​​​​​Marketing 101: Analysis

Don’t let the jargon fool you, most marketing is common sense.  

Marketing guru Philip Kotler defines marketing as "satisfying needs and wants through an exchange process". The starting point of marketing strategy is a situational analysis. Identify 'real' needs and assesses your ability to meet them now and in future.

Step 1: Internal analysis

Examine yourself thoroughly, your mission, strategy, activities, culture, expertise, unique qualities and resources. Look for:

  • Strengths which add value to various stakeholders: differential expertise, performance, resources, facilities, products or services. Why do people prefer you now?
  • Weaknesses that place you at risk or at a disadvantage to competitors: complaints, problems and issues.

Step 2: External analysis

Which external factors affect your performance and that of regulators, competitors, suppliers, partners and customers? Add structure and focus to your analysis by using a framework, such as PEST (Political, Economical, Social and Technological  aspects) or STEEPLE (adds Environmental, Legal and Ethical considerations).  Pick out:

  • Opportunities which may allow expansion and growth.
  • Threats likely to have negative consequences or cause damage, so you can make contingency plans to reduce the risk.

Both may arise as a result of changes within the market, for example, to customer or competitor behaviour, technological advances, economic shift, new production or distribution methods.