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Turning A Company Weakness Into A Marketing Strength

The nature of business is, similar to life, change and adaptation to that change. As markets, competition and business opportunities change, companies need to not depend on their past marketing strengths, but adapt to the markets changes. An overlooked way to bolster your marketing and insure strong sales in the future (and stay one step ahead of the competition) is to examine the weaknesses in your sales offerings.

In preparing your business plan, you probably produced a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) analysis. Your SWOT analysis should not remain in the same state as it was originally created, but be revisited and revised all the time. Normally changes to the analysis comes from marketing’s research into new business opportunities, from which advertisement and training needed to pursue the opportunity is created. A company culture that accepts change stands the best chance of not getting caught standing still when the market shifts.

A second strategy is to check opportunities that are closer to home – market analysis of your competition. This exploration can shed light on your current sales’ weaknesses, which are usually able to be quickly mitigated by improving customer service or fine tuning your product offering to where the market is moving.

In studying your competition, one simple way to conduct an analysis is to review with your trustworthy employees what possible moves your competition could make that could erode your customer base. Then you have several people keeping tabs on the competition. Follow through by taking pro-active steps to mitigate the effect of your competition’s moves. The flip side of this coin is to have a brainstorming session with your company to think of things your competition may be worrying that you will do. Is it a marketing opportunity? Put manpower and operating capital resources into making it happen.

Outside financing consultants can aid your SWOT assessment by bringing the third party perspective to the situation, a perspective that is not steeped in the traditional company viewpoint. Of course, your customers are also a valuable source of market information – make sure your request, either face-to-face or questionnaire is done in such a manner to produce the most honest feedback. Outside consultation may have a steep short-term price, but a simple change of perspective may continue to pay-off for years to come.

Creating internal contests that rewards employees for new marketing ideas not only harnesses the creativity at hand, but also gets employees thinking more like entrepreneurs instead of just hired help.

In the end, adapting your company’s advertising and market positioning to the shifts in market tastes and desires is like any detective story – deciphering the changes to make sure you understand all the clues the market provides.

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