Join marketing guru William “Bill” Bronson and successful sports podcaster, Jeffrey Cooperstein, as they dive deep into the world of marketing and chase squirrels in all directions.
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For those of you that don’t know by now, this is the squirrel marketing, podcast. It’s where we talk about all kinds of good stuff in marketing, but then we may squirrel off in one direction or another.
And no one knows what direction that will be. Nobody knows I swear. So last time, we talked about what marketing was and what marketing wasn’t right, and it was kind of a, you know, just a reality check, because people didn’t know. Yeah, they say sales and marketing, and they think it’s synonymous. It’s really not. They complement each other. And I think that’s what people really need to realize right, right. Yeah, in dating marketing is putting good clothes on before you go in for the kiss, sales is going in for the kiss. Right. Right. So um, so this time, I thought it’d be nice if we kind of discussed foundational stuff that everybody should know already. Or, or maybe they forgot, you know? Yeah. And this is something that you’ve talked about a lot with us in the marketing team is doing these kind of things that what you call a SWOT analysis. So if you could just kind of go in and just explain what that is that at a base level, and then kind of, you know, dig, dig deeper into that? Absolutely. Yeah. So a SWOT analysis is basically it’s an acronym, it stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. And its analysis of yourself or your business, or whatever it is, whatever entity it is that you’re wanting to analyze what it is you’re developing a marketing plan for. So in the case of a company, strengths and weaknesses are internal, and opportunities and threats are external.
So internal strengths or weaknesses might be for a company, it might be your strength might be that you have a premium brand name, that it’s recognizable, people know it when they hear it, and then it has a good connotation or a good reputation. So some weaknesses might be, maybe you have a quality problem that you’ve identified, and maybe you’ve become known as the cheap, low quality product on the market. And that would be a weakness. And so when you analyze these things, you start to look at yourself in the mirror, basically. And just real quick, I mean, those strengths and weaknesses can be anything within the company, right? Like if you have a lot of money that can be considered a strength, if you’re lacking financially, that could be considered a weakness, that that kind of thing and stop dressing constrained to the people on the product. It’s all the factors involved. Yeah, well, it could be capitalization, like you were saying. It could be that you have awesome employees, dedicated long term employees, that could be definitely one.
It could be that you have a nice environment to work in. It doesn’t have to necessarily be how you present yourself to the public. It can also be basic foundational stuff as to work environment, like I was saying. It could be that you have a great health plan, or whatever. So the but but you can separate those into further internal and external features, like inside the company and outward their perception, you know, but, but really, it’s a brainstorming session. This whole SWOT analysis thing is a brainstorming session where you can identify your strengths and weaknesses. And there’s no constraints. You can say, Okay, I smell good. Well, okay, great. That has nothing to do with your business. But okay, now, when you do these, do you find that companies are less than honest about what their strengths and weaknesses are? Because they really don’t want to be told what their weaknesses are. Now, here’s where we may squirrel off in another direction.
Yes, I think they’re, they’re lacking the ability to be honest and look in the mirror like a lot of us are, and you got to get over yourself. That’s one of the things in our society now. Everybody’s leaning towards narcissism. We got like Narcissus everywhere, a little Narcissus riding around going to school. Everybody’s all concerned about themselves and how they feel about stuff. nobody really cares how they feel about things, right. And so everybody grows up. Now these kids are growing up thinking that everybody cares how they feel, which which they go. So it’s good for people to do this exercise. And I think this is the basis for any counseling session. Somebody might do. Like, for instance, you go to a marriage counselor, the first thing they do, let’s check reality. Let’s look in the mirror everybody and let’s go to you Jeffrey, let’s look in the mirror.
And tell me, and then let’s go to you, Laura or whoever. And so you have to do a reality check and look in the mirror. Fortunately, I’m not married yet. Unfortunately, fortunately, yes. But, you know, I’m in a long term marriage, and it’s been pretty amazing. I don’t deserve her for sure. But she’s amazing. And
So I frequently have to look in the mirror and say, How am I being the best husband? I can be? And am I being the best person or friend that I can beat her? And so in business, I’m always thinking about the other person. This is something that the Rotary Club is really famous for. They always think of what’s the greatest good and and how is it a win win situation? When I make a decision? I don’t know. There’s there’s terminology, my brother would know, he’s really big into it. But it’s basically is this a good decision or not for everyone involved. And so in a company, you can’t even come to that decision until you know who you actually are, right. And as a company, if you can’t admit, at least to yourself, the weaknesses in your organization, then you’re a narcissist, and you’re naive. So I mean, that’s probably the biggest key to you know, creating a marketing plan and creating just a plan of upward trajectory is, is really defining what those weaknesses are and how to attack them. Right. Right, exactly. And what’s one of the biggest, I guess, motivators? Well, money was the motivator for the show, but where the CEO would go into the workforce and work with the people and disguise themselves, like they didn’t know who they were. So the CEO is working alongside the factory worker, and listening to them bitch about the CEO, right. And it’s a good wake up call. It’s like, Oh, I didn’t realize that. All the executive team taken up all the good parking spots was a pain in the ass for everybody else. I didn’t realize that that was a sore spot for these people that work on the front lines. And so it’s a good wake up call when you do a survey you do. Always anonymous, always anonymous surveys.
But to do surveys, how do you like your job? And, you know, and tell us how you feel? Really, don’t hold back, please don’t hold back. And I would emphasize, please, because I want to know exactly how I’m being perceived. And then I look at my honest intentions versus how I’m perceived. And I see whether or not there’s some kind of misaligned right there. If there’s a misalignment, maybe I’m not presenting myself the right way. Because if I’m being perceived as something I’m not, it’s my fault, for the most part. Yeah, it could be their fault for just being touchy, but, but a lot, and sometimes, there’s a perception that’s a little stronger than my intention. And I’m fine with it. Because, you know, in some cases, people need to get tough skin. But in a lot of cases, I didn’t intend it to be that way, right? Back to my wife, I sometimes will say something and she takes offense to it. And I didn’t mean it that way at all. But I can see that how it came off. And maybe it came off from some other deep seated resentment or some kind of something going on inside me that and I didn’t mean it to come out to her. But it’s present in other areas. So there’s always ways that that happens.
But you got to be honest with yourself and look in the mirror. That’s the strengths and weaknesses part of this. It’s really a sit down with a glass of scotch or wine or ice water, whatever you drink, and just brainstorm with yourself, turn your phone off, turn the TV off, don’t listen to anybody that’s gonna say it doesn’t have to be this formal meeting kind of thing, right? I mean, it can be a thing where you’re sitting there at night, like you said, a glass of scotch, a glass of wine, whatever it may be, and just really just thinking about reflecting on, on what you believe you need to improve on. Absolutely, yeah, it’s so it’s two things. Number one, if you’re the business owner or the head of the business or somebody high up a leader, then you should sit down by yourself and really solve search, and brainstorm and write lists. You really should.
And then you should have the meeting with the upper leadership, the upper management, and discuss this and get their feedback. And then you should do a survey, company wide to all of your employees.
What is your perception of these these things? Please be honest, it’s anonymous. And then you should compile all that into data and see the consensus and see if it lines up with your introspective analysis. So if you can think about things with a glass of scotch by yourself, and you see everything one way, and everyone else seems to see the same things a different way. It’s exactly what we were just talking about where my intentions didn’t line up with the perception.
And so the first thing that you do, it’s really easy if you’re a one person company.
But if you’re a very large company, it’s harder, it takes more time. But it’s the very first thing you should do before you do any planning or strategic anything. So what once you identify those strengths and weaknesses, I guess, then you move on to the second half, which is the opportunities and the threats. So there’s that I guess that can be a broad topic, too. Because anything, I guess that can, quote, unquote, threaten the, you know, the upward trajectory of your company is considered a threat. And that can be a whole bunch of different things, whether it’s the economy, it’s a competitor, all those kind of deals, right? Yeah, it could be anything. So the external part of opportunities and threats is, what are your opportunities in the industry to take advantage of the time that you’re in right now? What is it? What are your opportunities with being able to save money on human resources? or fixed assets? Or what opportunities? Do you have to enter a new market or to boost the market you’re in or to gain market share?
What are your opportunities to increase the quality of your product or your service?
What things are happening? In the near future? For instance? Is there going to be a higher consumer demand for your product?
Are your competitors relatively complacent about innovating?
What about growth in foreign markets or new social trends? So these are all things that you might want to consider when you look at opportunities? Because those are external?
Yeah. So and then the, the other side, the threats? Is, okay, what will keep me from achieving my, my mission here? What is it, that that might hurt me a new competitor, or we’re going into a recession, or maybe we’re overextended on our credit lines.
And that’s not just an internal weakness, that might be limited financial resources, for internal weakness, but on a threat, it might be running out of credit line, yeah, might be a threat.
government regulations, maybe a threat.
You’re building a highway, and all of a sudden, you run into an indigenous track to land, that’s, that’s a threat.
So there’s a lot of those kind of things, new taxes, anything that could hurt, your ability to move forward, would be a threat. And that would be not something happening now. Because that’s kind of a weakness. Right? threat is something that could happen in the future. Right? So do you after you do these analysis, what the end goal of a SWOT analysis is to put the company in a better position to succeed. But is there a specific timeline that you look at, as, you know, how you want to see these goals accomplished in or, or anything like that? Or is it just a thing? That’s a slow process? And what’s gonna happen over time? Both? Yeah, both because some of these things can be fixed pretty quickly, quickly, you know, you could make some alignment changes, you could eliminate some positions, free up some capital or, or there’s, there’s things you can do. But if you can realize your weaknesses, then you should always be working on turning those into strengths internally.
And, and you can have a meeting with everybody and say, here’s the weaknesses that we’ve identified, and we need an action plan to move forward.
And the reason why it’s called an action plan is because it needs to be actionable.
It needs to be reasonable. You can’t set these super lofty goals and expect that they’re going to be a competition. No. And that’s why people say to reevaluate your goals often because you want to make those goals something that’s close enough to now that you can achieve it little
Steps How do you eat an elephant? One little bite at a time. But so with regards to your opportunities and threats, you
you also have people that you meet with about taking advantage of the opportunities, such as your marketing managers and, and, and people are advertising people. How can we take advantage of the opportunities that are coming up? And those are positive meetings. And then there’s the threats? Well, you might meet with your CPA you might meet with your lawyers might meet with your senior vice presidents, and say, listen, guys, these are some threats to us. And it’s not going to be good around here. If these things happen. We need a plan B, we need to plan ahead.
We may be coming up into a recession if we do we need more cash to be able to float through. So how do we free up more cash and so you get the CPAs working on stuff. You get your your VPS working on streamlining and freeing up budget money. So then maybe a new competitors coming in. Okay, guys, let’s get marketing in here. All right, we have a new competitor, what are we going to do? So this is all game planning? This is all Where are we gonna pass or run? Where’s the receiver gonna be? What’s play. And so this is all a game plan deal. And the SWOT analysis lets you look at yourself in the mirror, treat yourself, honestly. And then make a plan that, that makes sense. So in summary, if you’re a company in really any industry, and you’re looking to improve, whether that be financially or culturally or anything like that, you need to do a SWOT analysis. A SWOT analysis is a must. Yeah, and you should do it probably yearly. And, or even, you could do it quarterly that may be a little anal, but at least yearly. And, and take a look at it. And really, you know, I’ve always been a big fan of the retreats. So like when I was in the mortgage business, and they had all the vice presidents and they flew him up to Virginia, it was a beautiful area, they rolled out the red carpet, and we had this week full of meetings, and we had keynote speakers come in, we had team building things going on. And it was a great time. And we actually did this kind of deal. We looked at what was going on in the industry. We looked at each other’s
areas and performance. And everybody helped the people who were underperforming and praise the people who were over performing, right. And then we all got together had a great time. And that’s what it takes to build. And some of those people are still my friends.
I was only there eight years as a VP, but come on. That kind of team building. Yeah. So I made friends. And I still talked to some of them today. And I mean, it takes time to build that kind of relationships. Right with, you know, yeah, yeah. But you should build that kind of relationship. No, absolutely. You know, and if you’re a business owner, you shouldn’t shy away from building relationships with your top people and, or any people in your company. Look, you can build a relationship without being inappropriate.
Seriously, so you don’t have to shy away from building relationships.
You just got to be careful, if you work with them, how you go about that, you know, but you don’t need to shy away from it. It’s more fulfilling and rewarding. If you can look at your top people that have been there for six 710 years and say, you know, we we’ve had many fun evenings cookouts with our families together. We’ve broke bread together.
And we’ve done things that didn’t involve work, we lived life together. And there’s these deep connections that don’t go away. And some companies just missed the boat on them.
Is there anything else that you would? Yeah, advise? Yeah, I mean, and we’ll talk more about it later, but on the next episode, but a mission statement and a vision so your once you’ve really looked at your SWOT analysis, looked at your strengths and weaknesses, your opportunities, your threats and looked in the mirror really analyzed your yourself and your current situation. This really is the beginning stages of a strategic plan. So what you’re doing is you’re looking at yourself now. And you’re starting to look off in the future a little bit with your opportunities and threats. But you have not looked at your vision yet so you haven’t looked at porn.
B, you’re at point A right now analyzing point A, but you have not identified point B. Nor have you plotted a course to get there. And so this first step, the SWOT analysis is your point A, and figuring out what you want to offer the world, what your vision is for the future. Those are two things that you got to do. So your mission statement is just what it says. What are you here for?
For instance, Google, their mission statement is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
That’s Google’s mission state, you can go into a squirrel about Google if you want. Yeah. But the mission statement is, what’s your mission? What’s your goal? If you have if you had your soldiers sitting here? What would you say? Okay, gang, here’s our mission. Now speak. That’s your mission.
Levi’s, you know, the blue jean company,
their mission statement is, we will market the most appealing and widely worn casual clothing in the world, we will close the world.
That’s their mission stay interesting.
And so when you think about it, it’s a broad brushstroke statement of what you are here on this earth to do as an organization. Yeah.
And then the vision statement is a little different. I was gonna say, let’s talk more about that. Yeah, we need to dig in your vision is, let’s squirrel for a second.
I watched a TED talk by this lady named Nancy Duarte, and she’s freaking amazing. This is one impressive lady, let me tell you.
And she talked about how the speeches had a cadence to them kind of like, preacher, you know, and how they, they churn and squeeze the audience, and they build this momentum, and then they get to this, this Pinnacle moment, and then it dies back down. And so they have this cadence where it builds and then it goes back down. And then the build, it goes back down. Martin Luther King, I Have a Dream speech was one that she highlighted.
The Gettysburg Address was another one. And she said that she noticed there was a shape to the speeches. And when she realized the shape and analyze what the shape meant, she could actually take the great speeches of all time. And they all had the same shape. Yeah, the Steve Jobs, iPhone launch had the same shape.
And so what it is, is you talk about what is and what could be, and what is and what could be, and you go through several of these, and you keep churning back and forth, what is and what could be.
And then at the end, you paint this picture of this utopian environment where your goals and aspirations your dreams, your vision has come true.
And then you need leave it there. Well, the vision statement goes a little bit further, and talks a little bit about how you’re going to get there. But for the most part, the vision statement is what you see happening in the next, let’s say five years.
And it’s an actionable vision, something that you can talk to people about you can get them behind it, you can get people motivated to it. And it’s more than this mission statement, because for instance, let’s look at this. If Google’s mission statement was to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
That’s not I mean, yeah, well, absolutely. I agree. I could gone on that. Right. Like, the words have to be they have to pop out on the page, not for a mission statement. For vision statement revisions, right? The vision statement better be a lot more exciting than that.
So it’s not even just a vision statement. It’s your vision. So it’s not just a statement, it can be it can be longer, and usually it is your vision for the company. And it could be paragraph.
So basically, before we get into the weeds on that, maybe next time, let’s just say that your vision is where you want to be. That’s your point be explained. So if your SWOT analysis analyzes now, your vision analyzes later. Yep.
And it’s a not happening yet thing. It’s not currently in existence, this is something you want to create. And so if you’re moving this big old beast from point A to point B, that’s your point B. Gotcha. Yep. And we can dig into the vision statement creating that vision board. That’s kind of vision, boy. I mean, why don’t we made that like a part two of this episode for next time is we’ll save that really dig into the vision and what that means. Perfect. Then I can roll out the the method to get there too. Absolutely. So for all that all the marketing content you can possibly need from these two handsome fellas.
This has been the scroll Marketing Podcast. Absolutely been a good time. We’ll see you next week.
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