“All businesses operate within an environment, which directly or indirectly affects the way in which they function, just as we as consumers live within a cultural and social environment which to a greater or lesser degree determines the way in which we behave as individuals.” said Elaine O’Brien, University of Strathclyde.
Unlike the controllable marketing mix variables, the environmental forces are not controllable by marketers. However, marketers can control how they deal with those uncontrollable forces by identifying and monitoring those forces that are relevant to their firms. They also must forecast changes in these forces if they are to develop effective marketing plans and strategies.
All organizations operate within environments. That is, all profit-making and not-for-profit organizations are surrounded by, and must contend with, external forces. Managers cannot govern the nature of these environmental forces. These uncontrollable influences affect consumers’ behaviour and organizations’ development of effective marketing mixes.
Conceptually, the forces that comprise the marketing environment are viewed as existing at two levels. They are categorized as micro and macro influences. The microenvironment consists of those forces that directly affect the marketing programs of a particular firm. The activities of marketing intermediaries, company, customers, suppliers, and competitors are all examples of external forces that influence the marketing actions of a specific organization. The macro environment encompasses the broad environmental system within which all organizations must conduct business. In one sense, it defines or creates the structure of the marketplace for all organizations. The particular elements that make up the macro-environment are demographic trends, economic, natural, socio and cultural influences, political and legal issues, and technological advances.
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