Planning around the marketing environment can be incredibly crucial to your business. And we aren’t talking about the environment in terms of the outside fresh air environment right behind your window. We mean the everyday world that any one consumer is currently living and interacting with. This marketing mix will mean looking at different factors that affect your consumer and their environments and deciding what those factors mean for your company. When we don’t analyze the environments that affect a consumer we don’t create the appropriate marketing plan and potentially lose that customer and the business as a whole can fall behind on current trends leading them to be pushed out by competitors.
The immediate environment refers to how a company itself affects a consumer. The immediate environment involves a company’s capabilities, their competitors, and their corporate partners.
Company Capabilities: This is the capability of a company to satisfy customer needs and wants. For instance, if an analysis shows that consumers who like sweet candy are now showing a trend towards liking sour candy, then the candy shop needs to make both sweet and sour candies a part of their core competency. They need to be capable to adapt and change for this trend. When companies don’t adapt they lose customers to companies that offer both of the wanted products.
Company Competitors: If you’ve ever heard the phrase “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” then you know the basic reason why the competition is an important factor in the immediate environment. By using things like competitive intelligence, a company can find out where they stand in comparison to competitors.
Company Corporate Partners: Any party that works with a particular firm to create a finished product is a corporate partner – for instance, Toyota is a firm but those who supply the car computer board, the rubber for wheels, the sheets of metal to build a car, etc are corporate partners. Without corporate partners, a firm has no product to give to a consumer. But the way corporate partners handle themselves can also affect a consumers awareness of a product. When Mattel recalled many of their toys because of lead based paint that could harm children it wasn’t the people who supplied the pain but Mattel who faced the brunt of scrutiny. Awareness of Corporate Partners and how they are seen will help indicate how you are seen by the consumer.
Many factors affect the macroeconomic environment of consumers. But the six that affect marketers the most are culture, demographics, social issues, technology, economy, and government.
Culture: Culture is affected both by countries and specific regions in those countries. Marketers have to be sensitive to the fact that a consumer in England may not understand American slang copy if an ad is simply transplanted to the U.K. Sometimes ads can bridge cultures and other times they need to be specific to the region or country the ad is placed in – otherwise the consumer won’t get it.
Demographics: This usually is an analysis of gender, age, race, and income. Certain ads may only appeal to certain demographics. This is when more in depth segments, such as generational cohorts may come into play as well.
Social Issues: There are several social issues that will affect a consumers wish to shop. This includes issues like green marketing, marketing towards children, privacy, and a culture that wants instantaneous results. Marketers have to figure out how to be environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and careful to produce ads that will be scene and heard.
Technology: Technology has helped both suppliers and consumers in cutting time in half for many things. It has helped track and produce more products and it has helped tech savvy mothers save time and get the items that they need.
Economy: Because of a change in currency levels and the weakness of the dollar it is much more expensive for Americans to buy things from Europe and a lot less expensive for Europeans to buy things from America. The rates of inflation and interest are also of valid importance to marketers because they represent significant changes in price and in consumer income respectively.
Government: Marketers have to be sensitive to laws that the government enacts and shape their marketing accordingly. Corporate conglomerations are often broken up by government because of 1920’s anti-trust laws. And when events like 9/11 occur, the government may step in and incorporate laws such as the Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act so that consumers will continue to fly. This all affects the marketing environment.