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Ipsos (0KA3) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Ipsos (United Kingdom)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Ipsos is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – there is increasing trade war between United States & China, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, technology disruption, increasing inequality as vast percentage of new income is going to the top 1%, increasing energy prices, there is backlash against globalization, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, supply chains are disrupted by pandemic , increasing transportation and logistics costs, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Ipsos


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Ipsos can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Ipsos, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Ipsos operates in.

According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.




SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix


SWOT analysis of Ipsos can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Ipsos
2. Improving business portfolio management of Ipsos
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in United Kingdom
4. Making a Business Services sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Ipsos




Strengths of Ipsos | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Ipsos are -

Ability to recruit top talent

– Ipsos is one of the leading players in the Business Services industry in United Kingdom. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in United Kingdom. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Diverse revenue streams

– Ipsos is present in almost all the verticals within the Business Services industry. This has provided Ipsos a diverse revenue stream that has helped it to survive disruptions such as global pandemic in Covid-19, financial disruption of 2008, and supply chain disruption of 2021.

High brand equity

– Ipsos has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Ipsos to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.

Ability to lead change in Business Services

– Ipsos is one of the leading players in the Business Services industry in United Kingdom. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Business Services industry in United Kingdom but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Ipsos in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Ipsos has built up over years in its products and services combo offer has resulted in high retention of customers, lower marketing costs, and greater ability of the firm to focus on its customers.

Organizational Resilience of Ipsos

– The covid-19 pandemic has put organizational resilience at the centre of everthing Ipsos does. Organizational resilience comprises - Financial Resilience, Operational Resilience, Technological Resilience, Organizational Resilience, Business Model Resilience, and Reputation Resilience.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of Ipsos in the Services sector have low bargaining power. Ipsos has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Ipsos to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Innovation driven organization

– Ipsos is one of the most innovative firm in Business Services sector.

Analytics focus

– Ipsos is putting a lot of focus on utilizing the power of analytics in business decision making. This has put it among the leading players in the Business Services industry. The technology infrastructure of United Kingdom is also helping it to harness the power of analytics for – marketing optimization, demand forecasting, customer relationship management, inventory management, information sharing across the value chain etc.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Ipsos comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Business Services industry, building diversified operations across different geographies so that disruption in one part of the world doesn’t impact the overall performance of the firm, and integrating the various business operations and processes through its digital transformation drive.

Superior customer experience

– The customer experience strategy of Ipsos in Business Services industry is based on four key concepts – personalization, simplification of complex needs, prompt response, and continuous engagement.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Ipsos are driving operational speed, building greater agility, and keeping the organization nimble to compete with new competitors. It helps are organization to ideate new ideas, and execute them swiftly in the marketplace.






Weaknesses of Ipsos | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Ipsos are -

Need for greater diversity

– Ipsos has taken concrete steps on diversity, equity, and inclusion. But the efforts so far has resulted in limited success. It needs to expand the recruitment and selection process to hire more people from the minorities and underprivileged background.

High dependence on existing supply chain

– The disruption in the global supply chains because of the Covid-19 pandemic and blockage of the Suez Canal illustrated the fragile nature of Ipsos supply chain. Even after few cautionary changes, Ipsos is still heavily dependent upon the existing supply chain. The existing supply chain though brings in cost efficiencies but it has left Ipsos vulnerable to further global disruptions in South East Asia.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Ipsos is just above the Business Services industry average. It needs to redesign the compensation structure and incentives to increase the revenue per employees. Some of the steps that it can take are – hiring more specialists on project basis, etc.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Ipsos has not been able to do capital spending to the tune of the competition. This has resulted into fewer innovations and company facing stiff competition from both existing competitors and new entrants who are disrupting the Business Services industry using digital technology.

High cash cycle compare to competitors

Ipsos has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Business Services industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

High operating costs

– Compare to the competitors, Ipsos has high operating costs in the Business Services industry. This can be harder to sustain given the new emerging competition from nimble players who are using technology to attract Ipsos lucrative customers.

Skills based hiring in Business Services industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Ipsos has created an environment where the organization is dominated by functional specialists rather than management generalist. This has resulted into product oriented approach rather than marketing oriented approach or consumers oriented approach.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As Ipsos is one of the leading players in the Business Services industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Business Services industry in last five years.

Aligning sales with marketing

– From the outside it seems that Ipsos needs to have more collaboration between its sales team and marketing team. Sales professionals in the Business Services industry have deep experience in developing customer relationships. Marketing department at Ipsos can leverage the sales team experience to cultivate customer relationships as Ipsos is planning to shift buying processes online.

Lack of clear differentiation of Ipsos products

– To increase the profitability and margins on the products, Ipsos needs to provide more differentiated products than what it is currently offering in the marketplace.

Employees’ less understanding of Ipsos strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Ipsos don’t have comprehensive understanding of the firm’s strategy. This is reflected in number of promotional campaigns over the last few years that had mixed messaging and competing priorities. Some of the strategic activities and services promoted in the promotional campaigns were not consistent with the organization’s strategy.




Ipsos Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Ipsos are -

Lowering marketing communication costs

– 5G expansion will open new opportunities for Ipsos in the field of marketing communication. It will bring down the cost of doing business, provide technology platform to build new products in the Business Services industry, and it will provide faster access to the consumers.

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of Ipsos has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Business Services industry. This can help Ipsos to build a more holistic ecosystem for Ipsos products in the Business Services industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.

Remote work and new talent hiring opportunities

– The widespread usage of remote working technologies during Covid-19 has opened opportunities for Ipsos to expand its talent hiring zone. According to McKinsey Global Institute, 20% of the high end workforce in fields such as finance, information technology, can continously work from remote local post Covid-19. This presents a really great opportunity for Ipsos to hire the very best people irrespective of their geographical location.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Ipsos can leverage digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the production process, customer analytics to get better insights into consumer behavior, realtime digital dashboards to get better sales tracking, logistics and transportation, product tracking, etc.

Identify volunteer opportunities

– Covid-19 has impacted working population in two ways – it has led to people soul searching about their professional choices, resulting in mass resignation. Secondly it has encouraged people to do things that they are passionate about. This has opened opportunities for businesses to build volunteer oriented socially driven projects. Ipsos can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Developing new processes and practices

– Ipsos can develop new processes and procedures in Business Services industry using technology such as automation using artificial intelligence, real time transportation and products tracking, 3D modeling for concept development and new products pilot testing etc.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Ipsos to increase its market reach. Ipsos will be able to reach out to new customers. Secondly 5G will also provide technology framework to build new tools and products that can help more immersive consumer experience and faster consumer journey.

Manufacturing automation

– Ipsos can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Business Services sector. It can use CAD and 3D printing to build a quick prototype and pilot testing products. It can leverage automation using machine learning and artificial intelligence to do faster production at lowers costs, and it can leverage the growth in satellite and tracking technologies to improve inventory management, transportation, and shipping.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Ipsos can build a diversified supply chain model across various countries in - South East Asia, India, and other parts of the world. This reconfiguration of global supply chain can help Ipsos to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.

Building a culture of innovation

– managers at Ipsos can make experimentation a productive activity and build a culture of innovation using approaches such as – mining transaction data, A/B testing of websites and selling platforms, engaging potential customers over various needs, and building on small ideas in the Business Services industry.

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Business Services industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Ipsos can take advantage of these changes in consumer behavior to build a far more efficient business model. For example consumer regular ordering of products can reduce both last mile delivery costs and market penetration costs. Ipsos can further use this consumer data to build better customer loyalty, provide better products and service collection, and improve the value proposition in inflationary times.

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Ipsos to conduct training and development for its employees across the world. This will result in not only reducing the cost of training but also help employees in different part of the world to integrate with the headquarter work culture, ethos, and standards.

Reforming the budgeting process

- By establishing new metrics that will be used to evaluate both existing and potential projects Ipsos can not only reduce the costs of the project but also help it in integrating the projects with other processes within the organization.




Threats Ipsos External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Ipsos are -

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Ipsos high dependence on third party suppliers can disrupt its processes and delivery mechanism. For example -the current troubles of car makers because of chip shortage is because the chip companies started producing chips for electronic companies rather than car manufacturers.

Increasing wage structure of Ipsos

– Post Covid-19 there is a sharp increase in the wages especially in the jobs that require interaction with people. The increasing wages can put downward pressure on the margins of Ipsos.

Regulatory challenges

– Ipsos needs to prepare for regulatory challenges as consumer protection groups and other pressure groups are vigorously advocating for more regulations on big business - to reduce inequality, to create a level playing field, to product data privacy and consumer privacy, to reduce the influence of big money on democratic institutions, etc. This can lead to significant changes in the Business Services industry regulations.

Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc

– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Ipsos demand

– There is a high probability of declining consumer confidence, given – high inflammation rate, rise of gig economy, lower job stability, increasing cost of living, higher interest rates, and aging demography. All the factors contribute to people saving higher rate of their income, resulting in lower consumer demand in Business Services industry and other sectors.

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Business Services industry are lowering. It can presents Ipsos with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Business Services sector.

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Ipsos can face lack of demand in the market place because of Fed actions to reduce inflation. This can lead to sluggish growth in the economy, lower demands, lower investments, higher borrowing costs, and consolidation in the Business Services industry.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Ipsos can face downward pressure on margins from increasing competition from international players. The international players have stable revenue in their home market and can use those resources to penetrate Ipsos prominent markets.

Shortening product life cycle

– it is one of the major threat that Ipsos is facing in Business Services sector. It can lead to higher research and development costs, higher marketing expenses, lower customer loyalty, etc.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Ipsos may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Business Services sector.

New competition

– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for Ipsos in the Business Services sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Business Services industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Ipsos can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

Backlash against dominant players

– US Congress and other legislative arms of the government are getting tough on big business especially technology companies. The digital arm of Ipsos business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Ipsos Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Ipsos needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants. We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –

First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of Ipsos is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.

Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of Ipsos is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.

Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of Ipsos to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that Ipsos needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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