOT may well conclude that they have carried out an sufficient career of scheduling and ignore this kind of practical issues as defining the firm’s targets or calculating ROI for alternate strategies. I have noticed this when company faculty learners use SWOT on circumstances.
What does the evidence say? Potentially the most noteworthy indicator is that I have been not able to discover any proof to aid the use of SWOT.
Two reports have examined SWOT. Menon et al. (1999) asked 212 managers from Fortune 1000 businesses about modern advertising approaches implemented in their companies. The conclusions confirmed that SWOT harmed effectiveness. When Hill and Westbrook (1997) examined the use of SWOT by 20 organizations in the Uk in 1993-94, they concluded that the method was so flawed that it was time for a “merchandise recall.”
Just one advocate of SWOT requested: if not SWOT, then what? Borrowing from corporate strategic scheduling literature, a much better solution for planners is to comply with a official created approach to:
- Established goals
- Generate choice methods
- Consider substitute strategies
- Check results
- Obtain commitment between the stakeholders in the course of just about every step of this approach.
I explain this 5-move technique in Armstrong (1982). Proof on the value of this preparing method, acquired from 28 validation research (summarized in Armstrong 1990), showed that it led to much better company general performance:
- 20 research uncovered bigger performance with formal preparing
- 5 uncovered no variation
- 3 uncovered official arranging to be detrimental
This aid was received even nevertheless the official planning in the scientific studies typically applied only some of the measures. Additionally, the techniques have been generally inadequately carried out and the circumstances have been not generally best for official planning.
Specified the proof, SWOT is not justified below any conditions. Alternatively, use the detailed 5-step planning method.
Armstrong, J. S. (1982) “The Benefit of Formal Preparing for Strategic Selections,” Strategic Management Journal, 3, 197-211.
Armstrong, J. S. (1990), “Critique of Company Strategic Organizing,” Journal of Advertising and marketing, 54, 114-119.
Hill, T. & R. Westbrook (1997), “SWOT Assessment: It is Time for a Product or service Remember,” Extended Range Organizing, 30, No. 1, 46-52.
Menon, A. et al. (1999), “Antecedents and Implications of Internet marketing Technique Making,” Journal of Advertising, 63, 18-40.