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The roots of marketing extend back to antiquity. There are: “Many recorded cases of advertising in ancient and medieval trade and commerce. For example early advertising (of brothels) is found in the ruins of Pompeii” (Doyle, 2011). The further genesis of marketing shows that marketing has become more and more complex over the centuries and is still subject to constant change. Simple methods such as the naming of individual product types or the distribution of leaflets (Doyle, 2011) have developed into a dynamic sector, ranging from market research to the psychological analysis of consumer behaviourism. Marketing has gained in importance especially in the industrial revolution. Due to the division of labour, the rapid technical progress and the constantly growing range of products, as well as many other factors, marketing is subject to many changes. The following assignment deals with this topic. In particular, the essay examines the “dynamic nature of the marketing environment” and the role of the consumer in view of this environment. Furthermore, the essay deals with the question, to what extent the role of the consumer is central to the marketing activities.
However, before the actual topic is dealt with, the question is divided into two parts. These are initially considered independently of each other. Afterwards, the relationship between the two topics is explained, which leads back to the original question. The first topic is the marketing environment and its dynamic nature. To answer the question for the meaning of marketing environment, this short quotation from Oxford Reference is given: “ The combined influence of all the factors external to a company that could affect its sales […] The marketing environment cannot be controlled by the company and, because it may change frequently, requires constant monitoring” (Law, 2009). A distinction of these factors is made between factors of the macroenvironment and the microenvironment. Factors in the immediate environment of a firm, that affect the company or firm directly are referred as to be part of the firm´s microenvironment. On the other hand, the macroenvironment consists of the larger social forces that affect the microenvironment (Ellis-Chadwick and Jobber, 2013, pp.78).
Looking at the macro environment in detail, this huge pool of different factors and forces can be divided into groups. The first group can be entitled as the political and legal forces. Governments and transnational institutions like the European Commission create rules, regulations and laws that determine the general conditions for the marketing environment (Ellis-Chadwick and Jobber, 2013, pp. 79). The following example emphasises the enormous importance of laws for marketing and that the continuous change of laws significantly contributes to the dynamics of the marketing environment. In 2016, the British health department published new regulations, affecting the packages of cigarettes. Since the 20th May 2016, every cigarette package sold in the UK must have a warning label on the outside, informing the consumer about the health risks of tobacco consumerism. Obviously, this measure deterrents consumers and challenges the marketing departments of tobacco selling firms. The departments have to prevent that costumers are lost and protect the brand image. Many more reasons can be mentioned why this specific law means a small change for marketing. It is widely known, how many new laws, regulations and rules are frequently introduced. As a result, the dynamics of this sector are obvious. However, the next summary of factors and forces can be classified as economic forces. This area is dominated by supply and demand. In addition, the economic growth of economies, as well as the interest and exchange rates of single countries play and important role. Interest and exchange rates can be summarised as general market conditions (Ellis-Chadwick and Jobber, 2013, pp. 82). The latest decision by the US government to raise the tariffs for steel and aluminium can be seen as the start of an international trade war, which would have tremendous consequences for the international trade and in the end for marketing in general (Financial Times, 2018). Because the trade war would affect the import and export of products, the international marketing would have to cut back, as the size and volume of the international market would immensely decrease. The third part of the macro environment consists of the ecological and physical environmental forces. The main subjects are the exploitation of the environment, the limitation of resources, or the extraction of energy. In addition, the climate change and pollution are influencing the marketing environment (Ellis-Chadwick and Jobber, 2013, pp. 88). According to the Journal of Cleaner Production (2018), the number of customers who prefer environmental friendly products increases. In fact, the majority of customers prefers to buy green products. On the other hand, the vast majority of customers is not willing to pay a higher price. This challenges marketing, because the costs of producing environmental friendly products is higher than its alternative ecological friendly products. This example is only one reason, why ecological and environmental forces keep the marketing environment dynamic. Concerns about the climate change and the pollution of air and water play also a big role.
The cultural and social forces represent another factor, which influence leads to a dynamic marketing environment. These factors mainly consist of three key factors. The demographic change, the cultural difference within and between nations and the consumerism (Ellis-Chadwick and Jobber, 2013, pp. 92). A prime example, how demographic changes in terms of migration and cultural differences are the consequences of the Indian immigration in the United Kingdom. “By 2007, Indian nationals were accounting for over 40 percent of all work permits.” (Dhudwar and Somervile, 2012, p. 4). This quote shows, that almost the half of all emigrants with a work permit in the United Kingdom has an Indian nationality. The number was raising, as the number for foreign work permit holders in the United Kingdom amounted 1996 to 10,1 percent (Dhudwar and Somervile, 2012). It is obvious, that the consequences of this immigration flow are influencing the marketing environment. The supermarkets, for example, are all selling a huge width of products from India.
The last important group of factors is dealing with technology. Because of the fast pace technology is evolving with, the marketing environment is particularly influenced by these factors. New technology and innovation creates new marketing opportunities. On the other hand, this fast pace endangers established firms that are not adapting (Ellis-Chadwick and Jobber, 2013, pp. 96). The change in technology is clearly noticeable in everyday life. As a result, it does not take much imagination to understand how this change has a significant impact on the marketing environment.
Apart from the customers as a part of the micro environment of a business, there exist several factors. These factors will be presented first, as the customers are the second part of this essay and therefore will be explained towards the end. One high-influential factor on the business and its marketing environment is the competition. The success of a company partly depends on the competitiveness. This includes new marketing strategies and to distinguish from the competition, by providing unique possibilities that customers only can find at this specific firm. Cheaper prices or a higher quality than the competition´s products and services are only a small part of this possibilities. The constant monitoring of the competition is required. The next factor influencing companies and their marketing strategies in their immediate environment is the distribution of goods and services. Distribution is the channel to offer goods and services to the customer. The business has multiple choices on how to distribute the products. On the one hand, distribution can be ensured by the direct contact to the customer. On the other hand, goods and services can be distributed via intermediaries, for example wholesalers and retailers. Both models of distribution require different marketing concepts (Ellis-Chadwick and Jobber, 2013, p. 98).
The proof for the consumer as a central part to marketing activities can be found in the definition of the Marketing Concept, the main aim of marketing in general: “[The Marketing Concept is] The achievement of corporate goals through meeting and exceeding customer needs and expectations better than the competition” (Ellis-Chadwick and Jobber, 2013, p. 5). Moreover, the satisfaction of customers has essential advantages for a business. First, satisfied customers are more likely to be loyal to the brand whose products are responsible for their satisfaction. That leads to customer-retention. Second, meeting the customer needs and expectations leads to a positive word of mouth, better known as advocacy. In the end, a loyal and satisfied customer ensures high revenues and other financial benefits for the company (Prabhu and Ranaweera, 2003). Now that the importance of consumers for marketing has been proven, the role of the customer in marketing strategies is emphasised. For every marketing strategy the consumer behaviour is indispensable, which is defined as following: “The dynamic interaction of affect and cognition, behaviour, and environmental events by which human beings conduct the exchange aspects of their lives” (Olson and Peter, 1993, p. 8). The quote reveals the connection between the two parts of this essay. The customers are part of the marketing concept and the marketing strategies. According to Olson and Peter, the connection between the consumer, any marketing strategy and the related dynamics is that the: […] definition [of consumer behaviour] emphasizes that consumer behaviour is dynamic. This means individual consumers, consumer groups, and society at large are constantly changing and evolving across time. This has important implications for the study of consumer behaviour as well as for developing marketing strategies.” (Olson and Peter, 1993, p. 9). Hence, the connection between both the marketing environment and the role of the consumer in this environment, is that marketing is based on the consumer. Therefore, marketing adopts the dynamic nature of the consumer.
As a conclusion, the core of this work was to emphasise the relevance of the consumer in terms of marketing and marketing strategies. Moreover, the fast-evolving environment of marketing should never be underestimated. The consideration of these two key points combined with all subordinated factors ensures the financial success.
Department of Health. 2016. Tobacco Packaging Guidance. [online]. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/596139/Tobacco_Packaging_Guidance.pdf Accessed 8th March 2018.
Dhudwar, A. and Somervile, W. 2012. Indian Immigration to the United Kingdom. [online]. Available at: http://lib.jnu.ac.in/sites/default/files/pdf/imds_p/IMDS_Mar_2010_WP_21.pdfAccessed 10th March 2018.
Donnan, S. 2018. Trump adopts steel tariffs but opens door to exemption. Financial Times. [online]. 9th March 2018. Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/149e3d04-22e1-11e8-ae48-60d3531b7d11 Accessed at: 9th March 2018.
Doyle, C. 2011. A Dictionary of Marketing. [online]. 3th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available at: http://www.oxfordreference.com.ezproxy.bangor.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acref/9780199590230.001.0001/acref-9780199590230-appendix-0001# Accessed 1th March 2018.
Ellis-Chadwick, F. and Jobber, D. 2013. Principles and Practice of Marketing. 7th ed. Berkshire: McGraw Hill.
Groening, C., Sarkis, J. and Zhu, Qingyun. 2018. Green marketing consumer-level theory review: A compendium of applied theories and further research directions. Journal of Cleaner Production, 172, pp. 1848-1866. [online]. Available at: https://ac.els-cdn.com/S0272696399000212/1-s2.0-S0272696399000212-main.pdf?_tid=a5c26dbc-130c-11e8-81a5-00000aacb362&acdnat=1518780748_7cae997aa3d1afee3eb3355e4d61c85e Accessed at 7th March 2018.
Law, J. 2009. A Dictionary of Business and Management. [online]. 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Available at: http://www.oxfordreference.com.ezproxy.bangor.ac.uk/view/10.1093/acref/9780199234899.001.0001/acref-9780199234899-e-3955 Accessed 2th March 2018.
Olson, J. C. and Peter, P. P. 1993. Consumer Behavior and Marketing Strategy. 3th ed. Boston: Irwin
Prabhu, J. and Chatura, R. 2003. On the relative importance of customer satisfaction and trust as determinants of customer retention and positive word of mouth. [online]. Available at: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1057%2Fpalgrave.jt.5740100.pdf Accessed at 11th of March 2018
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