In View to the dynamic nature of the environment, to what extent do you consider consumers to be, in practice, central to the marketing activities?

Essay by ted121University, Bachelor'sB, March 2007

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A firm's aim is to survive and grow. Marketing helps achieve this through marketing activities, for example the process of market segmentation leads to the identification of a suitable target market. This identification means firms can manipulate a series of controllable factors- price, place, promotion and product, otherwise known as the marketing mix to produce a positive response in their target market. However a firm must also take into account the marketing environment; these are factors outside the firm's control. These can influence a firm's relationship with their target market; ignoring them can have disastrous consequences.

This essay will discuss the marketing environment as a whole, and will look in detail at certain aspects and examples to gain a picture of how the marketing environment affects a firm's ability and desire to place consumers at the heart of their marketing activities.

The marketing environment consists of factors that a company has no or very little control over.

It consists of the microenviroment and the macroenviroment. The microenviroment is factors close to the firm which can effect how well the firm satisfies the consumers' needs. These include the company, suppliers, marketing intermediaries, customers, competitors and publics. Suppliers play an important role in customer satisfaction. The company needs these supplies to provide them will the materials necessary to produce the final product. Any problem in this transaction such as supply shortages, unreliable suppliers and labour strikes can severely harm the firm's aim of consumer satisfaction, not to mention profitability.

Marketing managers need to keep a close eye on the microenviroment so they can respond or take advantage of any developments. For example if competitors lowered prices of similar goods or promoted a unique selling point, then the firm involved would need to respond appropriately by possibly rethinking the promotion section of...