Analysing The Environment Introduction - Marketing Management

we outlined the nature and significance of strategic marketing together with an introduction to the essential components of analysis, planning, implementation and control required to develop a strategic approach to this function. We now return to this strategic theme by looking at the importance of analysing the environment for strategic marketing.

Changes and trends in the environment are the primary source of major marketing opportunities and threats so it is essential that the strategic marketer monitors, interprets and responds to such changes and trends. However, the word ‘environment’ encompasses many factors, often complexly linked, which affect the survival of any enterprise. Specifically, this chapter examines the range of environmental factors, discusses how to assess the impact of these factors, and suggests a framework for environmental scanning. The identification of opportunities and threats represents one half of SWOT analysis.

The other half entails the appraisal of organizational resources in order to ascertain strengths and weaknesses. As shown in Chapter 1, assessment of possible opportunities and threats and the appraisal of strengths and weaknesses only make sense if we consider both internal and external factors together. It is difficult for the individual company to assess the strategic implications of environmental trends and changes and the extent to which they will pose opportunities or threats, without considering these trends and changes in the context of organizational resources. In addition, selection and implementation of strategies are dependent on organizational strengths and weaknesses. Resource analysis and assessment of organizational strengths and weakness that stem from this analysis are a key task of strategic marketing management. This important task poses a difficult and complex dilemma.

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