The Marketing Environment
1.Describe the environmental forces that affect the company’s ability to serve its customers. 2.Explain how changes in the demographic and economic environments affect marketing decisions. 3.Identify the major trends in the firm’s natural and technological environments. 4.Explain the key changes in the political and cultural environments. 5.Discuss how companies can react to the marketing environment.
In order to correctly identify opportunities and monitor threats, the company must begin with a thorough understanding of the marketing environment in which the firm operates. The marketing environment consists of all the factors and forces outside marketing that affect the marketing management’s ability to develop and maintain successful relation¬ships with its target customers. Though these factors and forces may vary depending on the specific company and industrial group, they can generally be divided into broad microenvironmental and macroenvironmental components. For most companies, the microenvironmental components are: the company, suppliers, marketing channel firms (intermediaries), customer markets, competitors, and publics. The macroenvironmental components are thought to be: demographic, economic, natural, technological, political, and cultural forces. The wise marketing manager knows that he or she cannot always affect environmental forces. Smart managers can take a proactive, rather than reactive, approach to the marketing environment.
As a company’s marketing management collects and processes data on these environ-ments, it must be ever vigilant in its efforts to apply what it learns to developing opportunities and dealing with threats. Studies have shown that excellent companies not only have a keen sense of customer but an appreciation of the environmental forces swirling around them. By constantly looking at the dynamic changes that are occurring in the aforementioned environments, companies are better prepared to adapt to change, prepare long-range strategy, meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s customers, and compete with the intense competition present in the global marketplace.
1. The Company’s Microenvironment
a.In designing marketing plans, marketing management takes other company groups into account. These interrelated groups form the internal environment. b.Marketing managers must work closely with other company departments.
c.Suppliers form an important link in the company’s overall customer value delivery system. d.Marketing managers must watch supply availability. They also monitor the price trends of their key inputs. e.Most marketers today treat their suppliers as partners in creating and delivering customer value.
f.Marketing intermediaries help the company to promote, sell, and distribute its goods to final buyers. i.Resellers are distribution channel firms that help the company find customers or make sales to them. ii.Physical distribution firms help the company to stock and move goods from their points of origin to their destinations. iii.Marketing services agencies are the marketing research firms, advertising agencies, media firms, and marketing consulting firms that help the company target and promote its products to the right markets. iv.Financial intermediaries help finance transactions or insure against the risks associated with the buying and selling of goods. g.Marketing intermediaries form an important component of the company’s overall value delivery system. h.Today’s marketers recognize the importance of working with their intermediaries as partners rather than simply as channels through which they sell their products.
i.The company needs to study five types of customer markets closely. i.Consumer markets consist of individuals and households that buy goods and...