When building your marketing strategy, it’s critical to understand that marketing doesn’t occur in a vacuum.
On second thought — maybe it does.
After all, who has ever been inside an actual vacuum to confirm? Perhaps each one has a perfectly executed marketing campaign running inside it.
What is definitely true, however, is that marketing management is always impacted by a variety of factors. Some you control, while others you can’t.
The larger point is that developing a marketing plan isn’t something you can simply dictate without considering other mitigating factors. Many components play into how you market your product, and you’ll fall behind your competition if you ignore them.
You can’t simply identify a marketing campaign, implement it, and sit back and watch the customers roll in. Effective marketing requires monitoring as well as awareness of the environment in which the campaign is taking place.
To get the most out of your marketing, you’ll want to understand what the marketing environment is. This post will help you better understand:
- What is the marketing environment?
- What makes up your marketing macro-environment?
- What makes up your marketing micro-environment?
- What role does your internal marketing environment play?
Once you have a grasp on these concepts, you’ll be able to better direct your marketing projects. Let’s get started with a brief definition.
What is the marketing environment?
Imagine you’ve just designed a product destined to be a hit. You’ve come up with a can’t-miss idea that is certain to sell big as soon as you release it. All that’s left is the small task of ensuring you make the right audience aware of your product.
As a marketing manager, you’ll want to develop a marketing plan filled with strategies, tactics, and information on your target audience. Each facet of this plan is influenced by a multitude of factors.
These factors are what make up the marketing environment.
Think of it in terms of an ecosystem in nature, like a forest or a swamp. Whether it’s a fish, fox, or shrub, the various living things existing in that ecosystem are both dependent on and directly affect each other regularly.
Similarly, the ecosystem in which your product exists is made up of many cultural touchpoints including the demographic of people who will see your ads, the company that developed the product, the company that developed the marketing plan itself, and so much more.
Your marketing activities will vary greatly depending on the environment your product exists in.
Now that you have a baseline definition for what constitutes a marketing environment, let’s explore the difference between the macro- and micro-marketing environment.
What makes up your marketing macro-environment?
To put the term macro-environment into its proper context, look at the term as it’s defined in the investing world. According to Investopedia, an economic macro environment is made up of “the condition that exists in the economy as a whole, rather than in a particular sector or region.”
Now think of this in terms of a marketing perspective. No matter what your product is, some factors drive change cross-sector. No product, service, or other offerings can avoid them.
Let’s say you operate in a hyper-specific niche. You create ballpoint pens that can write upside down specifically for astronauts living in outer space. You may not think you share anything in common with a brand as widely beloved as Nike or Coca-Cola. You may even think you exist in an entirely different marketing environment, and in some respects, you’d be right.
But when it comes to your macro environment, you could say you’re operating in the same space. Look no further than the past year for a great example of this.
The rippling effects of COVID-19 cascaded across the globe, touching every business or sector. It affected economic factors like interest rates, exchange rates, and purchasing power. It was a reality that added external forces every company had to deal with in one way or another, radically shifting the economic environment.
For your hypothetical astronaut pen company, astronauts may have had less disposable income over the past year due to the effects of COVID-19 on the economy. Fewer were traveling to space (or anywhere) due to economic factors.
That means your fictional product may have made fewer sales. This could have been the case for many bigger brands – including Nike and Coca-Cola. The degree to which you’re impacted may differ, but you’re both operating with the same global conditions.
Of course, those global conditions aren’t the only ones that matter. There are others much closer to home that you’ll have to account for as well.
What makes up your marketing micro-environment?
LinkedIn defines a marketing micro-environment as “the environment which is in direct contact with (your) company and affects the routine activities of business straight away.” It also identifies six specific components, including:
- Marketing intermediaries
- The general public
Let’s break down each component:
This includes your entire organization, specifically anyone who interacts with your team’s marketing operations. This can include your leadership structure, strategists, the marketing department, your chief financial officer, your business operations team, and so on.
These various parts of your organization will influence your marketing outlook differently. Executives may sign off on the marketing plan, your marketing team may develop your strategy, and the accountants may control your budget.
Each level of your organization will shape your business environment, affecting your marketing activities in one way or another.
Your suppliers will be the vendors, distributors, wholesalers, or retailers you work with to get the materials needed to build your product. Without reliable suppliers, it’s harder for you as a marketing team to guarantee excellent service. Suppliers are the lifeblood of your business, as they provide your organization with the raw materials or natural resources needed to create a great product.
From a marketing perspective, suppliers with the right goods make your job a lot easier. For one, you get to tell your customers about all the high-quality materials in your products.
This group assists with your marketing efforts. They can either provide direct marketing services (think research and development) or support other areas like physical distribution or finding new customers.
They may be professional marketers, helping you with an innovative platform to make your marketing life easier. These professionals can help you embrace new technology, enter new markets, or develop new products with the right research and communication strategies.
Any company with a similar product, or targeting the same market as you, is your competitor. Your offering should provide your customer with better value than your competition, otherwise, they may be inclined to go with their product.
The General Public
This component of your marketing environment represents everyone, many of whom may be your potential customer base. The general public affects the overall culture that can, in part, define your marketing environment. The public can help set trends that drive your marketing strategy and approach.
Finally, your customers are also a part of your micro-environment – in fact, they’re the most important part. These are the people with a problem for which your product acts as a solution.
Your marketing should have your ideal customer in mind throughout the customer’s journey with your brand – from first contact to decision-making, from point of sale to retention and repeat business.
What Role Does Your Internal Marketing Environment Play?
Your product also has an internal marketing environment to consider. Your internal marketing environment is made up of features within your company that affect how your marketing operates.
Do you have a strongly defined company culture with a clear mission statement and well-defined values? Whatever that culture consists of, it’s likely going to bleed into your marketing strategies and tactics.
What kind of people do you employ? Your team members are going to shape your marketing efforts – whether it’s by working on those efforts directly or providing great customer service you can later praise in your marketing materials.
How big is your marketing budget? The resources your company allocates to marketing and outreach will greatly enable (or inhibit) your ability to build strong marketing campaigns.
Your internal marketing environment is all about the organization you’re part of and what structure (or lack thereof) is in place to buoy your marketing efforts.
Your Marketing Environment Can Seem Like a Tough Obstacle to Overcome… Unless You Have the Tools to Master It
Is your head spinning yet? Your marketing environment may seem like a million moving pieces that are difficult to keep track of. Analyzing all these environmental factors can seem overwhelming. And it absolutely can be, if you don’t have a plan to follow.
You’ll have to account for your internal and external marketing environments as well as macro and micro components. But with the right platform, you can align and organize your marketing decisions to measure the most important factors.
Using sound project management tactics, executed with a reliable platform and tools, helps you reliably manage your entire marketing environment and target customers.
Welcome specializes in project management for marketers and the tools that go with it. We offer orchestration software to help your team increase productivity and agility, leading to better outcomes for your marketing team, and ultimately, your customers. To see how Welcome can help you revolutionize your marketing management, reach out for a demo today.