Learning Objectives

Describe the outside marketing environment in i beg your pardon businesses operate.Discuss the components that influence consumer behavior.

You are watching: Demography is one of the controllable variables in the external environment.

By and large, managers can regulate the 4 Ps that the marketing mix: they can decide which commodities to offer, what price to fee for them, exactly how to distribute them, and how to reach target audiences. Unfortunately, there space other pressures at work-related in the marketing world—forces end which marketers have much less control. This forces consist of a company’s exterior marketing environment, which, together you deserve to see in number 9.14 “The Marketing Environment”, we can divide into five sets that factors:

Political and regulatoryEconomicCompetitiveTechnologicalSocial and cultural

Figure 9.14 The Marketing Environment


These factors—and transforms in them—present both threats and also opportunities that call for shifts in marketing plans. Come spot trends and other signal that conditions may it is in in flux, marketers should continually screen the setting in which their carriers operate. To acquire a much better idea of how they influence a firm’s marketing activities, stop look at each of the five areas of the outside environment.

The Political and Regulatory Environment

Federal, state, and local body can collection rules or limitations on the command of businesses. The objective of regulation is to safeguard both consumers and also businesses. Businesses favor part regulations (such as patent laws) if chafing under rather (such as restrictions on advertising). The tobacco industry, for example, has had to learn to live v a commonwealth ban ~ above TV and also radio advertising. Much more recently, plenty of companies in the food industry have expressed unhappiness end regulations request the labeling of trans-fat content. The broadcasting sector is progressively concerned about fines being applied by the Federal communications Commission because that offenses versus “standards of decency.” The loudest outcry probably came indigenous telemarketers in response to the facility of “do-not-call” registries.

All these actions occasioned transforms in the marketing methods of impacted companies. Tobacco providers rerouted declaring dollars from TV to publish media. Food companies diminished trans-fat levels and also began targeting health-conscious consumers. Talent coordinators post red flags beside the surname of Janet Jackson (of the now-famous malfunctioning costume) and also other performers. The telemarketing sector fired workers and scrambled to reinvent the entire service model.

The financial Environment

Every day, marketing managers challenge a barrage of economic news. They must digest it, evaluate its impact, and alter marketing plan accordingly. Occasionally (but no recently), the news is reason for optimism—the economy’s improving, unemployment’s declining, customer confidence is up. At other times (like today), the news renders them nervous—our economy is weak, industrial production is down, jobless cases are rising, customer confidence has plummeted, credit transaction is difficult to get. Naturally, business thrives as soon as the economic climate is growing, employed is full, and also prices are stable. Marketing products is easier because consumers are willing come buy. Top top the various other hand, as soon as the economic climate is slowly (or stalled) and unemployment is rising, civilization have less money come spend, and also the marketer’s project is harder.

Then there’s inflation, i m sorry pushes interest rates upward. If she trying to market cars, you know that world facing higher interest rates aren’t so anxious to take it out vehicle loans. Sales will certainly slip, and also to counteract the anticipated slowdown, you can have to include generous rebates to her promotional plans.

Moreover, if you operate in foreign markets, girlfriend can’t focus on solely domestic economic conditions: you have to monitor the economic situation in every region where you carry out business. For example, if you the marketing director for a U.S. Agency whose goods are made in China and also sold in Brazil, you’ll require to recognize as much as you can around the economies in three countries: the joined States, China, and also Brazil. Because that one thing, you’ll have to pay certain attention to fluctuations in exchange rates, because changes will influence both her sales and your profits.

The vain Environment

Imagine playing tennis without watching what your adversary was doing. Marketers who don’t pay attention to their competitors are play a shedding game. In particular, they have to monitor the activities of two teams of competitors: the machines of competing brands and also the equipments of instead of products. Coke and Pepsi, for instance, are brand rivals who have involved in the so-called cola battles for decades. Each tries to record market share by convincing human being that that soft drinks space better. Since neither desires to lose share to the other, they have tendency to resort to comparable tactics. In summer 2004, both providers came out with practically identical brand-new colas boasting half the sugar, fifty percent the calories, and half the carbohydrates of regular colas. Coke called its product Coke C2, while Pepsi called its completing brand PepsiEdge. Both suppliers targeted cola drinkers who desire the smell of a continual soda yet fewer calories. (By the way, both products failed and also were taken turn off the market.)

Meanwhile, Coke and Pepsi need to watch Nantucket Nectars, who fruit drinks room substitute products. What if Nantucket Nectars managed to acquire its drinks into the soda machines at much more fast-food restaurants? exactly how would Coke and Pepsi respond? What if Nantucket Nectars, which industries an ice cream tea with caffeine, presented an ice cream tea drink with mega quantities of caffeine? would certainly marketers in ~ Coke and Pepsi take action? What if Nantucket Nectars released a marketing project promoting the health and wellness benefits of fruit drink over soda? would Coke and Pepsi answer with projects of your own? would certainly they respond by introducing brand-new non-cola products?

The technological Environment

When’s the last time you rented a VHS ice cream of a brand-new movie? If you had trouble detect it, that’s due to the fact that DVDs space in and also videotapes room out. Videotape devices who were monitoring technological trends in the sector would probably have actually taken measures to keep up (go right into DVDs) or otherwise defend themselves from losses (maybe also getting out of the market). In addition to do old products obsolete, technological advances create brand-new products. Wherein would we be there is no the cell phone, digital cameras, message messaging, LASIK surgery, and worldwide positioning systems?

Figure 9.15


Web sites choose iTunes and also Amazon.com are currently offering customers the alternative of downloading movies. Perform you think DVDs will suffer the exact same fate as videocassettes?

New technologies also transform the marketing mix in an additional important way: they change the means companies sector their products. Consider the revolutionary transforms brought about by the Internet, which provides marketers a new medium for promoting and selling a vast selection of goods and services. Marketers need to keep abreast of technical advances and also adapt their strategies, both come take advantage of the opportunities and to ward off threats.

The society and social Environment

Marketers additionally have to remain tuned to social and social factors that can affect sales. The values and also attitudes that American consumers space in a state that almost consistent flux; what’s cool one year is the end of format the next. Think about the clothes you wore five years ago: would you wear castle today? A many of people wouldn’t—they’re the wrong style, the not correct fit, the not correct material, the wrong color, or just plain wrong. Now put yourself in the location of a marketer for a clothing agency that targets teens and young adults. Friend wouldn’t survive if friend tried to offer the same formats every year. As we claimed at the outset that this chapter, the vital to successful marketing is meeting the demands of customers. This method knowing what they want best now, no last year.

Here’s one more illustration. The last few decades have actually witnessed monumental shifts in the assembly of the American workforce. The variety of women at all levels has increased significantly, the workforce has become much more diverse, and also telecommuting is an ext common. More people place more importance top top balancing their job-related lives v the remainder of your lives, and also fewer world are ready to sacrifice their health to the requirements of hectic job-related schedules. V these alters have come brand-new marketing opportunities. As females spend more time in ~ work, the classic duties that the “homemaker” have shifted to day-care centers, nannies, house-cleaning services, and also (for those who have the right to afford them) kid chauffeurs, birthday-party coordinators, and also even family-photo assemblers (Loh, 2003). The variety of gyms has mushroomed, the choice of home office furniture has actually expanded, and also McDonald’s has bowed to the wishes of the health-conscious by eliminating its “super-size” option.

Generation Gaps

Clothiers who target teens and young adult (such together Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch) must estimate the size of both current and also future audiences. So should companies that specialization in commodities aimed at client in other period brackets—say, young children or retirees. Marketers pay specific attention to populace shifts since they can have dramatic impacts on a consumer base, either increasing or diminish the variety of potential customers.

Marketers often tend to assign many Americans born in the critical sixty years to among three groups: the baby-boom generation (those born between 1946 and also 1964), Generation X (1965 come 1975), and Generation Y—also recognized as “echo baby boomers” or “millenniums” (1976 come 2001) (Sincavage, 2004). In addition to age, members that each group tend to share common experiences, values, and also attitudes that remain with them as they mature. This values and also attitudes have a profound impact on both the assets they want and also the marketing efforts designed come sell products to them. Stop look a little an ext closely at some of the defining features of each group.

Baby Boomers

The substantial wave of baby boomers began showing up in 1946, following people War II, and marketers have actually been catering to them ever before since. What are they like? Sociologists have actually attributed to them such characteristics as “individuality, tolerance, and also self-absorption” (Leo, 2003). There are seventy million of them (Neuborne & Kerwin, 2006), and as castle marched through life end the course of 5 decades, marketers overfilled the roadside to supply them through toys, clothes, cars, homes, and appliances—whatever they essential at the time. They’re still a major marketing force, however their needs have changed: they’re now the target market for Botox, medicine products, knee surgery, gaue won investments, cruises, holidays homes, and also retirement communities.

Generation X

Because birth prices had declined by the time the “Gen X” babies very first arrived in 1965, this team had just one te to prosper its numbers. Thus, it’s significantly smaller (seventeen million (Neuborne & Kerwin, 1999)) 보다 the baby-boomer group, and also it has additionally borne the brunt of rising divorce rates and the arrival of AIDS. Experts say, however, the they’re diverse, savvy, and also pragmatic (Neuborne & Kerwin, 1999) and suggest out that even though they were when thought of as “slackers,” lock actually often tend to it is in self-reliant and also successful. At this point in their lives, most are at their height earning power and also affluent sufficient to do marketers stand up and also take notice.

Generation Y

When they came to be parents, infant boomers ceded a group to rival their own. Born in between 1976 and 2001, your sixty million (Neuborn & Kerwin, 1999) children are sometimes called “echo boomers” (because their population boom is a reverberation that the infant boom). They’re still evolving, however they’ve currently been assigned some attributes: they’re cursed to integrity and also honesty, family members oriented and also close to parents, country diverse and also accepting of differences, upbeat and optimistic about the future (although the troubled economy is lessening your optimism), education focused, independent, and goal oriented (Neuborne & Kerwin, 1999; Richardson, 2002; Fernandez-Cruz, 2006). They additionally seem to be coping reasonably well: amongst today’s teens, arrests, drug use, drunk driving, and also school dropout rates are all under (Tulgan & Martin, 2001).

Generation Ys room being courted through carmakers. Global car manufacturers have actually launched a number of 2012 dare designed to cater to the members the Generation Y (Brauer, 2011). Advertisers are also busy trying to discover innovative methods to with this group, but they’re finding the it’s not easy. Generation Ys flourished up through computers and other modes of high technology, and also they’re supplied to doing several things in ~ once—simultaneously city hall TV, texting, and also playing games on the computer. As a result, they’re fairly adept at tuning the end ads. Try to with them v TV ads and also they’ll channel-surf right past them or hit their TiVo remotes (Bianco, 2004). Girlfriend can’t acquire to them over the Internet due to the fact that they recognize all around pop-up blockers. In one desperate attempt to get their attention, an advertiser payment college students fifty cent to view thirty-second ads on their computer systems (Baker, 2004). Advertisers save trying, because Generation Y is large enough to destructive a brand by offering it a cold shoulder.

Consumer Behavior

Why did girlfriend buy one Apple computer when your friend bought a Dell PC? What details did friend collect prior to making the decision? What factors did you take into consideration when analyzing alternatives? exactly how did you do your final choice? were you happy through your decision? To style effective strategies, marketers need to uncover the answers the consumers offer to inquiries such as these. In various other words, they shot to boost their knowledge of consumer behavior—the decision process that people go through when purchasing or using products. In ar 9.8.7 “The buying Process”, we’ll look at the procedure that buyers go with in selecting one product over another. Then, we’ll explore some determinants that influence consumers’ behavior.

The to buy Process

Generally speaking, buyers run with a series of procedures in deciding even if it is to acquisition a certain product. Some purchases room made without lot thought. You more than likely don’t think much, for example, about the brand of gasoline you placed in your car; you just stop in ~ the many convenient place. Various other purchases, however, require significant thought. Because that example, you most likely spent a most time deciding which college to attend. Stop revisit the decision as a means of assessing the five steps the are affiliated in the customer buying process and that room summarized in figure 9.16 “The purchase Process”: need recognition, info search, evaluation, purchase, and postpurchase evaluation.

Figure 9.16 The buying Process


Need recognition. The process began once you known a have to go come college. Possibly you wanted to prepare because that a particular career, to become far better educated, or to postpone going come work complete time. Perhaps your parental insisted.Information search. As soon as you recognized the should go to college, you probably started gathering information around colleges. Girlfriend may have gone online and studied the net sites posted by a couple of schools. Perhaps you attended university fairs or spoke with your high school guidance counselor. You more than likely talked with friends around your options. As soon as you let colleges understand that you were interested, admissions departments likely sent you lots of information.Evaluation. At this point, you studied the info you’d gathered. First, girlfriend probably chose what you wanted from a college. Perhaps price was your number-one criterion, or probably distance indigenous home. Maybe size was important, or call or available majors. Probably it was the top quality of the football team or the male-to-female ratio.Purchase. At some point you made a “purchase” decision. In for this reason doing, you concentrated on what to be most important to you. Naturally, girlfriend could select only amongst schools that had embraced you.Postpurchase evaluation. The buying procedure didn’t end when you selected a school. It continues today, when you’re making use of the “product” friend purchased. How numerous times have you rethought her decision? space you happy through it? would certainly you do the same selection again?Understanding the buying process of potential student is an important to college administrators in emerging marketing tactics to entice qualified “buyers.” They’d definitely like to recognize what details you found useful, which determinants most affected your decision, and also how friend made your last choice. They’ll additionally want to know whether she happy through your choice. This is the kind of info that colleges room seeking once they solicit feedback, both native students who chose their schools and from those who didn’t.

Influences on purchase Behavior

Did you ever before buy something girlfriend knew you shouldn’t buy yet just couldn’t help yourself—something you simply wanted? perhaps it to be a spring-break pilgrimage to the Bahamas that you yes, really couldn’t afford. Objectively, girlfriend may have actually made a negative decision, yet not all decisions are made on a purely objective basis. Psychological and social influences come right into play. Let’s take a closer watch at every of this factors.

Psychological Influences

Under this category, we deserve to identify in ~ least 5 variables:

Motivation. The internal process that causes you come seek certain goals.Perception. The means you select, organize, and also interpret information.Learning. Knowledge got through experience and also study.Attitudes. Your prejudice to respond in particular ways since of learned values and beliefs.Personality. The arsenal of characteristics that characterize one individual.

Social Influences

Here, we uncover four factors:

Family.Reference groups. Friends or other world with who you identify.Economic or society status.Culture. Your set of embraced values.

It do not do it be surprising the marketers are keenly interested in the impact of every these impacts on her buying decisions. For instance, mean the travel agency that sold you your spring-break getaway discovered that friend bought the package because you regarded it as a price for studying hard and also doing fine academically. In the case, it might promote student summer-travel programs together rewards because that a tough year’s occupational at school.

Key Takeaways

A number of forces end which it has small or no control affect a this firm marketing activities.Taken together, they make up its external marketing environment, which includes regulatory and also political activity, financial conditions, competitive forces, transforms in technology, and also social and social influences.Successful marketing frequently hinges on understanding consumer behavior—the decision procedure that individuals go through when purchasing or utilizing products.Several psychological and social variables affect buyers’ decisions. Castle go with a collection of steps in reaching the decision come buy a product: need recognition, info search, evaluation, purchase, and postpurchase evaluation.


Shifts in the external marketing setting often necessitate changes in a this firm marketing plans. All service providers are affected by exterior factors, but particular factors have the right to have a stronger affect on details products. I m sorry of these five species of outside factors—political/regulatory, economic, competitive, technological, social/cultural—would have actually the greatest affect on each of the adhering to products: a toll Brothers home, P&G birds laundry detergent, to apologize iPod, Pfizer heart medicine, and also Gap jeans. In matching products with exterior factors, use each factor only once. Be sure to describe exactly how a given variable might impact product sales.

Experts have actually ascribed a variety of attributes come Generation Y—people born between 1976 and also 2001. Top top a range of 1 to 10 (with 10 gift the highest), suggest the extent to which every of the complying with attributes uses to you:

AttributeTo No ExtentTo a great Extent
You’re committed to integrity and honesty12345678910
You’re household oriented and also close to her parents12345678910
You’re accepting of differences amongst people12345678910
You’re upbeat and also optimistic about the future12345678910
You’re education and learning focused12345678910
You’re independent12345678910
You’re goal oriented12345678910
You’re fairly good at coping12345678910


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