Digital, Marketing


Assessing threats when preparing any analysis in the market research step of your marketing plan might seem like an uncomfortable situation.  People doing the SWOT analysis tend to think that the Threat section only signifies asking questions like what went wrong? or better yet, what can we do better?  

When I was leading my team as a content developer, I discovered the Pre-Mortem technique in a creativity seminar.  Spending the right amount of time with colleagues, where everybody assumes the role of devil’s advocate can be a very rewarding experience when it comes to the planning stage.

Listing everything that comes to mind, even the worst case scenarios, might help you shape a strategy that will avoid a lot of headaches in the future.  The consideration of needing to know where you are, to know where you are going, can be exemplified, just by following the issues Airbnb is going through in cities like Paris, where a council member is looking to ban the service from the city center, claiming that if they allow them to continue operating there, citizens will move away.  We don’t have to go that far. Miami Beach also has their own Airbnb issues because of their short-term rental regulations in residential zones. When you purchase a place you consider home, and the entire luxury building, where you are paying premium prices, starts becoming a hotel, where people come and go for the weekend, and do not respect the condominium or associations regulations, residents start complaining and regulators start taking action.  

I’m not saying innovators should limit themselves thinking of what can go wrong when regulators get involved, but analyzing all possible scenarios, and preparing by taking into consideration that eventually they will need to hire a Compliance Officer could save them some headaches.  For example, see how Uber named a former official from the U.S. Department of Justice, as their first Chief Compliance Officer.

I’m not saying all problems will go away, but if you can anticipate some of them, it doesn’t hurt to do a little bit of Pre-Mortem.


burial cemetery cross daylight
Photo by Matthias Zomer on

Helpful links:

The Pre-Mortem Technique:

Paris and Airbnb:

Miami Beach and Airbnb:

Uber’s Chief Compliance Officer:


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