What is a marketing environment?
No business exists for long without making a profit. And profit depends largely on marketing.
After all, people have to know you exist before they’ll drop a dime.
But marketing is more than advertising and blogging. Your marketing strategy is everything you do as a business — how you present yourself, who you’re trying to talk to, and what you do once you get their attention.
And the right strategy for you is dependent on the environment your business lives in.
While throwing spaghetti at a wall to see what sticks might result in fabulous modern art, it’s a lousy way to market a business.
Let’s keep our spaghetti in our bowl, shall we?
This article will explore what makes up a marketing environment, how it influences your business, and show you some neat tricks for keeping your marketing team working together within it.
What is a marketing environment?
A marketing environment includes both the internal and external variables which define a business’ marketing operations.
Internal variables include things like your team’s makeup, your customers, your stakeholders, as well as your distributors and partners.
External variables include things like the technological advancements of your industry, political or legal ramifications (GDPR, for instance) as well as social and economic changes (an economic recession or global pandemic, for instance).
Understanding your marketing environment is a bit like going on a hike. How long you can safely hit the trail depends on the weather and how much water you’re carrying. You also need to be able to recognize poison ivy, what snakes to watch out for, and how rugged the terrain is — all before you set a foot outside your car.Knowing your marketing environment is more than knowing your market. It’s understanding the forces that influence you, both inside and outside of your organization, to build a desirable product and get your message out to the world.
As we mentioned above, a marketing environment is typically broken into internal and external factors.
Internal environments are in-house aspects under an organization’s control. External environments are outside of a business’s control but can and do affect how a business functions.
Let’s take a closer look at each.
What’s included in an internal marketing environment?
Think of the internal marketing environment as the part that you can control — like the temperature in your office (vs the weather outside, which would be your external marketing environment).
For a quick snapshot of the internal marketing environment, consider the 5 M’s: Manpower, Materials, Machinery, Minutes, and Money
Manpower means staffing. How many people do you have engaged in executing your marketing strategy? What are their roles? How are they managed? How do they collaborate?
Materials refer to marketing production. It can mean your marketing supply chain and the marketing assets you have available to you that support your marketing strategy (like a branding style guide or Facebook ad templates). But materials can also refer to the products and services you are selling.
Machinery means the systems used to assist you in your marketing strategy. This can include your workspace and software, such as your CRM and digital marketing tools. It can even include your servers and hardware, and your phones and VoIP systems used in communications.
Time is directly affected by your marketing planning, strategy, and processes. Like money, time is an asset. Get the most out of the time you have with efficient planning and automation platforms like monday.com.
Your marketing budget and financial activities live here. While you may not have control over your marketing campaign budget itself, you do have control over how you use it. Companies that leverage marketing budget tools, like monday.com’s numbers widget, learn how to get the most from their budgets:
What’s included in an external marketing environment?
So now you’ve gotten a handle on your internal environment, time to move outside into the wilds. You had control inside, outside is more about rolling with the punches.
The external marketing environment is a lot like sailing. While you may not have control of the seas, you can read the weather, tack with the wind, and turn the bow of your ship to avoid any incoming waves.
We can break down the external marketing environment into a micro environment and macro environment.
What is the micro environment?
If the external environment overall is like sailing, then the micro-environment is sailing in bays and inlets. Nature still happens around you, but you’re more protected from it.
The parts of your external micro marketing environment (say that 5 times fast, I dare you) are your customers, your employees, suppliers, retailers, distributors, competitors, shareholders, and any other stakeholders.
Essentially this is everyone who shapes your company’s actions and policies in some way.
Let’s say you’re responsible for creating the marketing plan for a new social media management tool…
- If your long-time competitor releases an integration with TikTok, all other things being equal, you should consider doing the same.
- If your supplier ups the price of server space, your profit margins are going to change, which could result in you needing to increase prices.
- If your customers express frustration over a new dashboard layout or UX change, you need to decide if you’re going to double down or revert.
Marketing teams need to keep the objectives of all stakeholders in mind when they set goals.
Despite being often overlooked, this includes employees. Your employees’ opinions, desires, and how they work has a direct impact on the success of any marketing project.
This can be especially difficult when dealing with remote teams.
Managing remote teams more transparently is easier with tools, like monday.com’s workload visualization (below), that let you visualize, in real time, how your remote staff is doing. This allows you to make adjustments to keep things balanced and prevent missed deadlines.
You can even keep your finger on the pulse of your staff’s opinions of changes and challenges so that they feel heard and nurtured. Employee willingness surveys can be easily created for any major internal change that may affect your marketing staff.
What is the macro environment?.
The macro environment is the world we live in. Macro external factors can make a huge impact on your business.
- Your demographic environment (your ideal customer persona), and the changes within that group
- Your cultural environment. For instance, if your target market is moving to TikTok over Snapchat
- Political changes in trade, duties, regulations, taxes, etc
- Your economic environment (like the Covid-19 epidemic or an economic or industry recession)
All these can stop a business in its tracks.
But technological changes and innovation can just as easily lead to business growth.
For instance, monday.com’s Work OS can more than double your marketing campaign ROI:
How technology can make understanding the marketing environment easier
Keeping your marketing team on top of your business’ marketing environment means they have to be in contact with every part of your company and aware of news and trends.
Workflow platforms keep your team together without having to rely on the clutter of chat rooms or email.
For instance, a tool like monday.com enables you to customize a marketing project management design to fit your team’s needs and keep your team on its toes.
When your internal or external marketing environment changes, you can respond quickly and efficiently:
Shared calendars, individual campaign management, and other tasks can all become part of a larger marketing management workflow.
When you know your marketing environment, you understand the world you are working in.
Marketing has always been about pivoting quickly and effectively to the world around (and within) your business.
A successful marketing strategy is about finding the best ways to reach customers using the latest techniques available, and adapting to (and adopting) technological advances.
And workforce platforms are the latest advances.
Keeping your team together in the virtual workspace lets you move at the speed of data. It gives your marketing team the flexibility to stay ahead in their environments regardless of the competition.
Get started today with an easy-to-customize template from monday.com to bring your team together quickly within your marketing environment.