In the article ‘Traditional marketing tools in a digital age‘ we looked at the humble SWOT analysis and how it is one of the most simple yet insightful marketing tools you can use. Once you have completed your SWOT analysis you are left with a heap of information which can be overwhelming and leave you thinking; what next?
Now you have broken down what your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are, its time to turn these concepts on their head and create an actionable strategy.
The TOWS exercise helps to create links between the four different categories in a SWOT analysis. Here you will combine different categories to help you understand ways to give you a competitive edge or see how you can decrease the negative effects of a threat.
Its time to make connections between the different categories:
From creating these links you are able to develop actionable goals or strategies. For example, in the case of strength to opportunity; you may have a have a background in marketing, so you are able to save money and resources and create your own marketing campaign and manage your own social media. Or in the case of weaknesses to opportunities you could look at scheduling your social media posts ahead of time to accommodate for being time poor during the work week.
There are free templates online that can help you map this information out in an easy to comprehend and simple manner.
By using the TOWS analysis you can identify strategic options for your business by breaking it down into smaller, easier steps.
Example of a TOWS table