The Marketing Environment and Competitive Arena
As with all other business functions, marketing does not operate on its own. In this module we explain the important role of the marketing environment when developing a marketing strategy, and how marketing as a function is interconnected with what is happening: inside the organisation (the micro-environment), directly outside of the organisation (the market environment) as well as in the greater area, further away from the organisation (the macro-environment).
The macro-environment relates to external forces that can impact the whole area of operation within an organisation. The acronym PESTLE is often used to describe this environment and is explored in detail in this module. It includes; political, economic, societal, technological, legal and environmental factors.
Since the organisation operates within the macro-environment, changes that occur in this environment may influence the organisation. Some factors, like interest rate increases may have an immediate impact whereas others like improved access to education could take a little longer.
Either way, as a marketer you need to have your eye on the ball, as any changes in the macro-environment can create new opportunities or cause new threats to the organisation. Equally important is understanding competitors, as they are competing for the same attention and consumer spending power.
By analysing competitors, you will be able to understand their strategies and be in a position to develop products or services that are unique and different from theirs, allowing your organisation to create and maintain a competitive advantage. A competitor analysis is a critical part of any marketing strategy, as it helps formulate which competitors are most profitable in the short term versus the long term.
By analysing competitors from a customer’s point of view, you can identify major strengths and weaknesses in their products or service. In this module we explore different types of competitors and how best to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses.