The micro-marketing environment consists of certain forces that are part of an organisation’s marketing process, but remain external to the organisation.
This micro-marketing environment that surrounds organisations can be complex by nature, however, the company has an element of control over how it operates within this environment.
Marketing helps you to manage and make sense of this complexity. The illustration above summarises the order of the immediate external marketing environment that businesses operate in.
The wider marketing environment, discussed in a separate knowledge sheet, covers all other influences that might provide opportunities or threats to the organisation. These include technological development, legal constraints, the economic environment and socio-cultural changes.
This brief overview of the world in which companies operate in demonstrates that there are many relationships that matter. These need to be managed if the company is to conduct its business successfully. The main responsibility for managing these relationships lies within the marketing department. The following need to be considered:
Current and Potential Customers
Your customers are vital to the growth and sustainability of your company. In order to grow, you must locate customers, understand their needs and then satisfy those needs both efficiently and profitably.
Your competitors however have the same remit as you when it comes to sourcing and satisfying the needs of the customer. They will make it difficult to liaise with customer groups, as by definition they are largely pursuing the same sets of customers like you. As a marketer, you must therefore not only monitor what competitors are doing in the external marketing environment today but also anticipate their likely response to your campaigns and predict what they will do tomorrow.
Your business may require a network of wholesalers, distributors and/or retailers. These ‘intermediaries’ provide an invaluable service in getting your products to the customer. You must therefore think carefully about how best to distribute your goods and build relationships. This area can be fierce in competition as not everyone can get access to the channels of distribution that they want.
One other important area to consider in the external marketing environment is your suppliers. A key supplier can be an important part of your business and may even attribute to your competitive advantage. Losing important suppliers can interrupt production flow or your competitive edge and prevent you from getting your product to your customers. Choice of suppliers, negotiation of terms and relationship building all become important tasks of the marketer.