A marketing plan is a powerful tool used by businesses who want to get ahead and plan for the future of their company. If a company is looking to manufacture and sell cellular phones then they would need a marketing plan to stay above the competition and other varying factors. There are several variables that go into creating a marketing plan. The main variables are economic, demographic, technological, political and cultural and they are to be included in the marketing plan. Successful companies both big and small most often have a marketing plan (Marketing plans, 2013). It starts out months in advance before being executed, typically. If I were to execute a marketing plan, I would definitely start out at least a month in advance. Even though some businesses are very private about their marketing plans for competitive reasons, it is important for every member of the firm to be able to view details of the marketing plan (Marketing plans, 2013).
Internal and External environmental factors
There are two different types of environmental factors and those are internal and external factors. The type of factor that a company has control over would be the internal factors, because those things are happening internally. What are internal environmental factors? They are: management, finance and accounting, research and development, manufacturing, purchasing, company image, and brand equity (ebstudies, 2012). The firm is responsible for their own management team as well as the financing and accounting departments. The research and development takes place within the firm and with everybody involved with the firm. The manufacturing and purchasing is all a product of what goes on inside of the firm.
Some external factors, factors that the firm doesn’t necessarily have control over are the customers, the government, competitors, and the public. It would be difficult to keep track of each one of those things when drawing up a marketing plan. With the competition it is likely that they have their own marketing plan and want to keep that information away from the firm just as the firm wants to keep the information away from them. The external factors also include the macro and micro environment (ebstudies, 2012). The macro environment factors are very much uncontrollable.
Macro environmental factors
The macro environment factors are the demographics, economics, physical forces, technological factors, political and legal forces, and social and cultural forces (ebstudies, 2012). Marketers would be interested to know the demographics of the market that they’re in. They can include it into the plan but have no control over the demographics of the environment. The economic factors relate to the production and manufacturing and could have an effect on both of those things (ebstudies, 2012). Physical forces refer to natural renewable resources and those things can also affect the production and manufacturing as well as the availability of such necessary resources (ebstudies, 2012). Technology affects a business because the machinery affects the production and manufacturing of products and materials (ebstudies, 2012). Marketing decisions, sound marketing decisions cannot be made without taking into account the political and legal forces in their environment which greatly shape the decision making (ebstudies, 2012). The social and cultural forces affect marketing because these forces demand that products be made available and benefit everybody in society (ebstudies, 2012).
Social and Cultural environmental factors
The most important environmental factors are the social and cultural factors. The social and cultural factors of the environment help to decide what type of customers there are going to be and the types of customers that need to be targeted (Linton, 2013). The culture of the customers also shapes their preference (Linton, 2013). If their preference is shaped by the environment than it would be good for marketers to look into what those preferences are. Certain cultural groups may prefer distinctive colors so it is important to remember those colors when it comes to packaging of the products that customers prefer (Linton, 2013).
Competition is also another big influence and people might disagree that social and cultural factors are the most important for that reason. Competition sets the tone for whole environment. Competitors always want to have that competitive edge over the other firms in the environment. A marketer must always be aware of the factors that are present in another company that is competing with them. This way they can adjust their present plan accordingly and gain their competitive edge.
The competition wouldn’t matter at all if the competitor was well aware of the cultural and social factors surrounding them and this company wasn’t. It is important for marketers to understand their target market as well as their preferences. These preferences are based on what the target market prefers as well as their culture. To better understand the culture of the environment it would be beneficial to observe what is necessary and what might be needed in the current environment that people are living. This would be the solution to discovering where the marketing plan should go.
Compromises are often feasible when drawing up a marketing plan and both factors could be taken into consideration when drawing up the marketing plan. To some degree both of the important outside factors go hand in hand. A competitor could have a vast knowledge of cultural and social standing of the world around them whereas a marketer within their own firm may not.
Ebstudies (2012). Various Environmental Factors Affecting Marketing Function. Retrieved from, http://ebstudies.wordpress.com/2012/07/19/various-environmental-factors-affecting-marketing-function/
Linton, Ian (2013). Seven Elements Of The Domestic Marketing Environment. Retrieved from, http://smallbusiness.chron.com/seven-elements-domestic-marketing-environment-33355.html
Marketing Plan (2013). How To Create A Marketing Plan. Retrieved from, http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/43018