Yesterday we introduced the idea of situation analysis by utilizing the basic, yet effective SWOT model (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). Remember, situation analysis is the process of identifying various facets of your business to better gauge its current position. Today, we’re going to take this concept a step further by using another model, the "5 C's of Marketing."
If you haven’t noticed, business scholars love acronyms. To break it down, the 5 C’s include: Company, Collaborators, Customers, Competitors, and Climate.
Once you go through the process of studying your business in relation to these pieces, you have a great starting place to build your overall marketing strategy. Even better, combine this analysis with your SWOT findings to really see how things are coming along.
Let’s study each “C” a little bit deeper to frame your analysis:
What does my business do? What are we selling? What unique position do we have in the marketplace? How do people think of my company? What are my strengths and weaknesses? Where do we want to be in the future?
Using your strengths and weaknesses from your SWOT analysis is a great way to get started here. Most importantly, be honest with yourself when thinking about your company. And once you get these questions hammered out, ask “How do these answers make me feel?”
Who am I working with to make my business operate? Who is my shipping provider? Who is helping me process credit cards? Who is providing my shopping cart software? Who handles my inventory/warehouse operations? What partners am I currently working with?
Your collaborators are key to your efficiency and bottom line. Take a look at each partner to see how you can grow and foster relationships. Also, do some research to see if there are more teammates you can pull in.
Who is my target audience? Who is currently purchasing from me? Who do I want coming to my store? How do my customers behave? What is important to their purchasing decision? What type of people are buying and not buying?
These questions are extremely important in guiding your communications strategy – once you know who you’re talking to and what they want to hear, you can effectively create content to spark their interest.
Who are my primary competitors? Are there any substitutes for my products? Are there any emerging businesses that might impact me? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How do customers think of other companies?
Answering these questions allows you to position your brand. In other words, you can identify your uniqueness and leverage that as a sales tool. Additionally, you’re better aware of what others are doing and can make adjustments to your business plan.
What’s going on in the industry? Are there new technologies or trends that will impact me? Are there any new laws or regulations in the works I need to know of? How is the current economic situation affecting customers’ buying behavior?
This analysis point is much like the opportunities and threats section of your SWOT analysis – a way to gauge your external environment. Again, study the level of control you have over each and then create a plan on how to address potential changes in business climate.
Now that you’ve taken a look at each piece of the puzzle, put everything together to see how things interact. While you may not be able to create action items for each point, awareness is half the battle. Using this framework will help you set benchmarks for the future and give you a sustainable plan for adjustment, growth and success.
-Matt Winn, Volusion