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 successfully satisfy customer needs. Now that we have laid out the important marketing decision areas, we begin a new section that examines additional issues facing marketers as they manage their marketing efforts.
Up until this point our attention has focused mostly on decisions marketers control such as product design, advertising message, type of distribution, setting price, etc. 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 are experiencing a major shift in how consumers obtain their news in large part due to technological innovation (e.g., Internet, cell phones). Newspapers that understand this key external factor have embraced it as an opportunity and have expanded their delivery of news to meet the needs of customers using these new technologies. Other newspapers, which have been slow to recognize new methods for distributing news, now face serious threats to their survival as customers by-pass them in favor of new media outlets. The lesson here is that marketers must continually monitor and respond to external forces.