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Unformatted text preview: Questions for State Exam MBA (Management & Marketing) Marketing 1. Explain what happens in a SWOT analysis during the strategic planning process. SWOT analysis is a strategic planning method used to evaluate the S trengths, W eaknesses, O pportunities, and T hreats involved in a project or in a business venture. It involves specifying the objective of the business venture or project and identifying the internal and external factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve that objective. The technique is credited to Albert Humphrey , who led a convention at Stanford University in the 1960s and 1970s using data from Fortune 500 companies. A SWOT analysis must first start with defining a desired end state or objective. A SWOT analysis may be incorporated into the strategic planning model. Strategic Planning has been the subject of much research. [ citation needed ] • S trengths: characteristics of the business or team that give it an advantage over others in the industry. • W eaknesses: are characteristics that place the firm at a disadvantage relative to others. • O pportunities: external chances to make greater sales or profits in the environment. • T hreats: external elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business. Identification of SWOTs is essential because subsequent steps in the process of planning for achievement of the selected objective may be derived from the SWOTs. First, the decision makers have to determine whether the objective is attainable, given the SWOTs. If the objective is NOT attainable a different objective must be selected and the process repeated. The SWOT analysis is often used in academia to highlight and identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. [ citation needed ] It is particularly helpful in identifying areas for development. In many competitor analyses, marketers build detailed profiles of each competitor in the market, focusing especially on their relative competitive strengths and weaknesses using SWOT analysis. Marketing managers will examine each competitor's cost structure, sources of profits, resources and competencies, competitive positioning and product differentiation, degree of vertical integration, historical responses to industry developments, and other factors. Marketing management often finds it necessary to invest in research to collect the data required to perform accurate marketing analysis. Accordingly, management often conducts market research (alternately marketing research) to obtain this information. Marketers employ a variety of techniques to conduct market research, but some of the more common include: • Qualitative marketing research, such as focus groups • Quantitative marketing research, such as statistical surveys • Experimental techniques such as test markets • Observational techniques such as ethnographic (on-site) observation • Marketing managers may also design and oversee various environmental scanning and competitive intelligence processes to help identify trends and...
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- Spring '11