Marketing Education Pt. 5

Marketing Education Pt. 5

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats – SWOT Analysis


  1. When asked to give an opinion on the profitability and sustainability of a marketing consultancy in Central Newfoundland, again, the answers were extremely consistent: “yes, but. . .” (The “buts” are outlined in the threats and weaknesses). The point is, a major strength of my business is in the quality of this feasibility study, the demonstration of my thoroughness and attention to detail, my passion for marketing, and finally my willingness to seek advocacy and weigh several points of view.
  2. One member of the expert group clearly stated that they would have at least six referrals for a professionally run marketing consultancy.
  3. As noted elsewhere in this report, the marketing portion of the business plan is “nothing in terms of what it should be.” The local market is desperate for someone to offer marketing support.
  4. When I mention my willingness and ability to consult with a failing business, to conduct telephone research to reposition the company’s brand the expert’s response was extremely positive; “no one ever does that here, I would be so impressed if someone asked me what I wanted in a local [convenience] store.”
  5. Previously mentioned in the FABs, the greatest strength of my value proposition to the customer in my negligible overhead. DHMD will have low overhead, aside from transportation expense. Initially, there will be no building expense, salary expense or the requisite taxes, and most importantly I will not be paying the salaries of a management that has no interest in the local community.
  6. Family: My father worked for 47 years at Robinson Blackmore/Transcontinental and my sister is one of Vancouver’s top graphic designers. Having this kind of motivation and support is invaluable.


  1. The consensus was that a new or aspiring entrepreneur would not consider spending a dollar on advertising and likewise the capital is not here for them to even appropriate funds to market research, marketing analysis, or consulting for business plans. Though the need was identified as “desperate” for new entrepreneurs, they are “too stubborn” or “narrow minded” to recognize such a need.
  2. For existing businesses, there is a need for market research and advertising but it would probably take two “success stories” and the subsequent word-of-mouth advertising to create buzz for a marketing consultancy. Though I find this proposition an exciting challenge, the reality is that marketing success stories can be a long-term venture.
  3. Local businesses may take a “wait and see” position; not availing of my service until they see a successful track record. Therefore, initially, I may go multiple months without any revenue.
  4. If I am adding price to the advertising, I will be adding it to zero. Because most printing and some radio only charge for the print and air time but not for the design or voice/creative, I will be charging for what was once, or still is, free. That may be a hard sell.
  5. Though no salary expense was a strength, the fact that I will be operating independently will mean I cannot take advantage of corporate infrastructure, accounting, office administration, or management expertise.
  6. Listed below as an opportunity, research has little respect and its need may be negligible. It was noted that only when a company was planning on introducing a new product to the market or an innovative service, then would research be necessary. Generally, if a prospective entrepreneur is looking to buy an existing business, they will be ok if they just use the previous years’ financials as a guide for success.
  7. This last weakness may be more of a description of the situation. Lending institution decisions in Newfoundland & Labrador are most often made at regional headquarters. This means analysts in Halifax and other cities make the decisions that significantly affect smaller communities. Is this objectivity a good thing or do some businesses lose out on not having someone who has a thorough understanding of the local market to make the final decision on their loan? One expert suggested a strong marketing plan may offer more rational to convince a lending institution to approve a loan rather than by just offering good looking financials with little support for those numbers. Another expert suggested that out-of-province lending institutions are a problem for the Newfoundland & Labrador economy in general. Not so much in their lack of objectivity but their lack of understanding of local economies.

Continue Reading