The marketing climate is comprised of several different forces, including competition, economics, politics, technology, the law, and society. All of these environmental forces are subject to the winds of change. In order to weather these changing marketing forces, a business must adapt. Here, we examine each of these marketing forces in terms of how they can affect a business and how to respond proactively to likely changes in each of them.
Competition threatens to steal market share from a business. One key to adapting to new and strengthening competition is to recognize that competition takes place on more than one level. For example, on a brand level, two companies compete to sell the same type of product or service to the same pool of customers, such as two different brands of cola, while on the product level, a company's product competes with other types of products a consumer might consider to fulfill the same desire or need, like cola versus juice.
There is also a budget level, however, where two very different products compete for a consumer's limited dollar, such as going to a restaurant versus going to see a movie at the theater, or such as taking a family vacation versus buying a new family car. As competition becomes increasingly global, it becomes increasingly imperative for businesses to remain aware of the different ways they compete in the marketplace and the different forces competing against them.
Economic cycles and inflation are two economic forces that exert a strong influence over a business's operations. Economic cycles involve consumers' patterns of spending and saving in relation to various products and services. These cycles can repeat for years, or longer, but they don't repeat forever; eventually, cycles change, and when they do, a business must be ready to adapt its schedules of production, distribution, and marketing to keep up with these shifts.
Inflation also changes consumers' spending patterns as well as a company's costs of production and distribution. Coming up with a plan to adjust your costs and pricing models to reflect inflation can make a tremendous difference in keeping every part of your supply chain working with you seamlessly as you all navigate a shifting economic climate.
Politics and the Law
Businesses of every size are subject to an array of local, national and international laws affecting how they operate their business and account for profits. These laws are changing all the time, most significantly each time the political landscape changes. The people in legislature influence which laws are changed and how they are changed as well as what news laws are implemented. Business owners must, therefore, be extremely savvy about the current political climate they are entering as well as stay keen to all the potential legal issues that can be affected by changes in that climate.
One way that technology has helped create solutions to the problem of adapting to its own constant changes is through apps and online resources that educate and inform people of these changes, their implications and new tech solutions for adapting to these changes. An example of this is the Course Hero free online learning platform that uses the power of crowdsourcing to provide relevant lessons on prevailing trends and useful answers to current questions.
The marketing environment is comprised first and foremost of people. As the cultures, customs and demographics of society changes, so too do our purchasing habits and the ways marketers can effectively reach us. To stay competitive in an ever-changing social environment, a business must stay on top of all the statistics pertaining to their target markets.
In science, it is often said that the only universal constant is change. Armed with that awareness and a deep understanding of how the various forces of the marketing environment affect your business, you can be all the more prepared to face those inevitable changes in the marketing climate when they come.