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Inly Media (603598) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Inly Media (China)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Inly Media is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, increasing energy prices, there is backlash against globalization, increasing transportation and logistics costs, geopolitical disruptions, increasing government debt because of Covid-19 spendings, wage bills are increasing, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Inly Media


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Inly Media can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Inly Media, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Inly Media 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 Inly Media can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Inly Media
2. Improving business portfolio management of Inly Media
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in China
4. Making a Advertising sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Inly Media




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

The strengths of Inly Media are -

Sustainable margins compare to other players in Advertising industry

– Inly Media has clearly differentiated products in the market place. This has enabled Inly Media to fetch slight price premium compare to the competitors in the Advertising industry. The sustainable margins have also helped Inly Media to invest into research and development (R&D) and innovation.

Ability to lead change in Advertising

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

Learning organization

- Inly Media is a learning organization. It has inculcated three key characters of learning organization in its processes and operations – exploration, creativity, and expansiveness. The work place at Inly Media is open place that encourages instructiveness, ideation, open minded discussions, and creativity. Employees and leaders at Inly Media emphasize – knowledge, initiative, and innovation.

Superior customer experience

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

Innovation driven organization

– Inly Media is one of the most innovative firm in Advertising sector.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

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

Diverse revenue streams

– Inly Media is present in almost all the verticals within the Advertising industry. This has provided Inly Media 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.

Analytics focus

– Inly Media 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 Advertising industry. The technology infrastructure of China 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.

Training and development

– Inly Media has one of the best training and development program in Services industry. The effectiveness of the training programs can be measured in – employees retention, in-house promotion, loyalty, new venture initiation, lack of conflict, and high level of both employees and customer engagement.

Digital Transformation in Advertising industry

- digital transformation varies from industry to industry. For Inly Media digital transformation journey comprises differing goals based on market maturity, customer technology acceptance, and organizational culture. Inly Media has successfully integrated the four key components of digital transformation – digital integration in processes, digital integration in marketing and customer relationship management, digital integration into the value chain, and using technology to explore new products and market opportunities.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

– Inly Media has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Inly Media staying ahead in the Advertising industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.

Organizational Resilience of Inly Media

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






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

The weaknesses of Inly Media are -

Skills based hiring in Advertising industry

– The stress on hiring functional specialists at Inly Media 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.

High dependence on Inly Media ‘s star products

– The top 2 products and services of Inly Media still accounts for major business revenue. This dependence on star products in Advertising industry has resulted into insufficient focus on developing new products, even though Inly Media has relatively successful track record of launching new products.

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Inly Media has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Advertising industry over the last five years. Inly Media even though has strong showing on digital transformation primary two stages, it has struggled to capitalize the power of digital transformation in marketing efforts and new venture efforts.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

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

High operating costs

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

Low market penetration in new markets

– Outside its home market of China, Inly Media needs to spend more promotional, marketing, and advertising efforts to penetrate international markets.

Capital Spending Reduction

– Even during the low interest decade, Inly Media 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 Advertising industry using digital technology.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Inly Media is just above the Advertising 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.

Ability to respond to the competition

– As the decision making is very deliberative at Inly Media, in the dynamic environment of Advertising industry it has struggled to respond to the nimble upstart competition. Inly Media has reasonably good record with similar level competitors but it has struggled with new entrants taking away niches of its business.

Increasing silos among functional specialists

– The organizational structure of Inly Media is dominated by functional specialists. It is not different from other players in the Advertising industry, but Inly Media needs to de-silo the office environment to harness the true potential of its workforce. Secondly the de-silo will also help Inly Media to focus more on services in the Advertising industry rather than just following the product oriented approach.

Aligning sales with marketing

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




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


The opportunities of Inly Media are -

Reforming the budgeting process

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

Changes in consumer behavior post Covid-19

– consumer behavior has changed in the Advertising industry because of Covid-19 restrictions. Some of this behavior will stay once things get back to normal. Inly Media 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. Inly Media 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.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Inly Media to increase its market reach. Inly Media 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.

Lowering marketing communication costs

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

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Inly Media 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 Inly Media to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Inly Media can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Inly Media operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Advertising sector.

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Advertising industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Inly Media can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Creating value in data economy

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

Learning at scale

– Online learning technologies has now opened space for Inly Media 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.

Use of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies for transactions in Advertising industry

– The popularity of Bitcoin and other crypto currencies as asset class and medium of transaction has opened new opportunities for Inly Media in the Advertising industry. Now Inly Media can target international markets with far fewer capital restrictions requirements than the existing system.

Reconfiguring business model

– The expansion of digital payment system, the bringing down of international transactions costs using Bitcoin and other blockchain based currencies, etc can help Inly Media to reconfigure its entire business model. For example it can used blockchain based technologies to reduce piracy of its products in the big markets such as China. Secondly it can use the popularity of e-commerce in various developing markets to build a Direct to Customer business model rather than the current Channel Heavy distribution network.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Inly Media 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.

Manufacturing automation

– Inly Media can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Advertising 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.




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


The threats of Inly Media are -

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Advertising industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Inly Media 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 Inly Media business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.

Consumer confidence and its impact on Inly Media 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 Advertising industry and other sectors.

Environmental challenges

– Inly Media needs to have a robust strategy against the disruptions arising from climate change and energy requirements. EU has identified it as key priority area and spending 30% of its 880 billion Euros European post Covid-19 recovery funds on green technology. Inly Media can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Advertising industry.

Increasing wage structure of Inly Media

– 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 Inly Media.

Trade war between China and United States

– The trade war between two of the biggest economies can hugely impact the opportunities for Inly Media in Advertising industry. The Advertising industry is already at various protected from local competition in China, with the rise of trade war the protection levels may go up. This presents a clear threat of current business model in Chinese market.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Inly Media 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 Inly Media prominent markets.

High level of anxiety and lack of motivation

– the Great Resignation in United States is the sign of broader dissatisfaction among the workforce in United States. Inly Media needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Advertising industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

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 Inly Media in the Advertising sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Regulatory challenges

– Inly Media 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 Advertising industry regulations.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Inly Media has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Advertising industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Inly Media needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Advertising sector. According to Mckinsey study top managers believe that the adoption of technology in operations, communications is 20-25 times faster than what they planned in the beginning of 2019.

High dependence on third party suppliers

– Inly Media 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.

Aging population

– As the populations of most advanced economies are aging, it will lead to high social security costs, higher savings among population, and lower demand for goods and services in the economy. The household savings in US, France, UK, Germany, and Japan are growing faster than predicted because of uncertainty caused by pandemic.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Inly Media Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Inly Media 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 Inly Media 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 Inly Media 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 Inly Media 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 Inly Media needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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