SWOT and SOAR

Everyone has probably heard of a SWOT analysis, and most people have done one before. A SWOT can be a great way to quickly summarise many of the key issues that need to be considered in the strategy process.

In a SWOT, the strengths and weaknesses are looked at in terms of the organisation’s internal perspective. For example, what strengths and weaknesses are there with the organisation’s people, systems, technology, products/services, marketing and so on.

In my experience, many people and organisations think more highly of their strengths than they should. You might have a piece of software or a key person that you see as a strength, but wouldn’t the competitor down the road say the same thing about their organisation? Strengths need to be thought of in relation to competitors.

The opportunities and threats reflect external considerations. It might relate to growth opportunities in the market, new technology being developed, competitor actions or government policy changes, for example. Continue reading…


Understanding your market dynamics

Question: Why did the thief rob the bank?
Answer: Because that’s where the money is.

In this situation, the thief understood enough about his market to know where to find the money!

It’s important for an organisation to have a solid understanding of where the money is in their own market segment before they can maximise their organisation’s potential.

Data on the market can be used to answer a number of questions that lead to better decision making. What is the size of your market? Is it growing or contracting? Why? How is the market evolving or changing? What disruptive forces are impacting the market? How are competitors’ actions changing the market? What are the bounds and scope of the market that you are operating in? Should we look to another market segment in order to continue growing the business? How much should we spend on acquiring the knowledge necessary to answer these questions? Continue reading…


Understanding market changes

Coronavirus, stock exchange losses, countries going in to lockdown, businesses being shut down, stock shortages in the shopping centres.managers having a conversation

We live in unprecedented times with the business models of decades’ old organisations quite literally changing overnight.

The radical changes we have seen over the past few weeks have demonstrated the speed at which market dynamics can change, and the need for businesses to respond quickly.

Boards and management teams are needing to respond with urgency to scenario plan and make decisions with imperfect information as the situation unfolds.

The markets that we operate in and the customers we serve are always changing. Whilst the speed of change is not necessarily what we have seen recently, now is a time not just to focus on the immediate crisis at hand, but to think about how to structure management and board meetings so that market changes form part of the regular and ongoing conversation. Continue reading…


Peer networking worth its weight in gold

If you’re someone who doesn’t have a professional online presence, you could be missing out on some valuable career or sector information. To keep in touch with the latest news, what your contacts or competitors are doing and to join discussion groups with like-minded individuals, consider having a LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn isn’t just a place to find a job. Its importance goes further than that. It has been specifically designed for the business community, so if you’ve been hesitant to be part of it, here’s a couple of reasons why you should reconsider. Continue reading…


How to measure ROI with a zero-based marketing budget

man thinking in front of boardThe simplest and easiest way to set next year’s marketing budget is to take last year’s budget and simply add the percentage that you want to grow by.  Within 60 seconds your new marketing budget is set, but this doesn’t allow for external market factors like new providers, changing government policies or the needs or wants of customers.

Alternatively, you could adopt a zero-based marketing budget. This will take longer to put together, but it will make you ask the hard questions about the outcomes you want, how much you need to spend to achieve them and the different options available to you

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Rebranding? Know before you go

You might think about changing your brand name or logo for many reasons. Perhaps your logo is looking a little tired, or your organisation’s name no longer reflects the value you offer or the market you service.

Changing your brand is exciting – it’s also a lot of work! Executed poorly, a rebrand may have little effect or even worse, send your organisation backwards… Done well, and supported by a solid strategy, renewing or refreshing your brand can be just the trick to drive your mission forward.

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The value of a logo

In previous issues of Foreword, we’ve looked at different aspects of marketing such as brand reputation, marketing strategies and social media marketing to name a few.

Whilst all of these things are important, how much thought have you given to your organisation’s logo? It’s one of the first things people notice when they’re looking for your organisation.

Next time you’re driving home or watching television, look at the logos you see in advertising. There’s many that you would instantly recognise; the famous golden arches of McDonald’s, the three diamonds of Mitsubishi and the colourful letters of Google. Your recall of the product or service they offer is almost instant. These are all good examples of a logo doing its job.

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The importance of knowing what you’ll do with customer feedback – so you ask the right questions

We’ve recently been researching tools to measure customer satisfaction. We’ve heard all about the benefits of their software and how efficient their systems are. But each conversation has focused on measuring how well an organisation has performed, rather than how they can improve.

Wouldn’t it be great if the companies were forward thinking as well as retrospective? This article titled ‘rather than asking customers for feedback, ask them what you could do better in the future’ by Thomas Barta, it’s is a short but informative read.

Asking what you could do better in the future will allow you to understand the needs and wants of the market, allowing you to either start or continue on your journey to be market orientated. Continue reading…


Prepare for a new way to attract donations and volunteers

If your organisation works with consumers rather than businesses, now is a great time to consider if Instagram should be one of the communication channels your organisation uses to connect with your customers, potential customers and supporters.

If you’re completely new to Instagram and you find any of this content confusing, we’ve posted a brief glossary below… Continue reading…


10 easy ways to protect your brand’s reputation – online

Over the past months the news has been filled with public figures who have lost their jobs due to posts or comments they’ve made on the internet.  Whilst some were recent posts others were in the distant past, but it still came back to haunt them. An organisation is just like a person, over the years comments, news stories and customer reviews leave a story on the internet. So what can an organisation do to protect or improve their organisation’s reputation?  

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