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Marketing Matrices We Love

SWOT, PEST, 2x2s, and The Eisenhower Matrix

Whether you're trying to decide which tradeshow to attend or defining a strategy for a marketing campaign, matrices can organize your thoughts, probe for insights, and help generate new ideas for your business. In this article, we'll examine analysis by SWOT, PEST, 2x2s, and the Eisenhower matrix to help you prioritize and get down to work.

These tools encourage engagement from a team that might include marketing and sales to cross-functional talent, like R&D and upper management. The template for all these matrices should look something like this:

  1. Brainstorm ideas for each area you wish to analyze
  2. Discover directions to be explored by grouping ideas
  3. Score ideas according to likely impact on the organization, high or low
  4. Share the results with team members and stakeholders
  5. Develop strategies and tactical plans that address vital weaknesses and opportunities

SWOT matrix

SWOT – Analyze Internal factors

If you work in marketing, you've already heard of SWOT - Strength, Weaknesses, Threats, Opportunities – and possibly used it. SWOT is an excellent way to evaluate the most significant internal forces on your business, like a product, customer relations or service line, costs, and threats. Here's an example:

The list items in SWOT don't present in any particular order based on impact or importance. The point is to brainstorm and anticipate as many outcomes as possible. It's common for the same item to appear in multiple columns. For example, "higher price" plays as a strength, weakness, and a threat.

Make Recommendations

In the Harvard Business Review (2021/02), Laurence Minsky and David Aron convert the most salient entries in your SWOT into recommendations.

"Given the condition of our current recession, our ability to realize cost savings over our competitors leads to our recommendation that we reduce our price.


"Given the condition of our current recession, our ability to maintain strong relationships throughout our distribution channel leads to our recommendation that we offer discounts to our channel partners to help them weather the storm."

These recommendations will be high-impact for your organization and offer a way to prioritize your budget and tactics.

PEST matrix

PEST – Analyze External Factors

While SWOT focuses on internal factors of your business, PEST analysis focuses on external forces. The grid looks like the SWOT but with different column labels: Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological.

PEST helps you to identify business opportunities and threats. You can't change external factors, but you can change your response to them.


two-by-two matrix

2x2s – Assess the impact of decisions

2x2 Matrices is a decision-making tool where you and your team plot options on a two-by-two matrix. The two axes can represent any two factors you wish to analyze, for example, social media leads vs. cost, customer service vs. specific products, or the impact of a merger on existing service lines. Plotted within the four squares would be various social media, like the example below. We've placed it in the top right-hand quadrant, making it a high-cost and high-impact tactic.

Both SWOT and PEST generate a multitude of options via brainstorming, but 2x2s will lead you closer to decision making.


Eisenhower decision making grid

Eisenhower Matrix —Prioritize Action

One that's been around for a while, proven to work, super simple, powerful, and battle-tested, The Eisenhower Box was named by former US President and Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe – Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Eisenhower's strategy to take action and organize tasks is simple. A 4-square box helps you prioritize (and delegate) tasks based on four possibilities.

  • Urgent and Important. Do these Immediately, e.g., Prospectus due to printer.
  • Important, but not Urgent. Schedule these for later.
  • Urgent, but not Important. If you can, delegate these tasks to someone else, e.g., Coming up with a party invite for an office celebration.
  • Neither Urgent nor Important. These tasks you can eliminate. Unless they're fun, then you find time to squeeze them in.

Order a free Eisenhower Matrix pad

We like the Eisenhower Matrix so much we created them as tear-off pads of 25 each. We have 50 extra pads in stock. If you would like one, please email your street address to Susan Abramovitz, and we'll ship one out to you.