Four Strategic Analysis Tools To Build A Powerful Marketing Strategy

Let’s say that you’re a business owner looking to expand your business. Your first thought might be to look towards building a digital marketing strategy. Building and executing a marketing strategy is great, it gives you a clear sense of direction in your marketing efforts and will lead to much more success than just throwing money at developing ads without any cohesion. 

However, before you start your marketing strategy you need to do one thing. That one thing is a strategic analysis.

In short, strategic analysis involves you taking a step back, looking at your company, and asking the question “Where are we right now?” This involves taking a look internally and externally. Understanding what your business's strengths and weaknesses are and how they compare to the rest of the market. After all, how are you supposed to know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been?

So, now lies the question: how do you effectively do a strategic analysis? While there is no one, single way to do strategic analysis, these tools and techniques will help guide your analysis and, in turn, your marketing strategy to success.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is one of the most common tools used in strategic analysis. In a SWOT analysis factors including a company’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats are analysed to give a rough idea of where the company stands in comparison to its competition. For example, SWOT analysis for McDonald’s might look something like this:


  • Cheap prices
  • Fast service
  • Market leader
  • High brand recognition


  • Lack of healthy options
  • Not many opportunities for growth
  • The reputation of being low-quality food


  • Growing plant-based market
  • Greater demand for delivery


  • People are looking to shop local more and more
  • Healthy/Plant-Based restaurants that already have prominence

Brand Development Index/Category Development Index

The Brand Development Index (BDI) and Category Development Index (CDI) are two tools for strategic analysis that go hand in hand. The CDI is a way of measuring how well a certain category of goods or services within a larger group is performing amongst a certain demographic. 

An example of a CDI question would be “How popular are soft drinks amongst men between the ages of 10-50?” You would then find out how many people are in the total market you’re operating within, how many people in that market have bought products from your given category, how many people are in the group you’re analyzing, and how many people in that group have bought a product from your category.

You would then solve for CDI using the following equation

CDI (I) = [Category sales to a group (#) / People in group (#)] / [Total Category Sales (#) / Total Consumers (#)]

If the number comes below 1 that means your category is performing below average compared to other categories in the market. On the flipside, if the number comes above one that means your category is performing better than average compared to other categories in the market.

The BDI takes the CDI to the next level by analyzing a specific brand. For example, if you’re Pepsi and you want to know how well your brand is performing across men from the ages 10-50 you would follow the same steps as you would for the CDI, but you would track for brand sales instead of category sales. Once you have those numbers you would pop them into the BDI equation which looks like this:

BDI (I) = [Brand sales to a group (#) / People in group (#)] / [Total Brand Sales (#) / Total Consumers (#)]

If the number comes below 1 that means your brand is performing below average compared to the market in general. On the flipside, if the number comes above one that means your brand is performing better than average compared to the general market.

PEST Analysis

A PEST analysis is very similar to a SWOT analysis in the sense that they both examine the internal and external environments of a business. PEST just takes the environmental analysis into a bit of further detail. 

In a PEST analysis rather than directly identifying a company’s strengths and weaknesses, specific aspects of the environment are analysed to see how a business fits into them. These aspects are Political, Economic, Social, and Technological. For an electric car company like Tesla a PEST analysis might look like so:


  • The government grants a subsidy on electric cars
  • The government looking to increase the number of people who own electric cars
  • Electric cars are exempt from emissions tax.


  • Electric cars are becoming more affordable with more companies entering the market
  • Electricity is inexpensive in comparison to gas


  • Green movement leading to people looking to reduce their carbon emissions
  • There is a status that comes with owning an electric car
  • People look at you as being environmentally friendly


  • There is currently a lack of available charging stations
  • Batteries are slow to charge
  • Electric cars are becoming easier to produce

Gap Analysis

A gap analysis is where a company has an idea of the direction they would like to go in for their strategy, so they look at the difference between their current strategy and their desired strategy. If a company is performing sub-optimally then a gap analysis is useful to see where redundancies and inefficiencies lie in the company. When these redundancies and inefficiencies are identified it is much easier to solve them. A simple gap analysis for a fast-food restaurant like Wendy’s would follow steps like this:

  • Identify the existing process: have one person cooking burgers on a grill and dressing the burgers
  • Identify the existing outcome: 100 burgers are made a day
  • Identify the desired outcome: we want to make 200 burgers a day
  • Identify and document the gap: this is a difference of 100 burgers
  • Identify the process to achieve the desired outcome: have a dedicated person to dress the burgers
  • Develop the means to fill the gap: hire a new employee to dress the burgers
  • Develop and prioritize Requirements to bridge the gap

A marketing strategy doesn’t just fall in your lap. No matter how much thinking and working you do around your business, an effective marketing strategy can’t be built unless you know what is happening in the world around you. These strategic analysis tools will help you build a marketing strategy that will boost your sales and grow your business. 

Of course, if strategic analyses and marketing strategies aren’t your strength gigCMO has a host of fractional CMOs and market experts that can help you along the journey. Contact us today to get started on building a better marketing strategy.