Before you sit down to plan the future of your club’s marketing activities, you need to take stock of where your club is now and why you are there. One useful way to get a clear picture of where your club currently sits is by using a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. By using the SWOT analysis you can identify where your club stands in the market, which provides a useful launch pad for making future marketing plans. Take the time to work through the SWOT process carefully and you will have a clearer idea of: The things your club does well, and the things you need to improve on (strengths and opportunities). • What types of competition exist for your club and which ones can be defended (strengths and threats) • Whether your club needs to change the product itself to protect from outside influences (weaknesses and threats) • Which issues your club needs to make as its priorities (weaknesses and opportunities). Strengths When you look at the strengths, concentrate on the club itself and whether it can achieve the outcomes you want.
Examples of strengths include: • Strong financial base. • Strong local need for your product, many new members, etc. • Group of skilled volunteers. • Support from local businesses, politicians, etc. • Well-equipped clubhouse. • Committee is well-structured, enthusiastic, capable, etc. Weaknesses Weaknesses often appear as the direct opposite of the strengths listed above and include: • Weak financial base. • Diminishing need or desire for your product, fewer new members, etc. • Few volunteers. • No support from local businesses, politicians, etc. Out of date ill equipped clubhouse. • Committee is poorly structured, overworked, disinterested, etc. Opportunities Opportunities refer to the possibilities of new growth because of the changes in the external environment and can include such things as: • Promotion of sport by government authorities, e. g. renewed ‘Push Play” campaign. • New population of potential users moving into the area, e. g. with children. • Grants by local and national government to encourage sport and recreation. • Organisations looking to sponsor local activities. Seasonal interest in particular sports, e. g cricket in summer, football in winter. • International or national interests the activity your club is involved in, e. g Commonwealth or Olympic Games.
• Promotion of your activity to a different age group or gender e. g. lawn bowls to teenagers, rugby to girls. Threats As with strengths and weaknesses, the threats are often very similar to the opportunities. Examples of threats include: • Traditional sponsors of sport and recreation changing the way they spend their sponsorship dollars. Seasonal interest in particular sports or activities which is in direct competition with your own, e. g. competing codes of Rugby. • Promotion of sport to different age groups or gender which competes with your club’s interest e. g. ballet and soccer for girls. • Other interests including television, video games, school activities, part-time work for teenagers, and so on. • Time related issues for example, competition for volunteers time, longer working hours, both parents working – children unable to attend, limited available free time for both children and parents. Other organisations with better facilities. • Lack of knowledge and interest in your product.
A SWOT Analysis should be drawn up to look like this: |Internal |STRENGTHS |WEAKNESSES | |Factors |Vision : simple and quick |Not having international experience, therefore diversification | |(Things about |Strong funding |might be a problem at later stage. |your club) |Experienced partners: Norwest Venture Partners brings in a lot of |No acquisition till date as a result OLX has surpassed quikr. | | |experience |Employee base is very low: Need to increase the sales force and| | |Horizontal rather than vertical |target other opportunity to increase market share. | |Customer Centric, not just technology centric : Free missed call | | | |Investment in analytics, mobile platforms | | |External |OPPORTUNITIES |THREATS | |Factors |Internet penetration(10%) is bound to increase |Low entry barrier | |(Things |Internet surfing through mobiles has surpassed PC. Competitors have international experience and deep pockets. | |outside of |Mobile base is huge and recently they have introduced a missed call |Zero switching cost. | |your club) |feature. |Intense Competiton | | |Cloud computing (SaaS, PaaS) could be useful in reducing the cost. | | | |Network Effects | | It’s a great idea to draw this up on a whiteboard or large piece of paper and use as a brainstorming base at a committee meeting.