The Macro Environment

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The macro environment

Introduction

Marketing's role is to match the capabilities and resources within the organisation with market opportunities external to the organisation. Understanding customer needs is central to achieving this aim, but marketers must also be aware of factors that can cause customer needs to evolve. A change in customer needs will impact upon the organisation's ability to serve its customers. This means that marketers have to be knowledgeable about what is happening in the external environment, or macro environment.
Beyond the organisations that immediately influence a company's operations lies the macro environment. This consists of the larger social and international forces that affect the society within which a company operates. There is little a company can do to manage these powerful macro environmental forces, so it is important that marketers understand the macro environmental factors that affect products and services in order to devise the optimal marketing strategy to cope with these conditions. This topic explores the features of the external environment that impact upon marketing decisions.

Demographics

The demographic environment itself is affected by changes in the mix of age groups in the population. If the population becomes older, this will lead to rising demand for products and services consumed by older people and a similar fall in demand for products consumed by younger people. The development of ethnic markets can also be relevant. In a number of countries, the ethnic mix of consumers is changing due to immigration and other factors. This will be reflected in changing demands for various goods, not only from the specific ethnic group but from other consumers whose tastes have been affected by them. Furthermore, as ethnic groups emigrate to other countries, their own tastes can affect those of consumers in the host nation (e.g. Asian foods are now sold in UK supermarkets). The demographic environment is also affected by

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