The job of a marketer is vast and important.
Yes there are pricing, product, distribution and promotion decisions to contend with… but before we even get close to this point, a fair amount of market opportunity analysis needs to be done.
One important part of market opportunity analysis is environmental analysis.
Influence of marco-environmental trends (macro trends) can be pervasive and powerful… it’s much easier to go with the trend, rather than try to run counter to it.
The thing about trends is that they’re always going to be present, and its the job of marketing to keep abreast of these trends… taking advantage of the favourable conditions, and mitigating the unfavourable ones.
In this post I want to introduce the six major components of the macro-environment.
Sociocultural trends are those that have to do with the values, attitudes and behaviour of individuals in a given society.
It’s important to note that cultures evolve slowly.
I’ve had the pleasure of traveling to a number of Countries and experiencing huge differences in culture, ranging from the US, to China, and to North Korea.
You often hear older people say ‘Things were different when I was younger’… and they were!
Sociocultural trends can take generations to change and have a serious impact.
This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t put too much focus on sociocultural trends, quite the opposite.
If we can better judge upcoming sociocultural trends, we give ourselves and our companies, a huge competitive advantage over the competition.
A few trends in particular relevance today are the increased trend toward healthy living and personal fitness, and trends towards a greater interest in ethical business.
All things are generally governed to a significant extent by demographic changes, and the number of demographic trends that might influence ones market, is without limits.
Demographics includes age, race, religion, gender, family size, income, education, population, and so on.
Consider that most developed countries’ populations are becoming older, and the impact this would have on marketers.
The elder people have different needs and wants, therefore need different products.
Also consider the imbalanced world population growth, where it is expected that only 5 countries will be responsible for half of the population growth over the next 50 years.
Around 30 of the more developed countries are expected to see their populations fall in the next 50 years.
Again consider where are the opportunities going to be for marketers.
3. Physical (or Natural) environment
Everything naturally depends on the natural environment, and marketing isn’t an exception.
Changes in Earths resources and climate, can have significant and far reaching effects.
To turn problems into opportunities, marketers (and businesses) are investing in research to find ways to save energy and find new energy sources and products.
In most developed countries the political/legal environment is relatively stable, therefore risk is reduced.
In more developing countries things can be very different.
Marketers need to be aware of risks and differences when entering new markets in new countries.
Regulations can be very different, and ethical standards can be very different.
Overregulation influences market attractiveness, as this behaviour creates inefficiencies, restricts new entrants and create inflationary pressures.
On the economic side, the current economic situation has far reaching impacts on marketers.
When peoples incomes fall or when government fiscal policy results in decreased government spending, entire sectors of the economy are affected.
Marketers need to be on top of the current economic situation, and potential future shifts.
In the past 3 decades we have seen technology increase at an amazing rate, at it’s unlikely to abate.
Technology just doesn’t provide marketers with opportunities to create new products, it also changes how businesses operate, how goods and services are exchanges, how we communicate with each other, and so on.
Savvy marketers follow technological trends and are able to foresee new and previously unheard of applications, giving themselves and their companies huge competitive advantage.
The best marketers allocate time regularly to keep abreast of macro trends in the market… understanding how they currently affect the role of marketing, and how the could affect the future role of marketing.
How do macro trends currently affect your firm and their offerings?
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