Marketing strategies are affected and influenced by external factors. Although these factors are uncontrollable, they can by influenced by marketing activities. Marketing decisions are based on consideration of the five environmental factors which are social, economic, political/legal, technological, and competitive. Consideration of these factors can aid in the reduction of threats and maximize the opportunities (Bearden & Laforge, 2004). All these factors are considered at Staples when making successful marketing decisions.
Social environment refers to the groups of people as it relates to number characteristics, behavior, and growth projections. Two components of social environment are demographic and cultural (Bearden & Laforge, 2004). At Staples, the marketing department relies on demographics and cultural diversity to determine product line specific to certain stores. During the back to school season, promo items are sold that appeal to the popular culture. That is a time of year when students shop for supplies and accessories.
To be more than just the supply store, they offer popular tend items to increase sales above and beyond paper and pens. Economic environment considers income levels and the production of goods and services. This determines the buying power of the population served. There can be a large population but without buying power, business is not generated. The marketing group works in conjunction with real estate to make sure the locations for new or relocated stores are feasible based on demographic and economics.
Political/legal environments are governmental activities, laws and regulations as it pertains to marketing practices. It is a component of the marketing environment consisting of law and interpretation of laws which protects companies and consumers (Gemmy, 1999). One of the things that come to mind is the need to have inventory levels to cover marketing of a special promotion. Not adhering to this could potentially cause an...