Marketing Environment: Explanation, Components, & Importance


    The marketing activities of the business are affected by several internal and external factors. While some of the factors are in the control of the business, most of these are not and the business has to adapt itself to avoid being affected by changes in these factors. These external and internal factors group together to form a marketing environment in which the business operates.

    What is the Marketing Environment?

    Marketing Environment is the combination of external and internal factors and forces which affect the company’s ability to establish a relationship and serve its customers.

    The marketing environment of a business consists of an internal and an external environment. The internal environment is company specific and includes owners, workers, machines, materials etc. The external environment is further divided into two components: micro & macro. The micro or the task environment is also specific to the business but external. It consists of factors engaged in producing, distributing, and promoting the offering. The macro or the broad environment includes larger societal forces which affect society as a whole. The broad environment is made up of six components: demographic, economic, physical, technological, political-legal, and social-cultural environment.

    “A company’s marketing environment consists of the actors and forces outside of marketing that affect marketing management ability to build and maintain successful relationships with target customers”. – Philip Kotler

    Components of Marketing Environment

    The marketing environment is made up of the internal and external environment of the business. While internal environment can be controlled, the business has very less or no control over the external environment.

    Internal Environment

    The internal environment of the business includes all the forces and factors inside the organisation which affect its marketing operations. These components can be grouped under the Five Ms of the business, which are:

    • Men
    • Money
    • Machinery
    • Materials
    • Markets

    The internal environment is under the control of the marketer and can be changed with the changing external environment. Nevertheless, the internal marketing environment is as important for the business as the external marketing environment. This environment includes the sales department, marketing department, the manufacturing unit, the human resource department, etc.

    External Environment

    The external environment constitutes factors and forces which are external to the business and on which the marketer has little or no control. The external environment is of two types:

    Micro Environment

    The micro component of the external environment is also known as the task environment. It comprises of external forces and factors that are directly related to the business. These include suppliers, market intermediaries, customers, partners, competitors and the public

    • Suppliers include all the parties which provide resources needed by the organisation.
    • Market intermediaries include parties involved in distributing the product or service of the organisation.
    • Partners are all the separate entities like advertising agencies, market research organisations, banking and insurance companies, transportation companies, brokers, etc. which conduct business with the organisation.
    • Customers comprise of the target group of the organisation.
    • Competitors are the players in the same market who targets similar customers as that of the organisation.
    • Public is made up of any other group that has an actual or potential interest or affects the company’s ability to serve its customers.

    Macro Environment

    The macro component of the marketing environment is also known as the broad environment. It constitutes the external factors and forces which affect the industry as a whole but don’t have a direct effect on the business. The macro environment can be divided into 6 parts.

    Demographic Environment

    The demographic environment is made up of the people who constitute the market. It is characterised as the factual investigation and segregation of the population according to their size, density, location, age, gender, race, and occupation.

    Economic Environment

    The economic environment constitutes factors which influence customers’ purchasing power and spending patterns. These factors include the GDP, GNP, interest rates, inflation, income distribution, government funding and subsidies, and other major economic variables.

    Physical Environment

    The physical environment includes the natural environment in which the business operates. This includes the climatic conditions, environmental change, accessibility to water and raw materials, natural disasters, pollution etc.

    Technological Environment

    The technological environment constitutes innovation, research and development in technology, technological alternatives, innovation inducements also technological barriers to smooth operation. Technology is one of the biggest sources of threats and opportunities for the organisation and it is very dynamic.

    Political-Legal Environment

    The political & Legal environment includes laws and government’s policies prevailing in the country. It also includes other pressure groups and agencies which influence or limit the working of industry and/or the business in the society.

    Social-Cultural Environment

    The social-cultural aspect of the macro environment is made up of the lifestyle, values, culture, prejudice and beliefs of the people. This differs in different regions.

    Importance of Marketing Environment

    Every business, no matter how big or small, operates within the marketing environment. Its present and future existence, profits, image, and positioning depend on its internal and external environment. The business environment is one of the most dynamic aspects of the business. In order to operate and stay in the market for long, one has to understand and analyze the marketing environment and its components properly.

    Essential for planning

    An understanding of the external and internal environment is essential for planning for the future. A marketer needs to be fully aware of the current scenario, dynamism, and future predictions of the marketing environment if he wants his plans to succeed.

    Understanding Customers

    A thorough knowledge of the marketing environment helps marketers acknowledge and predict what the customer actually wants. In-depth analysis of the marketing environment reduces (and even removes) the noise between the marketer and customers and helps the marketer to understand the consumer behaviour better.

    Tapping Trends

    Breaking into new markets and capitalizing on new trends requires a lot of insight about the marketing environment. The marketer needs to research about every aspect of the environment to create a foolproof plan.

    Threats and Opportunities

    A sound knowledge of the market environment often gives a first mover advantage to the marketer as he makes sure that his business is safe from the future threats and taps the future opportunities.

    Understanding the Competitors

    Every niche has different players fighting for the same spot. A better understanding of the marketing environment allows the marketer to understand more about the competitions and about what advantages do the competitors have over his business and vice versa.

    Go On, Tell Us What You Think!

    Did we miss something?  Come on! Tell us what you think of our article on marketing environment in the comments section.

    About the author

    Aashish Pahwa

    A marketer, a dreamer, a traveler and a philomath. I prefer stargazing to spending nights in clubs.

    1 comment
    Taylor Bishop - November 20, 2017

    Thanks for helping me learn more about the marketing environment. It’s interesting to learn that knowing about the external and internal environments is incredibly important to plan for the future. It also sounds like it could be good to stay updated on any of these changes that may happen in these environments so that you can adjust your plans accordingly.

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