Looking to get up to speed on a topic fast? Join us for a full-day, intensive workshop this October 12 in Boston.

Joining our SWOT team is a little different from trying to capture a bank robber who's holding hostages. Joining us may actually ease the daunting task of analyzing your organization for internal Strengths and Weaknesses and external Opportunities and Threats.

Many marketing professionals talk about doing a SWOT analysis—but, in the absence of support, the intensity of this undertaking may be the reasons why relatively few marketers complete an analysis (and fewer still act on it).

Bobette Kyle's recent article about SWOT analysis clearly defines its value to the marketer. However, getting started can be a problem. Many companies are very good at describing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for a particular product. But defining these categories for an organization is sometimes intimidating.

People confront overwhelming obstacles in three main areas:

  1. Being able to accurately identify specific strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
  2. Developing an action plan to address them
  3. Finding the time to follow up afterward

Whether working alone or with a consultant, analyzing all the different departments—managers and partners, people, processes and technology—can be overwhelming. That's why we are inviting the 86,000 readers of MarketingProfs to help.

In this new column, we will present a marketing dilemma and ask our readers to provide their best advice. Readers of MarketingProfs are some of the most experienced marketers out there. They have tried many marketing approaches. Some were wildly successful. Some were dismal failures. All resulted in lessons learned.

We want to tap into this wealth of knowledge. If you have ideas that might shed some light on the dilemma, please provide your best advice by clicking on the link below. Your identity will be withheld, if you choose. (Just let us know your preference.)

So, join us. We promise you won't be disappointed. When we tap into our collective experience, strength and hope—everyone benefits.

This Issue's Dilemma

SWOT Category: External Threat

Our brand is eroded by spam

We have spent many years successfully building a brand that is appealing to the market. Recently, we started to get tons of emails complaining that we were spamming them. We are very careful to follow (and actually exceed!) permission marketing best practices and were confused about the amount of hate email we were generating.

Imagine our surprise when we discovered that we were the victims of a campaign originated by a band of cyber-thieves who where spamming millions of email addresses offering our product at prices that were 60-70% below our list.

They are stealing our revenue and eroding our brand image. These crooks are also elusive and smart. We have not been able to get a good handle on this problem and hope that your readers might be able to shed some light on this subject.

Would you ask them what they would do in this situation?

—James D., Director of Marketing

Click here to share your experience, strength and hope. You could win a copy of our book, A Marketer's Guide to e-Newsletter Publishing.

Best regards, Tamara Halbritter and Hank Stroll

P.S.: Do you have a SWOT dilemma to pose to our readers? Let's hear from you! Your question could be featured in an upcoming issue of MarketingProfs.

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Hank Stroll (Hank@InternetVIZ.com) is publisher at InternetVIZ, a custom publisher of 24 B2B e-newsletters reaching 490,000 business executives.

Tamara is a writer at InternetVIZ and is available for freelance work.