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Marriott SWOT Analysis / Matrix
Essays, Term Papers & Research Papers
SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool that can be used by Marriott managers to do a situational analysis of the company . It is a useful technique to map out the present Strengths (S), Weakness (W), Opportunities (O) & Threats (T) Marriott is facing in its current business environment.
The Marriott is one of the leading firms in its industry. Marriott maintains its dominant position in market by critically analyzing and reviewing the SWOT analysis. SWOT analysis an immensenly interactive process and requires effective coordination among various departments within the organization such as – marketing, finance, operations, management information systems and strategic planning.
The SWOT Analysis framework facilitates an organization to identify the internal strategic factors such as -strengths and weaknesses, & external strategic factors such as - opportunities and threats. It leads to a 2X2 matrix – also called SWOT Matrix.
The Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis / Matrix helps the managers of the Marriott to develop four types of strategies:
- SO (strengths-opportunities) Strategies
- WO (weaknesses-opportunities) Strategies
- ST (strengths-threats) Strategies
- WT (weaknesses-threats) Strategies
SWOT Matrix Strategies Objective
The core purpose of SWOT matrix is to identify the strategies that an organization can use to exploit external opportunities, counter threats, and build on & protect Marriott strengths, and eradicate its weaknesses.
Step by Step Guide to Marriott SWOT Analysis
Strengths of Marriott – Internal Strategic Factors
As one of the leading organizations in its industry, Marriott has numerous strengths that help it to thrive in the market place. These strengths not only help it to protect the market share in existing markets but also help in penetrating new markets. Based on Fern Fort University extensive research – some of the strengths of Marriott are –
- Strong dealer community – It has built a culture among distributor & dealers where the dealers not only promote company’s products but also invest in training the sales team to explain to the customer how he/she can extract the maximum benefits out of the products.
- Reliable suppliers – It has a strong base of reliable supplier of raw material thus enabling the company to overcome any supply chain bottlenecks.
- Good Returns on Capital Expenditure – Marriott is relatively successful at execution of new projects and generated good returns on capital expenditure by building new revenue streams.
- High level of customer satisfaction – the company with its dedicated customer relationship management department has able to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction among present customers and good brand equity among the potential customers.
- Strong Brand Portfolio – Over the years Marriott has invested in building a strong brand portfolio. The SWOT analysis of Marriott just underlines this fact. This brand portfolio can be extremely useful if the organization wants to expand into new product categories.
- Strong distribution network – Over the years Marriott has built a reliable distribution network that can reach majority of its potential market.
- Strong Free Cash Flow – Marriott has strong free cash flows that provide resources in the hand of the company to expand into new projects.
- Superb Performance in New Markets – Marriott has built expertise at entering new markets and making success of them. The expansion has helped the organization to build new revenue stream and diversify the economic cycle risk in the markets it operates in.
Weakness of Marriott – Internal Strategic Factors
Weakness are the areas where Marriott can improve upon. Strategy is about making choices and weakness are the areas where a company can improve using SWOT analysis and build on its competitive advantage and strategic positioning.
- Financial planning is not done properly and efficiently. The current asset ratio and liquid asset ratios suggest that the company can use the cash more efficiently than what it is doing at present.
- The company has not being able to tackle the challenges present by the new entrants in the segment and has lost small market share in the niche categories. Marriott has to build internal feedback mechanism directly from sales team on ground to counter these challenges.
- There are gaps in the product range sold by the company. This lack of choice can give a new competitor a foothold in the market.
- Investment in Research and Development is below the fastest growing players in the industry. Even though Marriott is spending above the industry average on Research and Development, it has not been able to compete with the leading players in the industry in terms of innovation. It has come across as a mature firm looking forward to bring out products based on tested features in the market.
- Need more investment in new technologies. Given the scale of expansion and different geographies the company is planning to expand into, Marriott needs to put more money in technology to integrate the processes across the board. Right now the investment in technologies is not at par with the vision of the company.
- Organization structure is only compatible with present business model thus limiting expansion in adjacent product segments.
- Limited success outside core business – Even though Marriott is one of the leading organizations in its industry it has faced challenges in moving to other product segments with its present culture.
Opportunities for Marriott – External Strategic Factors
- Opening up of new markets because of government agreement – the adoption of new technology standard and government free trade agreement has provided Marriott an opportunity to enter a new emerging market.
- Organization’s core competencies can be a success in similar other products field. A comparative example could be - GE healthcare research helped it in developing better Oil drilling machines.
- The new taxation policy can significantly impact the way of doing business and can open new opportunity for established players such as Marriott to increase its profitability.
- Decreasing cost of transportation because of lower shipping prices can also bring down the cost of Marriott’s products thus providing an opportunity to the company - either to boost its profitability or pass on the benefits to the customers to gain market share.
- Government green drive also opens an opportunity for procurement of Marriott products by the state as well as federal government contractors.
- Stable free cash flow provides opportunities to invest in adjacent product segments. With more cash in bank the company can invest in new technologies as well as in new products segments. This should open a window of opportunity for Marriott in other product categories.
- New environmental policies – The new opportunities will create a level playing field for all the players in the industry. It represent a great opportunity for Marriott to drive home its advantage in new technology and gain market share in the new product category.
- New trends in the consumer behavior can open up new market for the Marriott . It provides a great opportunity for the organization to build new revenue streams and diversify into new product categories too.
Threats Marriott Facing - External Strategic Factors
- No regular supply of innovative products – Over the years the company has developed numerous products but those are often response to the development by other players. Secondly the supply of new products is not regular thus leading to high and low swings in the sales number over period of time.
- Shortage of skilled workforce in certain global market represents a threat to steady growth of profits for Marriott in those markets.
- Growing strengths of local distributors also presents a threat in some markets as the competition is paying higher margins to the local distributors.
- Liability laws in different countries are different and Marriott may be exposed to various liability claims given change in policies in those markets.
- The demand of the highly profitable products is seasonal in nature and any unlikely event during the peak season may impact the profitability of the company in short to medium term.
- New environment regulations under Paris agreement (2016) could be a threat to certain existing product categories .
- New technologies developed by the competitor or market disruptor could be a serious threat to the industry in medium to long term future.
- Changing consumer buying behavior from online channel could be a threat to the existing physical infrastructure driven supply chain model.
Limitations of SWOT Analysis for Marriott
Although the SWOT analysis is widely used as a strategic planning tool, the analysis does have its share of limitations.
- Certain capabilities or factors of an organization can be both a strength and weakness at the same time. This is one of the major limitations of SWOT analysis . For example changing environmental regulations can be both a threat to company it can also be an opportunity in a sense that it will enable the company to be on a level playing field or at advantage to competitors if it able to develop the products faster than the competitors.
- SWOT does not show how to achieve a competitive advantage, so it must not be an end in itself.
- The matrix is only a starting point for a discussion on how proposed strategies could be implemented. It provided an evaluation window but not an implementation plan based on strategic competitiveness of Marriott
- SWOT is a static assessment - analysis of status quo with few prospective changes. As circumstances, capabilities, threats, and strategies change, the dynamics of a competitive environment may not be revealed in a single matrix.
- SWOT analysis may lead the firm to overemphasize a single internal or external factor in formulating strategies. There are interrelationships among the key internal and external factors that SWOT does not reveal that may be important in devising strategies.
Weighted SWOT Analysis of Marriott
In light of the above mentioned limitations of the SWOT analysis / matrix, corporate managers decided to provide weightage to each internal strength and weakness of the firm. Organizations also assess the likelihood of events taking place in the coming future and how strong their impact could be on company's performance.
This method is called Weighted SWOT analysis. It is better than doing simplistic SWOT analysis because with Weighted SWOT Analysis Marriott managers can focus on the most critical factors and discount the non-important one. It also solves the long list problem where organizations ends up making a long list but none of the factors deemed too critical.
Limitation of Weighted SWOT analysis of Marriott
This approach also suffers from one major drawback - it focus on individual importance of factor rather than how they are collectively important and impact the business holistically.
Example of Weighted SWOT Analysis
You can email us to get an example document of Weighted SWOT analysis.
SWOT Worksheet & Template
If you like to do your own SWOT analysis or want to make your own Weighted SWOT SWOT matrix then feel free to download Fern Fort University SWOT Analysis Template.
References / Citations & Bibliography
- M. E. Porter, Competitive Strategy(New York: Free Press, 1980)
- A. D. Chandler, Strategy and Structure (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1962)
- O. E. Williamson, Markets and Hierarchies(New York: Free Press, 1975);
- L. Wrigley, Divisional Autonomy and Diversification (PhD, Harvard Business School, 1970)
- R. E. White, Generic Business Strategies, Organizational Context and Performance: An Empirical Investigation, Strategic Management Journal7 (1986)