Besides dealing with various governmental groups, marketers must also pay close attention to other groups that can affect marketing activity. The most important of these groups are those that have an interest or stake in the company. While such groups are not backed directly by the power of a government they can still command a great deal of power especially in terms of swaying public opinion, which sometimes leads to governmental action.
Influential stakeholders can be divided into two categories:
- Connected Stakeholders – These stakeholders consist of groups that regularly interact with the marketing organization and often hold important roles in helping the marketer succeed. Examples include: supply and distribution partners (e.g., distributors, material suppliers), industry standards groups, and support companies (e.g., advertising agencies). To address concerns raised by these groups often requires direct communication by management with the stakeholders.
- Peripheral Stakeholders – These stakeholders consist of groups that may not routinely impact the marketer unless a specific issue arises that draws their attention. Examples include: religious organizations, community activists, and cause supporters. To address concerns raised by these groups marketers often use public relations professionals as their first line of communication.