Marketing and advertising Arranging – Don’t Do SWOT


SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Options, Threats) is a well known framework for creating a promoting method. A Google look for for “SWOT” and “planning” turned up virtually 93,000 hits (August 2004), most all of which laud the use of SWOT. Some learners have said that it is the most significant detail they uncovered at the Wharton University.

Although SWOT is promoted as a valuable method in a lot of advertising and marketing texts, it is not universally praised: 1 specialist reported that he chosen to consider of SWOT as a “Significant Squander of Time.”

The problem with SWOT is much more critical than the simple fact that it wastes time. Because it mixes strategy generation with analysis, it is probable to cut down the variety of procedures that are thought of. In addition, men and women who use SWOT could conclude that they have carried out an sufficient task of organizing and ignore these types of practical matters as defining the firm’s objectives or calculating ROI for alternate techniques. I have observed this when organization college pupils use SWOT on instances.

What does the evidence say? Potentially the most noteworthy indication is that I have been not able to obtain any evidence to assist the use of SWOT.

Two experiments have examined SWOT. Menon et al. (1999) asked 212 supervisors from Fortune 1000 providers about current advertising strategies executed in their companies. The findings confirmed that SWOT harmed general performance. When Hill and Westbrook (1997) examined the use of SWOT by 20 organizations in the British isles in 1993-94, they concluded that the method was so flawed that it was time for a “products recall.”

One advocate of SWOT requested: if not SWOT, then what? Borrowing from corporate strategic arranging literature, a better option for planners is to stick to a formal prepared procedure to:

  1. Set aims
  2. Crank out option strategies
  3. Examine option procedures
  4. Keep track of outcomes
  5. Obtain motivation among the stakeholders throughout each and every step of this process.

I explain this 5-action procedure in Armstrong (1982). Proof on the benefit of this preparing process, obtained from 28 validation studies (summarized in Armstrong 1990), confirmed that it led to improved company general performance:

  • 20 reports found greater overall performance with official scheduling
  • 5 observed no variation
  • 3 discovered official planning to be detrimental

This guidance was attained even even though the formal organizing in the studies normally used only some of the techniques. Also, the steps ended up frequently improperly implemented and the conditions have been not usually perfect for formal planning.

Presented the evidence, SWOT is not justified underneath any circumstances. Rather, use the extensive 5-move organizing process.


Armstrong, J. S. (1982) “The Worth of Formal Planning for Strategic Conclusions,” Strategic Administration Journal, 3, 197-211.

Armstrong, J. S. (1990), “Assessment of Company Strategic Planning,” Journal of Internet marketing, 54, 114-119.

Hill, T. & R. Westbrook (1997), “SWOT Analysis: It is Time for a Product or service Recall,” Prolonged Assortment Preparing, 30, No. 1, 46-52.

Menon, A. et al. (1999), “Antecedents and Outcomes of Advertising and marketing Technique Making,” Journal of Advertising and marketing, 63, 18-40.


Source by Scott Armstrong