How to Perform a SWOT Analysis on Your Company with a Market Research Tool

SWOT analysis

A SWOT analysis is a simple framework that goes a long way towards helping businesses develop their strategic planning process along with grasping their own stance in their industry. In turn, this kind of analysis allows them to make informed business decisions.

This is because all businesses have their share of strengths and weaknesses, and no company exists in a vacuum. As such, you should analyze the opportunities and threats that pervade your market to take advantage of your scope of opportunities while steering clear of threats. 

A SWOT analysis allows you to do just that, in turn enabling you to understand your company’s position in your market or niche and use this knowledge to take scalable actions.

This guide explores the SWOT analysis, its importance, how to conduct one for your business and how to use a market research tool to complete your analysis. 

Understanding the SWOT Analysis

Also called the SWOT matrix, this analysis is a kind of strategic planning technique businesses use to identify internal strengths and weaknesses and external opportunities and threats. Its components are laid out in its name, which is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

A SWOT analysis is a visual study tool that identifies specific strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and presents them in a diagram that takes the form of a two-by-two grid. 

This grid features four quadrants; each one represents one of the letters of the SWOT and its concept. Each quadrant houses the list regarding the concept behind the letter. This format organizes the elements as internal versus external.  

You can conduct a SWOT analysis on an entire organization, or on individual projects in a single department. Aside from evaluating a company or project, a SWOT analysis is used to determine how closely a business is aligned with its growth trajectories and benchmarks. Additionally, it is used to gauge the performance of a specific project, such as a PR campaign based on preliminary predictions.

A SWOT analysis is most ideal when diverse groups or voices within a business provide actual data points rather than suggested messaging.

The Makeup of a SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis is made up of a grid with four quadrants, which represent each letter of the SWOT. To understand which quadrant an idea belongs to, you ought to consider strengths and weaknesses as internal factors, as they deal with the organization, its people, workflows, processes and assets.

SWOT analysis

On the other hand, opportunities and threats are external factors, given that they originate from your niche, your competition, your market and the wider economy. The following explains each element of this framework in detail:


This element pertains to all the things your organization excels at and how you are distinct from your competitors. It, therefore, involves your advantages over other businesses, which include your price range, quality of service/products, customer experience, access to certain materials, employee satisfaction, manufacturing processes and more. 

Since your strengths empower your organization, consider the factors that make it operational. Answer the following questions for the Strengths portion of your analysis: 

  1. What does your business do better than others in your industry?
  2. Which business processes are successful?
  3. What assets do your teams have? (brand equity, knowledge, education, network, skills)
  4. What values drive your business? 
  5. What kind of physical assets do you have, such as equipment, technology, cash and patents?
  6. What unique or valuable aspect does your business have?
  7. What kind of low-cost resources can you draw upon that your competitors can’t? 
  8. How are you innovating your products and business processes?

Virtually any aspect of your business can be considered a strength if it brings a clear advantage to your business. If all of your competitors provide a certain aspect, then it becomes a necessity, not an advantage.


While admitting the weaknesses in your organization may be unpleasant, these truths are critical to aggregate and examine as soon as possible, as you can only mitigate them when you accept them. 

Given that weaknesses are innate to your company, you should map them out by focusing on your offerings, systems, people, resources, and procedures. In the weaknesses quadrant, mull over all that you can stand to improve and the kinds of practices your company must avoid.

To do so, you’ll need to consider — and possibly uncover — how others in your market view your business. These actors, which include your target market, competitors and media outlets in your niche may notice weaknesses that you are not aware of. As such, to complete this section, investigate how and why your competitors are doing better than you to come to terms with what you lack.  

Use the following questions for the Weaknesses portion of your analysis:

  1. What are some of the things that your business needs to be competitive?
  2. Which areas of your business generate the least ROI?
  3. Are there any aspects of your business that require more resources? (Such as a department, a project, etc.)
  4. Which business processes need improvement?
  5. Are you lacking tangible assets such as money, space or equipment?
  6. Are there any gaps in your team?
  7. Is your location ideal for your success?
  8. What areas are your competitors excelling at which you aren’t or not as strong as they are?

All in all, weaknesses are the negative factors that detract your business from its strengths. You ought to consider how to reduce them, along with your key areas for improvement to remain competitive.


This section involves all the openings and probabilities of something positive happening to your business, whether it is publicity, higher profits, greater ROI, a larger social media following and various other business matters. You must claim opportunities for yourself, as the nature of an opportunity is that of an external situation which you must look out for so that you can use it to your full advantage.

Opportunities take the form of developments in your market, whether they are technological, service or experience-related. When it comes to being competitive in your market, spotting and using opportunities makes a major difference to your business. At times these opportunities allow you to position yourself as the leader in your industry.

At other times, opportunities can take the form of small advantages that can still effectively shape your competitiveness. These can be present in both market trends and cultural trends.  

You should also anticipate changes in government policy related to your field. These can involve regulations that create barriers for your business. Additionally, take heed of changes in social patterns, population profiles and lifestyles, as all of these can offer opportunities.

Use the following questions for the Opportunities portion of your analysis:

  1. What interesting market trends are you aware of, large or small, which could impact your business in a positive way?
  2. If your market is growing, are there trends that will encourage people to buy more of your products and/ or services?
  3. What events can your company take advantage of to grow the business?
  4. Are there any imminent changes to regulations that might affect your company positively?
  5. Why kind of content opportunities can you execute to your advantage?
  6. Are there any current events or cultural trends that you can capitalize on?
  7. Are your vendors or manufacturers offering any perks or bargains that your business can benefit from?
  8. Do you receive cold emails with opportunities to either be featured in or collaborate with a media outlet or company in your niche?


This element includes anything that can negatively affect your business from the outside, including, but not limited to higher standards in market requirements, supply chain issues, shortage of employees, negative press and more.

No matter your revenue or standing, you should always anticipate threats to your business and be prepared to take the necessary action to thwart them before they take a toll on your business and stunt your growth

Threats can arise from anywhere; as such, consider all the obstacles you contend with in getting your product to market and selling it. These can easily include constant changes to quality standards or specifications for either your products, services or overall CX (customer experience). You’ll need to adapt to these changes if you intend on being competitive.

Additionally, although changes in technology are generally viewed positively, they can present threats to your business. As such, you should be wary of these changes so that you can adapt to them before they become true threats.  

Use the following questions for the Threats portion of your analysis:

  1. Do you have any potential competitors who may enter your market?
  2. Could upcoming developments in technology change how you do business?
  3. Have any media outlets spoke negatively about your business or focused their attention on praising your competitors?
  4. Will your vendors always be able to supply the exact materials you need at the prices that you seek?
  5. Is customer behavior changing in a way that could have a negative impact on your business?
  6. Are there any issues with your employees that can lead to high turnover and negative reviews?
  7. Are there any regulations the may have negative consequences on your business?
  8. Are there any market trends that could potentially become a threat?

Although threats are external and you have no control over their presence, you can still keep them at bay by conducting various market research techniques.

The Importance of a SWOT Analysis

This kind of technique is important on several fronts. First off, in a general sense, it allows you to make well-informed decisions, as it makes it possible to prioritize the work that you’ll need to do to grow your business.

Understanding your company’s position in your market or industry is crucial for any business in that it allows you to strategically develop your business and avoid wasting resources, efforts and time. This is crucial for various situations and scenarios, whether you’re trying to expand into a new market or compete with a surprise contender in your industry.

A SWOT analysis provides a comprehensive and unbiased overview of your entire business or a specific campaign or product. It forces you to consider every factor that could affect your project or business in one way or another. This is especially useful if you’re dealing with difficulties or lack confidence in your current strategy.

This is because a SWOT analysis offers all the details you’ll need to make actionable plans. The four quadrants grant you an easy way to organize your insights. 

This analysis helps your business operate more strategically, thereby granting you a better chance of reaping success. This is because it addresses what your business lacks, which allows you to minimize risks. It also pinpoints your greatest advantages and chances of success.

A SWOT analysis can be used to jumpstart your strategy whether it is in an informal or full-fledged way, as this tool can serve both approaches

Finally, you can also use it to better understand your competitors and their standing. This kind of intelligence lessens their threat to your business, as you can form a competitive narrative for your business, based on your analysis of your competitors

Performing a SWOT Analysis & The Need for Conducting Primary Research

In order to form a holistic SWOT analysis, you’ll need to dedicate a significant amount of time to formulate it. But not to worry, there are several steps you can follow and tips to take into consideration.

Additionally, you can objectively strengthen all of your SWOT analysis efforts with a market research tool. Whether or not you decide on using a market research platform, you’ll need to conduct market research for your analysis regardless. This is because this analysis is composed of data and insights from both your company and the market at large. 

While conducting secondary market research is inevitable and necessary, this kind of research alone is insufficient for a SWOT analysis. Consider this: you’re going to need answers to questions concerning both your company and market, both of which secondary research doesn’t provide all the answers for

In fact, many secondary sources may be loosely related to your business concerns, but do not answer the specific questions you require answered to adequately fill out your SWOT analysis.   

When you carry out your analysis, be realistic and rigorous and use a strong market research tool with various capabilities that ease the process. 

How to Perform a SWOT Analysis with a Market Research Tool

The following explains how to conduct a SWOT analysis with the use of a market research tool. Remember, market research plays a major role in executing this technique properly. 

how to do a SWOT analysis

  1. First, create the SWOT Analysis matrix, made up of the four quadrants. The following image shows what it should look like.
  2. Next, determine the objective of your SWOT analysis.
    1. You should aim your SWOT analysis on a specific objective or campaign to reap value from it. 
    2. For example, you could perform a SWOT analysis to help you decide if you should create a new product, change your CX or internal processes.
  3. Conduct secondary market research on your business, industry and market.
    1. Study trade magazines, news websites, industry sites, reports, blogs and even social media accounts pertaining to your industry.
    2. This includes studying your competitors through internet research and designated competitor research tools. 
    3. Examine all the available resources that detail your customer buying behavior, preferences, lifestyles and more. 
  4. Using the explanation and question examples in the section on strengths, list your business’s strengths.
    1. These involve your financial resources, physical location, cost advantages, product features, brand visibility, customer experience, consumer loyalty and more.  
    2. This also includes employee relations. This is where a market research tool comes in handy. This kind of tool allows you to understand how your workers view your business and can point out their problems, concerns and desires to determine your strengths and weaknesses. 
    3. Conduct primary research on your employees with any of the following surveys:
      1. Employee feedback survey
      2. Employee recognition survey
      3. Employee burnout survey
  5. List your business’s weaknesses. Use the above question examples and explanation as reference points. 
    1. List things that you consider to be weaknesses, such as the things that put your business at a disadvantage when compared with others. 
    2. They can include a lack of new products, customers, staff absenteeism, a lack of intellectual property, declining market share, distance to market and a low customer lifetime value (CLV) among your customers.
    3. Check on these for accuracy, given that, as time progresses, your weaknesses may change or dissipate. 
    4. When you review your SWOT analysis after a year, your weaknesses may be resolved, a clear sign of progress.
    5. Survey your customers to detect any weaknesses. Using the following surveys:
      1. Product satisfaction survey
      2. Customer satisfaction score survey (CSAT survey)
      3. Customer effort score survey (CES survey)
  6. List the potential opportunities for your business. Refer to the above question examples.
    1. Consider different external opportunities for your business. These are not your internal strengths and are not definite.
    2. One opportunity for business could be a threat to another.
    3. Do not list the same item as both an opportunity and threat. You should weigh the benefits and drawbacks of a seeming opportunity before you can determine if it indeed is an opportunity or a threat.
    4. Opportunities include new technologies, training programs, partnerships, a diverse marketplace, new talent, new campaign ideas and a change of government policy.
    5. Survey your vendors and partners to discover opportunities with B2B surveys
    6. Identify your target market with an online survey platform. 
    7. Find cultural opportunities by using surveys to unlock cultural trends.
    8. Segment your target market via market segmentation with surveys. 
  7. List the potential threats to your business. Refer to the above question examples.
    1. List all the external factors that could cause a problem for your business or threaten it in any way. 
    2. Threats include high turnover, disgruntled workers, unsatisfied customers, rising unemployment, increasing competition, higher interest rates and the uncertainty of global markets.
    3. Discover any latent and overt threats by using a market research tool to create the following surveys:
      1. Brand tracking survey
      2. Brand awareness survey
  8. Establish priorities based on analyzing the SWOT matrix.
    1. Create 4 separate lists on each SWOT element.
    2. Display them side-by-side so you can have a clear visualization of how your business is running and all of its issues. 
    3. Prioritize the most pressing issues along with categorizing those that can be dealt with later.
  9. Develop a strategy to address the issues in the SWOT.
    1. Review the foremost issues in each of the four elements. 
    2. In order to work through and resolve the issues, consider the following questions: 
      1. How can we overcome the threats we identified?
      2. How can we make the most of our opportunities?
      3. How can we use our strengths to take advantage of the opportunities identified?
      4. What do we need to do to overcome the weaknesses we identified to take advantage of the opportunities?
      5. How will we minimize our weaknesses to eliminate the identified threats?
  10. After you have contemplated these questions and came up with practical answers, use the SWOT analysis to develop strategies for achieving your goals.
    1. Don’t stop testing or conducting primary market research. Use your market research tool for A/B testing, sending personal surveys to exact targets via the Link Distribution Link feature and extracting any kind of customer information you need.

Supporting the SWOT and Beyond

A SWOT analysis is a strong tool that allows you to understand how your business is faring in your industry, while laying out external factors about your competitors and the industry at large. While you may offer competitive products and good prices, external factors will always affect your business.

In order to perform a SWOT analysis, generally stay informed on your customers and industry and remain competitive, you’ll need to conduct market research. Secondary research provides a useful starting point for studying all of your external factors, from your competitors to how others view your own business.

But it is primary research that will provide you with the most valuable insights. With a potent market research tool, you can easily gather all the insights you need about virtually any topic. A strong tool will make it easy to create and deploy surveys to your intended audience. 

When you’re deciding on the best market research tool for your organization, seek one that offers a mobile-first platform, as the use of mobile devices dominates the digital space.  

It should also include advanced skip logic to route respondents to relevant follow-up questions, use artificial intelligence and machine learning to automatically remove low-quality data, offer a broad range of filtering data options and engage respondents in their natural digital environments via random device engagement (RDE) sampling.

Most importantly, it should allow you to survey anyone. As such, you should opt for an online survey platform that deploys hundreds of millions of surveys to a wide network of digital publishers. Ideally, these are highly-trafficked websites and apps. 

When you use an online survey platform with all of these capabilities, you’ll quickly obtain your data and extract only the highest quality of it to support the SWOT and any other analysis.