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 Why a new approach to marketing problem solving?

 SWOT and other "case analysis" methods are not built on a logical framework.

Anyone who has done a case analysis in a college marketing course knows that the instructor often starts with the statement that "There are no right or wrong answers to this case." The case analysis then unfolds using a couple of standard approaches. The typical approach is to identify a strategic and tactical problem facing the company or brand, look for issues that bear on this, state some alternatives and then—after the discussion with no right or wrong answers—recommend a solution.

A variant of this approach is called SWOT, which stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat analysis. Here a bunch of strengths are listed in bullet-point fashion, then weaknesses, then opportunities and finally threats. A solution is more or less divined from these lists.

Neither of these approaches looks for logic in marketing decisions. It is not surprising, then, that it is not found. No wonder there are "no correct answers."

All of this seems rather puzzling. Aren't some answers better than others? Isn't there a set of logical imperatives that can confine answers to better and more consistent ones? Can't marketing be logical and not merely subjective?

There is no point in analyzing a marketing problem without looking for correct answers. And there is an approach that is both logical and practical: the Problem Solving Format.

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