Background Note | HBS Case Collection | February 2010

Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Situation Analysis

by Thomas J. Steenburgh and Jill Avery


Before managers can begin to formulate marketing strategies for their businesses, they must have a strong understanding of the internal and external marketing environments in which they are operating. In this note, we present three methods for collecting and analyzing information about the internal and external marketing environments firms face: Five C's Analysis, Porter's Five Forces Industry Analysis, and SWOT Analysis. These analyses help students understand the analytical processes by which managers understand themselves, their consumers, and the marketplaces in which they compete. The note gives students a foundation for analyzing marketing cases, as well as providing an analytical structure and process for completing the situation analysis section of a marketing plan.

Keywords: Five Forces Framework; SWOT Analysis; Marketing Strategy; Demand and Consumers; Industry Structures; Strategic Planning;


Steenburgh, Thomas J., and Jill Avery. "Marketing Analysis Toolkit: Situation Analysis." Harvard Business School Background Note 510-079, February 2010.