Discuss the external environment of marketing and explain how it affects the marketing of your product/service
Only write about those external factors that directly impact your product or service (for example, if the trend of growing ethnic markets does not impact the marketing of your product or service, then do not include.
The external marketing environment consists of social, demographic, economic, technological, political and legal, and competitive variables. Marketers generally cannot control the elements of the external environment. Instead, they must understand how the external environment is changing and the impact of that change on the target market. Then marketing managers can create a marketing mix to effectively meet the needs of target customers.
Describe the social factors that affect marketing Within the external environment, social factors are perhaps the most difficult for marketers to anticipate. Several major social trends are currently shaping marketing strategies. First, people of all ages have a broader range of interests, defying traditional consumer profiles. Second, changing gender roles are bringing more women into the workforce and increasing the number of men who shop. Third, a greater number of dual-career families has created demand for time-saving goods and services.
Explain the importance to marketing managers of current demographic trends Today, several basic demographic patterns are influencing marketing mixes. Because the U.S. population is growing at a slower rate, marketers can no longer rely on profits from generally expanding markets. Marketers are also faced with increasingly experienced consumers among the younger generations such as tweens and teens. And because the population is also growing older, marketers are offering more products that appeal to middle-aged and elderly markets.
Explain the importance to marketing managers of growing ethnic markets Multiculturalism occurs when all major ethnic groups in an area are roughly equally represented. Growing multiculturalism makes the marketer’s task more challenging. Hispanics are the fastest growing segment of the population, followed by African Americans. Many companies are now creating departments and product lines to effectively target multicultural market segments. Companies have quickly found that ethnic markets are not homogeneous.
Identify consumer and marketer reactions to the state of the economy The 2007–20012 recession has drastically reduced the spending power of many people. During a time of inflation, marketers generally attempt to maintain level pricing to avoid losing customer brand loyalty. During times of recession, many marketers maintain or reduce prices to counter the effects of decreased demand; they also concentrate on increasing production efficiency and improving customer service.
Identify the impact of technology on a firm Monitoring new technology is essential to keeping up with competitors in today’s marketing environment. The United States excels in basic research and, in recent years, has dramatically improved its track record in applied research. Innovation is increasingly becoming a global process. Without innovation, U.S. companies can’t compete in global markets.
Discuss the political and legal environment of marketing All marketing activities are subject to state and federal laws and the rulings of regulatory agencies. Marketers are responsible for remaining aware of and abiding by such regulations. Some key federal laws that affect marketing are the Sherman Act, Clayton Act, Federal Trade Commission Act, Robinson-Patman Act, Wheeler-Lea Amendments to the FTC Act, Lanham Act, Celler-Kefauver Antimerger Act, and Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. Many laws, including privacy laws, have been passed to protect the consumer as well. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Food and Drug Administration are the three federal agencies most involved in regulating marketing activities.
Discuss the competition your firm now faces Who are your three major competitors. (please don't say you have no competitors -- thing!) What are they selling or offering. Why would a consumer purchase their product/service over yours. What does you product/service have to offer that the competition does not.