The bulk of material covered up to this point the Principles of Marketing Tutorials is intended to give those new to marketing a basic understanding of the decisions marketers make as they work to satisfy customer needs. Up until this point our attention has focused mostly on decisions marketers control, such as product design, promotional message, type of distribution, setting price, etc. Now that we have laid out the Marketer’s Toolkit, we begin a new section examining additional issues facing marketers as they manage their marketing efforts.
In this tutorial, we explore factors that are outside of the marketer’s control but play a major role in shaping marketers’ strategies and tactics. The external forces we discuss present both opportunities and threats with some holding the potential to dramatically alter how an industry conducts its business. For example, newspaper marketers have experienced a major shift in how consumers obtain their news in large part due to technological innovation (e.g., use of mobile devices to obtain news). Newspapers that understood this key external factor embraced it as an opportunity and expanded their delivery of news to meet the needs of customers using these new technologies. Other newspapers, which were slow to recognize new methods for distributing news, now face serious threats to their survival as they see customers bypassing them in favor of new media outlets.
The lesson here is that marketers must continually monitor and respond to important external forces. Failure to do so could have negatively impact the organization and potentially threaten its survival.