What is marketing? ‘Satisfying needs and wants through an exchange process’ defined by Philip Kotler. There are many definitions of marketing. However, most of these definitions focus on the same point – Satisfying customers needs. In these day and year, marketing has changed over a period of time. It’s not only in the old sense of making a sale – ‘telling and selling’, but also is in the new sense of satisfying customer needs. That means marketing is based around providing continual benefits to the customer and transactional exchanges will occur.
This paper divided into six sections. After this introduction is an explanation of the nature of the environment within which marketing takes place. Then the focus goes to the understanding of the ever-changing nature of the marketing environment and how this impacts on marketing activities. After that, it discusses meaningfully the central role of consumers in the formulation of a marketing strategy. The second last section looks at the relative importance of consumers and the marketing environment in the implementation of a marketing plan. Finally, a conclusion is drawn.
The nature of the environment within which marketing takes place
Marketing environment involves a microenvironment and a macroenvironment. In the microenvironment, managers cannot achieve their goal on their own. Therefore, their achievement will depend on other factors. Microenvironment affects the organization or firm directly. It consists of the company, suppliers, marketing intermediaries, customer, and competitor. For the company, it should have a perfect structure of a company such as top management, finance, research and development, purchasing, manufacturing and accounting. Those elements will affect companies directly. For example: accounting has to calculate revenues and costs to help marketing know how well it is achieving its goals. If not, the company’s finance will get a risk because the company won’t know if it achieves the goal. For the supplier, they provide the resources to the company for producing its good and service.
Therefore, the development of suppliers will affect the marketing. In the other word, that means managers must concern supply availability such as labour strikes and delays. Nowadays, however, marketers are treating their suppliers as partners in creating and delivering customer value. For the marketing intermediaries, it is a medium for helping companies to distribute their goods or services to final buyers. It directly influences the income of the company and the entire marketing as the distribution of goods and services. For customer, companies have to focus on their customer market effectively. Read about factors you should consider to understand the threat in your environment
As mentioned before, marketing is used to satisfy customer needs. Yet different markets have different characteristics which call for careful study by the seller. For example: government markets are made up of government agenise that buy goods and services in order to produce public services or transfer the goods and services to others who need them. Thus, if the marketer made a decision wrong for customer, it would influence the government or a country in this cause. For the competitor, according to marketing concept, a company has to supply better satisfaction than its competitors do. Thus, they have to develop strategies to benefit their company and their customers getting value.
The macroenvironment is continuously changing. Companies does not influence any laws, therefore companies needs to be flexible to adapt as there could be rivalry in the market. Globalization means there is always the threat of new competitors and products which are replaced. Marketers need to pay compensation for the changes in the demographic, economic, natural, technological, political and cultural forces.
The understanding of the ever-changing nature of the marketing environment and how this impacts on marketing activities
Environment factors are very important in different area such as economics and management. In marketing, it is the same. Therefore, what environment factors does the marketing have? In fact, there are so many factors. We can’t, however, explain all of them. In this paper, it’s going to show five most influential environments in the company’s macroenvironment – demographic, natural, technological, and political environments.
The demographic environment is the study of human population in terms of size, density, location, age, sex, race, occupation and other statistics. Recent forecast from the United Nation Population Division suggest that the world population will grow annually at 1.2 per cent. It means marketing should change their strategies synchronously as population affects different countries and these countries will set different policy for that. For example: in China, the government passed the regulation limiting families to one child each because of the overloading of population. Thus, children will be spoiled because their parents spend everything on them. According to a Chinese marketing research, parents in Beijing spend around 40 per cent of their income on their child. Because of that, most toy companies like Denmark’s Lego group entered the Chinese market.
The natural environment includes areas which are strongly influenced by humans. Natural resources which are needed by marketers or inputs which have an effect by marketing activities are involved in the natural environment. Shortage of raw materials, increased cost of energy and increased pollution, those are not very common to hear that nowadays.
The technological environment involves the services of creating new technologies and products and market opportunities. Nowadays, everyone uses mobile phones, e-mail, digital video discs, etc. New technology creates lots of new markets and opportunities of transactions. However, because of the fast development of technology changes, companies will miss out some new products and some marketing opportunities. Thus, companies have to follow the technological trend to avoid that.
The political environment consists of laws, government organizations and pressure groups which manipulate a variety of organization and individuals in the society. First of all, because of the restriction of laws, public policy limits business for the good of society as a whole. For example: Thailand requires food processors to sell nationalized brands to market low-price brands , therefore consumers who have low income can find the economy brands on the shelves. However, Most of the marketing activity focuses on the wide range of laws and policy. Secondly, the pressure groups – environmental and animal’s protection associations influence company’s strategy. It’s because those associations organise campaigns against company’s strategy. Thus they will get many disturbs when they are planning the strategy.
The central role of consumers in the formulation of a marketing strategy
It is clear that consumers are the main factor of the marketing. It’s because, as mentioned before, marketing is used to satisfy customer’s needs. Moreover, consumers are individuals who use good and services which are produced within the market. Different customers have different needs or wants, it leads the demand of the marketing is always changeable and diversity, hence marketing is so competitive.
The role of consumers in the marketing is extremely essential as the firms are present in order to provide values for consumers, selling goods to customers. Therefore, if consumers disappears, so does the firm. Good quality service must be offered to all customers as it will be a very short time for others to know if a bad service is offered.
Marketing is constantly attempting to improve in order to draw more consumers. For that reason, if marketing operations are shown clearly, this will increase consumer’s trust and it will be easier to collect more information from them. By improving profits for companies, consumers must be served well to high standards.
The relative importance of consumers and the marketing environment in the implementation of a marketing plan
According to the above analysing, we can see that consumers play as a very important role in marketing. It’s much more important than marketing environment obviously. It’s because the marketing strategies all are for consumers. If consumers disappear, strategies are meaningless. When a firm makes a plan for consumers, they will look at the four Ps – price, promotion, product, and place as those things are for consumers. For example: a firm will design a perfect selling place such as a convenient shop like on the high street or on the internet for customers buying their goods easily. Thus, consumers are the major to all marketing activities.
However, in fact, marketing environments are a main part of marketing as well. It influences whether a firm’s strategy is successful or not as environmental factors lead many variations will be occur. For example: many new technologies are launched and changed every day. It will make the firm’s goods or services suffer. Thus, to be overcome this problem, organizations should make sure their strategies are flexible.
To conclude, marketing environments will influence marketing strategies directly and different marketing strategies will affect different consumers. Thus, environmental factors are a huge part in marketing concept – satisfying customers needs actually. Obviously, marketing environment has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages is organizations can increase the market opportunities and the disadvantages is strategies or planning have to be flexible and change all the time. Yet consumers are playing the most important role at all in marketing as the success of the firm’s strategy depends on the response of consumers. Therefore, consumers are the main factor in marketing.