Environment: Population and its Locations

15/05/2020 1 By indiafreenotes

Marketing activities are influenced by several factors inside and outside a business firm. These factors or forces influencing marketing decision-making are collectively called marketing environment. It comprises all those forces which have an impact on market and marketing efforts of the enterprise. According to Philip Kotler, marketing environment refers to “external factors and forces that affect the company’s ability to develop and maintain successful transactions and relationships with its target customers”.

The marketing programme of a firm is influenced and shaped by a firm’s inwardly need to begin its business planning by looking outwardly at what its customers require, rather than inwardly at what it would prefer to produce. The firm must be aware of what is going on in its marketing environment and appreciate how change in its environment can lead to changing patterns of demand for its products.

It also needs to assess marketing opportunities and threats present in the surroundings. An environment can be defined as everything which surrounds and impinges on a system. Systems of many kinds have environments with which they interact. Marketing can be seen as a system which must respond to environmental change.

Just as the human body may have problems, it fails to adjust to environmental change. Similarly, businesses may fail if they do not adapt to external changes such as new sources of competition or changes in consumers’ preferences.

Scanning the Environment:

Marketing activities do not take place in a vacuum, isolated from all external forces. In fact all marketing operations are conducted in a highly complex, dynamic and changing environment. According to Philip Kotler, “A company’s marketing environment consists of the factors and forces outside marketing that affect management’s ability to build and maintain successful relationships with target customers”.

The marketing environment offers both opportunities and threats. Successful companies know the vital importance of constantly watching and adapting to the changing environment. A company’s marketers take the major responsibility for identifying significant changes in the environment.

More than any other groups in the company, marketers must be the trend trackers and opportunity seekers. Although every manager in an organisation needs to observe the outside environment, marketers have two special aptitudes. They have disciplined methods – marketing intelligence and marketing research – for collection of information about the marketing environment.

They also spend time in the customer and competitor environment. By conducting systematic environmental scanning, marketers are able to revise and adapt marketing strategies to meet new challenges and opportunities in the market place.

Marketing as a function is basically all about matching the offerings of the organisation to the outside world, in particular, the market-place. Not surprisingly, many functions within marketing, such as selling, product development and market research, concern themselves with issues, problems and opportunities outside the organisation, and focus on responding to outside events and circumstances. Kotler identifies in this external role the need for marketers to develop an ‘outside- in’ perspective, an ability to work on external cues and stimuli to the profit of the whole organisation.

Environment scanning is a constant, important activity of successful companies. This process includes gathering, filtering and analyzing information related to the marketing environment. It also includes monitoring the changes taking place in the environment and forecasting future status of each factor.

Such analysis helps to spot opportunities and threats in the environment, and pinpoints the ones that are specifically relevant to the company. The company’s marketing people have the responsibility for scanning and identifying significant changes or trends in the marketing environment.

As we know that marketing research and marketing intelligence system are the methods used by companies for environment scanning and gathering vital information about changes. Customers’ behaviour and competitors’ activities are also important factors to be watched in the environment. Successful companies know the vital importance of constantly scanning and adapting to the changing environment. The environment continues to change at a rapid pace.

Importance of Environment Analysis:

The following are the benefits of environment analysis:

  1. It helps in marketing analysis.
  2. It can assess the impact of opportunities and threats on the business.
  3. It facilitates the company to increase general awareness of environmental changes.
  4. It is possible to develop effective marketing strategies on the basis of analysis.
  5. It helps to capitalize the opportunities rather than losing out to competitors.
  6. It facilitates to understand the elements of the environment.
  7. It helps to develop best strategies, in the light of analyzing “what is going around the company”.

Need for Environment analysis:

Environmental analysis attempts to give an extensive insight as to the current market conditions as well as of impact of external factors that are uncontrollable by the marketers. These variables play an important role in convincing potential customers regarding changes in market trends, market conditions etc.

Facilitating the corporation’s strategic response to the changes taking place in environmental factors is the ultimate purpose of environment analysis. The firm has to come up with alternative programmes and strategies in line with environmental realities. This is possible only with proper environment analysis.

It helps strategic response by highlighting opportunities, the pursuit of which will help the firm to attain its objectives. It helps to assess the attractiveness and probability position of these opportunities, and helps to prepare a shortlist of those which are relevant to the firm and which can be pursued by it

Spotting the opportunities and threats is the central purpose here. It is in the environment that the firm finds its opportunities; it is in the environment that it finds the treats it has to encounter, and, it is by tapping the opportunities present and countering the threats embedded therein that the firm achieves its growth objective. The starting point is thus to spot the opportunities and threats.

Concept of Micro and Macro Environment:

A marketing oriented company looks outside its premises to take advantage of the emerging opportunities, and to monitor and minimize the potential threats face by it in its businesses. The environment consists of various forces that affect the company’s ability to deliver products and services to its customers.

The marketing environment is made up of:

  1. Micro-environment and
  2. Macro-environment.

We discuss them in detail:

  1. Micro-environment:

The micro-environment of the company consists of various forces in its immediate environment that affect its ability to operate effectively in its chosen markets.

This includes the following:

(a) The company

(b) Company’s Suppliers

(c) Marketing Intermediaries

(d) Customers

(e) Competitors

(f) Public

A brief explanations are given below:

The Company:

In designing marketing plans, marketing management takes other company groups into account – Finance, Research and Development, Purchasing, Manufacturing, Accounting, Top Management etc. Marketing manager must also work closely with other company departments. Finance in concerned with funds and using funds to carry out the marketing plans.

The R&D Department focuses on designing safe and attractive product. Purchasing Department is concerned with supplies of materials whereas manufacturing is responsible for producing the desired quality and quantity of products. Accounts department has to measure revenues and costs to help marketing know-how. Together, all of these departments have impact on the marketing plans and action.

Internal Environment (Within the Co.):

The marketing management, in formulating plans, takes the other groups into account:

  1. Top Management
  2. Finance
  3. R&D
  4. Manufacturing
  5. Purchasing
  6. Sales Promotion
  7. Advertisement etc.

Environmental forces are dynamic and any change in them brings uncertainties, threats and opportunities for the marketers. Changes in the environmental forces can be monitored through environmental scanning, that is, observation of secondary sources such as business, trade and Government, and environmental analysis, that is, interpretation of the information gathered through environmental scanning.

Marketers try to predict what may happen in the future with the help of tools like marketing research and marketing information or marketing intelligence system, and continue to modify their marketing efforts and build future marketing strategies. The company should think about the consumer and work in harmony to provide customer value and satisfaction.

Company’s Suppliers:

Suppliers provide the resources needed by the company to product its goods and services. They are important links in the company’s overall customer “value delivery system”. Supplier developments can seriously affect marketing. Marketing managers must watch supply availability – supply shortages or delays, labour strikes and other events can cost sales in the short run and damage customer satisfaction in the long run. Marketing Managers also monitor the price trends of their key inputs. Rising supply costs may force price increases that can harm the company’s sales volume.

In business-to-business marketing, one company’s supplier is likely to be another company’s customer and it is important to understand how suppliers, manufacturers and intermediaries work together to create value. Buyers and sellers are increasingly co-operating in their dealings with each other, rather than bargaining each transaction in a confrontational manner in order to make supply chain management most effective and value-added products are sold to the target markets.

Marketing Intermediaries:

Intermediaries or distribution channel members often provide a valuable link between an organisation and its customers. Large-scale manufacturing firms usually find it difficult to deal with each one of their final customers individually in the target markets. So they chose intermediaries to sell their products.

Marketing intermediaries include resellers, physical distribution firms, marketing service agencies, and financial intermediaries. They help the company to promote, sell, and distribute its goods to final buyers. Resellers are distribution channel firms that help the company to find customers for goods. These include whole-sellers and retailers who buy and resell merchandise. Selecting and working with resellers is not easy. These organisations frequently have enough power to dictate terms or even shut the manufacturer out of large markets.

Physical distribution:

Firms help the company to stock and move goods from their points of origin to their destinations. Working with warehouse and transportation firms, a company must determine the best ways to store and ship goods, and safety marketing services agencies are the marketing research firms, advertising agencies, media firms, and marketing consulting firms that help the company target and promote its products to the right markets.

When the company decides to use one of these agencies, it must choose carefully because those firms vary in creativity, quality, service and price. Financial intermediaries include banks, credit companies, insurance companies, and other businesses that help finance transactions or insure against the risks associated with the buying and selling of goods. Most firms and customers depend on financial intermediaries to finance their transactions.


Consumer markets consists of individuals and households that they buy goods and services for personal consumption. Business markets buy goods and services for further processing or for use in their production process, whereas reseller markets buy goods and services to resell at a profit.

Government markets are made up of government agencies that buy goods and services to produce public services or transfer the goods and services to others who need them. Finally, international markets consist of the buyers in other countries, including consumers, producers, resellers and governments. Each market type has special characteristics that call for careful study by the seller.


No single competitive marketing strategy is best for all companies. The company’s marketing system is surrounded and affected by a host of competitors. Each firm should consider its own size and industry position compared to those of its competitors. These competitors have to be identified, monitored and outmanouvered to gain and maintain customer loyalty.

Industry and competition constitute a major component of the micro-environment. Development of marketing plans and strategy is based on knowledge about competitors’ activities. Competitive advantage also depends on understanding the status, strength and weakness of competitors in the market.

Large firms with dominant positions in an industry can use certain strategies that smaller firms cannot afford. But being large is not enough. There are winning strategies for large firms, but there are also losing ones. And small firms can develop strategies that give them better rate of return than large firms enjoy.


General public do take interest in the business undertaking. The company has a duty to satisfy the people at large along with competitors and the consumers. A public is defined as “any group that has an actual or potential interest in or impact on a company’s ability to achieve its objectives.

Public relations is certainly a broad marketing operation which must be fully taken care of Goodwill, favourable reactions, donations and hidden potential fixture buyers are a few of the responses which a company expects from the public. Kotler in this regard has viewed that “companies must put their primary energy into effectively managing their relationships with their customers, distributors, and the suppliers, their overall success will be affected by how other publics in the society view their activity. Companies would be wise to spend time monitoring all their publics understanding their needs and opinions and dealing with them constructively”.

Every company is surrounded by seven types of public, as shown below:

  1. Financial—banks, stock-brokers, financial institutions.
  2. Media—Newspaper, magazines, TV.
  3. Government—Government departments.
  4. Citizen—Consumer Organisations; environment groups.
  5. Local—neighbourhood residents, community groups.
  6. General—General Public, public opinions.
  7. Internal—Workers, officers, Board of Directors.

Macro Environment:

The macro-environment consists of broader forces that not only affect the company and the industry, but also other factors in the micro-environment.

The components of a macro-environment are:

(a) Demographic Environment

(b) Economic Environment

(c) Physical Environment

(d) Technological Environment

(e) Political Environment

(f) Legal Environment

(g) Social and Cultural Environment

  1. Demographic Environment:

Demography is the study of population characteristics that are used to describe consumers. Demographics tell marketers who are the current and potential customers, where are they, how many are likely to buy and what the market is selling. Demography is the study of human populations in terms of size, density, location, age, sex, race, occupation and other statistics.

Marketers are keenly interested in studying the demography ethnic mix, educational level and standard of living of different cities, regions and nations because changes in demographic characteristics have a bearing on the way people live, spend their money and consume.

For example, one of the demographic characteristic is the size of family. With the number of small families increasing in India, the demand for smaller houses and household items has increased significantly. Similarly, the number of children in a family has reduced significantly over the years. So, per child spending in a family has increased significantly.

According to the World Health Organisation, young people in the age group of 10-24 years comprise 33% of the population and 42% of our population consists of age group, 0-24 years. Teen-agers in the age group below 19 years comprise 23%. The senior citizen age group above 65 years comprise only 8% of total population. About 58% of the working population is engaged in agricultural activities, with highest, that is 78% in Bihar and Chattisgarh and lowest 22% in Kerala.

Since human population consists of different kinds of people with different tastes and preferences, they cannot be satisfied with any one of the products. Moreover they need to be divided in homogeneous groups with similar wants and demands. For this we need to understand the demographic variables which are traditionally used by marketers, to segment the markets.


Income determines purchasing power and status. Higher the income, higher is the purchasing power. Though education and occupation shapes one’s tastes and preferences, income provides the means to acquire that.


It is the pattern of living expressed through their activities, interests and opinion. Life-style is affected by other factors of demography as well. Life-style affects a lot on the purchase decision and brand preferences.


Gender has always remained a very important factor for distinction. There are many companies which produce products and services separately for male and female.


Education implies the status. Education also determines the income and occupation. With increase in education, the information is wider with the customers and hence their purchase decision process is also different. So the marketers group people on the basis of education.

Social Class:

It is defined as the hierarchical division of the society into relatively distinct and homogeneous groups whose members have similar attitudes, values and lifestyle.


This is very strongly associated with income and education. The type of work one does and the tastes of individuals influence one’s values, life-style etc. Media preferences, hobbies and shopping patterns are also influenced by occupational class.


Demographic variables help in distinguishing buyers, that is, people having homogenous needs according to their specific wants, preferences and usages. For instance, teenagers usually have similar needs. Therefore, marketers develop products to target specific age groups.

The youth are being targeted through advertisements and promotional campaigns, stores are being designed with ‘youthful’ features, youth events are being sponsored, and even new technology is developed with their tastes in mind.

The age groups that attract the attention of marketers can be classified as:

(i) Infants:

The population of India is growing at an alarming rate. The rate of infant deaths has declined considerably due to the advancement in medicine. Although infants are consumers of products, their parents are the decision makers. The size of a family is decreasing and the average income of family is increasing.

(ii) School going teens:

In this segment, there is a great demand for school uniforms, bags, shoes, books, stationary, confectioneries, food, albums, bicycles and other similar products.

(iii) Young Adults:

Marketers target the young adults in the age group 18-30 years with products like motorbikes, music systems, clothes, sports cars etc. Two-wheeler manufacturers in India target this segment of people. In the last five years, various companies like, Bajaj, Hero-Honda, Kinetic, TVS etc. have introduced a large number of models to attract young adults.

(iv) Adults (35-45):

Consumers, in this age group, are more health conscious and look for stability and financial independence. The industries that are benefited by them are: Pharmaceuticals, personal products, fitness products, gym equipment’s, cars, home appliances, consumer durables, banks, insurance companies, etc. Marketers push products specifically designed for this age group.

(v) Senior Citizens:

This consumer group boosts the demand for health care services, select skin care products, financial planning etc.

(vi) Women:

Women constitute nearly 50% of India’s population. They are actively taking up professions. This shift in their role has generated a greater demand for childcare and convenience products that save time in cooking, cleaning and shopping.

Marketers are trying to come up with products that are easier to handle, less heavy, convenient to use etc. The change in the role of women is paving the way for a change in the role of men. Advertisements portray men cleaning, cooking and caring for their children, which was unthinkable in the past.

  1. Economic Environment:

Economic environment is the most significant component of the marketing environment. It affects the success of a business organisation as well as its survival. The economic policy of the Government, needless to say, has a very great impact on business. Some categories of business are favourably affected by the Government policy, some adversely affected while some others remain unaffected. The economic system is a very important determinant of the scope of private business and is therefore a very important external constraint on business.

The economical environmental forces can be studied under the following categories:

(i) General Economic Conditions:

General Economic Conditions in a country are influenced by various factors. They are:

  1. Agricultural trends
  2. Industrial output trends
  3. Per capita income trends
  4. Pattern of income distribution
  5. Pattern of savings and expenditures
  6. Price levels
  7. Employment trends
  8. Impact of Government policy
  9. Economic systems.

(ii) Industrial Conditions:

Economic environment of a country is influenced by the prevalent industrial conditions as well as industrial policies of a country.

A marketer needs to pay attention to the following aspects:

  1. Market growth
  2. Demand patterns of the industry
  3. Its stage in product life cycle.

(iii) Supply sources for production:

Supply sources required for production determines inputs which are available required for production.

They are:

  1. Land
  2. Labour
  3. Capital
  4. Machinery and equipment etc.

Economic environment describes the overall economic situation in a country and helps in analysis GNP per capita rate of economic growth, inflation rate, unemployment problems etc.

  1. Physical Environment:

The physical environment or natural environment involves the natural resources that are needed as inputs by marketers or those that are affected by marketing activities. Environmental concerns have grown steadily in recent years. Marketers should be aware of trends like shortages of raw materials, increased pollution, and increased governmental intervention in natural resources management. Companies will have to understand their environmental responsibility and commit themselves to the ‘green movement’.

Potential shortages of certain raw materials, for examples, oil, coal, minerals, unstable cost of energy, increased levels of pollution; changing role of Government in environment protection are a few of the dangers the world is facing on physical environment forces. Other aspects of the natural environment which may increasingly affect marketing include the availability and cost of raw materials, energy and other resources, particularly if those resources and energy come from non-renewable sources.

  1. Technological Environment:

The technological environment is the most dramatic force now facing our destiny. Technological discoveries and developments create opportunities and threats in the market. The marketer should watch the trends in technology. The biggest impact that the society has been undergoing in the last few years is the technological advancement, product changes and its effects on consumers.

Technology has brought innumerable changes in human lives, be it in the field of science, medicine, entertainment, communication, and travel or office equipment. Name any field, and one can see changes in product or efficiency and faster services.

One of the most dramatic forces shaping people’s lives in technology. Technology has released such wonders as penicillin, open-heart surgery and birth control pill. It has released such horrors as the hydrogen bomb, nerve gas, and the sub-machine gun. Every new technology is a force for “creative destruction”. Transistors hurt the vacuum tube industry, xerography hurt the carbon paper business, autos hurt the railroads, and television hurt the newspapers.

Instead of moving into the new technologies, many old industries fought or ignored them and their business declined. Yet it is the essence of market capitalism to be dynamic and tolerate the creative destructiveness of technology as the price of progress.

Technology essentially refers to our level of knowledge about ‘how things are done’. That is understanding this aspect of the marketing environment is much more than simply being familiar with the latest hi-tech innovations. Technology affects not only the type of products available but also the ways in which people organize their lives and the ways in which goods and services can be marketed.

Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturer (CAM) have shortened the time required for new products to reach the market and increased the variety of products that can be produced cost effectively. The benefits of CAD/CAM are clearly evident in the car industry. Mass production is in standardized models. Computer systems have also contributed substantially to the growth of various forms of direct marketing such as direct mail, direct response marketing etc.

  1. Political Environment:

The political environment consists of factors related to the management of public affairs and their impact on the business of an organisation. Political environment has a close relationship with the economic system and the economic policy. Some Governments specify certain standards for the products including packaging.

Some other Governments prohibit the marketing of certain products. In most nations, promotional activities are subject to various types of controls. India is a democratic country having a stable political system where the Government plays an active role as a planner, promoter and regulator of economic activity.

Businessmen, therefore, are conscious of the political environment that their organisation face. Most Governmental decisions related to business are based on political considerations in line with the political philosophy following by the ruling party at the Centre and the State level.

Substantial number of laws have been enacted to regulate business and marketing to protect companies from each other, to protect consumers from unfair trade practices, to protect the larger interests of society against unbridled business behaviour. Changing Government agency enforcement and growth of public interest groups also bring in threats and challenges.

  1. Legal Environment:

Marketing decisions are strongly affected by laws pertaining to competition, price-setting, distribution arrangement, advertising etc. It is necessary for a marketer to understand the legal environment of the country and the jurisdiction of its courts.

The following laws affected business in India:

  1. Indian Contract Act 1872
  2. Factories Act 1948
  3. Minimum Wages Act 1948
  4. Essential Commodities Act 1955
  5. Securities Contracts Regulation Act 1956 (SEBI Act)
  6. The Companies Act 1956
  7. Trade and Merchandise Act 1958
  8. Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practice Act 1969
  9. The water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974
  10. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981
  11. Sick Industrial Companies (Special Provisions) Act 1985
  12. Environment Protection Act 1986
  13. Consumer Protection Act 1986
  14. Securities and Exchange Board of India Act 1992
  15. Different Taxation Laws.
  16. Social and Cultural Environment:

Socio-cultural forces refer to the attitudes, beliefs, norms, values, lifestyles of individuals in a society. These forces can change the market dynamics and marketers can face both opportunities and threats from them. Some of the important factors and influences operating in the social environment are the buying and consumption habits of people, their languages, beliefs and values, customs and traditions, tastes and preferences, education and all factors that affect the business.

Understanding consumer needs is central to any marketing activity and those needs will often be heavily influenced by social and cultural factors. These cover a range of values, beliefs, attitudes and customs which characterize societies or social groups. Changes in lifestyle of people affect the marketing environment.

As health problems in people have increased because of significant changes in their lifestyle, they have become concerned about their food. They prefer to eat low fat, low or no cholesterol food. This is specially true for people above 40 years. To a great extent, social forces determine what customers buy, how they buy, where they buy, when they buy, and how they use the products.

In India, social environment is continuously changing. One of the most profound social changes in recent years is the large number of women entering the job market. They have also created or greatly expended the demand for a wide range of products and services necessitated by their absence from the home. There is a lot of change in quality-of-lifestyles and people are willing to have many durable consumer goods like TV., fridge, washing machines etc. even when they cannot afford them because of their availability on hire-purchase or instalment basis.

Culture influences every aspect of marketing. Marketing decisions are based on recognition of needs and wants of the customer, a function of customer perceptions. These help in understanding of lifestyles and behaviour patterns as they have grown in the society’s culture in which the individual has been groomed. Thus a person’s perspective is generated, groomed and conditioned by culture.

Marketing environment can also be classified as:

(i) Controllable Forces and

(ii) Uncontrollable Forces.

(i) Controllable forces:

Controllable forces consist of marketing policies and marketing strategies. Marketing policies are framed by the firm depending on its marketing philosophy. The top management is responsible for framing broad policies. Marketing strategies are developed by middle level management.

Internal forces are inherent to the firm and can be controlled by the management. Marketing mix elements are the tools often used to harmonies the internal variables with that of external variables. The controllable factors are well within the grip of the firm and comparably easy to adjust them to suit the changes.

These factors are combined into what we have referred to earlier as Marketing Mix. For instance, if the price appears to be on the higher side a decision to reduce it for a short term or even a long term is possible and could be implemented as quickly as possible. Off-season prices or discounts are examples in this connection.

(ii) Uncontrollable forces:

Various elements called uncontrollable variables affect an organisation and its marketing efforts. It is now recognized by all that even a well conceived marketing plan may fail if adversely influenced by uncontrollable factors. The offering of the firm and the impact of the uncontrollable environment interact to determine the firm’s level of success or failure in reaching its objectives.

The external forces are divided into micro-environment and macro-environment. The micro-environment consists of the suppliers, marketing intermediaries, customers etc. while the macro-environment consists of the demography, socio- cultural, political, economical, technical, legal environments etc.

Examples of Threats are:

  1. Electronic type-writer with memory replaces manual type-writer.
  2. Twin blade shaving system replaces razor shaving system.
  3. Fuel efficient small cars against old model cars.
  4. Entry of MNCs into Indian market increased competition.

Examples of opportunities are:

  1. Marketing opportunities to produce cheap small cars.
  2. Marketing opportunities to introduce fully automatic washing machines in the areas where husbands and wife’s are working.
  3. Marketing opportunities to start business in low cholesterol food items.
  4. Dismantling of price controls and introduction of market-driven price policy.