Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Marketing Environment

No business exists and operates in a vacuum, but as a part and parcel of the environment in which it finds itself. Efficient and effective marketing strategy is a function of the marketing manager's ability to understand the environment in which the business operates.

The marketing environment consists of a set of factors or forces that operate or influence a company's performance in its chosen target market.

Jain (1981:69) defined the marketing environment to include all those factors that may affect the organization directly or indirectly in any perceptible way. Marketing environment factors affects the organization by the way of input and the organizations also affect the environment by output. The relationship between the organization and the marketing environment is often referred to as "inseparable" the organization and it environment are constantly in a state of: give and take" or homeostasis.

The marketing environment consist of those forces or element that impacts on the company's capability to operate effectively in its chosen target market.

The marketing environment is divided into two major components. The elements are,

Internal environment: the internal environment is concerned with the controllable variables. Controllable variables are categorized into two groups, they are; the strategy variables and unmarketable variables. External environment: the external environment is concerned with the uncontrollable variables. These variables are called uncontrollable because the marketing manager cannot directly control any of the elements. The marketing manager is left with the option of adapting to the environment by prompt observation, analysis and forecasting of these environmental factors. The external environment can further be divided into two components, the micro environment and the macro environment.

Micro environment:

The elements that fall under the micro environment consist of forces or factors in the firm's immediate environment that affect the firm's capability to perform effectively in the market place. These forces are suppliers, distributors, customers and competitors. Let us discuss each of the variables in details.


Suppliers are business customers who provide goods and services to other business organizations for resale or for productions of other goods. The behavior of certain forces in the suppliers can affect the performance of the buying organization positively or negatively. The critical factors here are the number of suppliers and the volume of suppliers to the industry. An audit of the suppliers will enable us to appreciate their strength and bargaining power, which the suppliers hold over the industry as a whole. The answers to the issues concerned have the potentials to affect the capability of firms in the industry to effectively deliver need-satisfying goods and/ or services. The trend today is that buyers attempt to persuade the supplier to provide exactly what the firms want. This process is known as "reverse marketing".


Customers are those who buy goods and/ or services produced by the company. In a purchase chain, different people play significant roles before a purchase decision is made. The various influences must be understood. The customer may be the consumer of the products where he/she is the user. The critical factor here is that needs and wants of consumers are not static. They are fast changing. The changes in the preferences of the consumer create opportunities and threats in the market. The changes called for the marshaling of separate strategy to either fit into windows of opportunities or survive the threats in the market. A good knowledge of consumers' behavior will facilitate the design and production of goods and services that the customers need and want, and not what they are able to produce.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Healthy Environment, Healthy Business

What is the difference between living healthy and not living healthy? More importantly, in business, what is the difference between a healthy, productive company and an unhealthy, unproductive company? There actually isn't a very drastic difference in action. There IS a very drastic difference in results. The difference is goals. Small steps in action make a big difference in results.

We've discussed setting goals in the past, but let's go deeper with it to see how small changes lead to big results. It starts with the difference between goals that are supported and goals that are not. As you may be able to tell (by logic or personal experience) goals that are supported are much more likely to be reached.

As I begin work with each of my clients, I see a clear issue that needs to be addressed before anything else. The issue is the environment. I'm not saying that everywhere I go has an unhealthy environment. I just need to ask the question, how healthy is the environment? Often, when we start the conversation it goes something like this:

Client Company: "I want to save money, so how can you help me get my people healthier?"
Me: "First, let's look at what is causing the current health situation." "What are you doing now to support the health goals of your employees?"

The business owner may or may not already be doing some things. Regardless, the point is to ask the question to get the environment at the top of the priorities list. If we know what the issues are and what employees' goals are, now we can start to change the environment that they work in. As we alter the environment, people are able to make changes within it.

It only makes sense to make sure that goals are supported by the environment. No one woke up this morning wanting to be unhealthy and not feel good. We all want to feel good, so if the environment can support this, we all will.

One way to illustrate this is by looking at goals strictly from a business viewpoint. If I ask the question: "What are you doing to support the performance goals of your employees?" it is much clearer for most employers.

The following scenario will illustrate this, but also show how to use what is common practice in business to create new possibilities.

Sales Goals- your company requires each sales rep to close 20 clients per month. You don't care how they do it, between calls, in person meetings, networking, or otherwise, but their goal is twenty clients by month end. If this is to be realistic, you have to look at the time they will be spending and how they will be spending it. If they have 30 hours of internal meetings, it will be difficult for them to devote much time to external communications that will lead to sales. Therefore, this would not be an environment that supported 20 clients for the sales rep. As an owner/manager, you would not set this up because the conflict would be clear.

Health goals are not quite as clear to see in business. That is where I come in! It is easy to say: "Get healthy." It is more challenging to set up an environment that will create and support health. Challenging, yes, but impossible? No. It starts with that simple question:

What can I do to support the health of my employees?

This may lead to more questions, but the answers reveal themselves quickly and clearly. You know your business needs and what each employee needs to do in order to keep things going. The health of your employees is no different. They each have goals and a certain amount of time and energy to devote to them. By creating a realistic sales goal, your sales team is able to work toward it, accomplish it and your company sees the benefit. In order to do this, you need an environment that can support these goals. If your environment doesn't support the goals, your company and everyone in it will suffer.

By creating realistic health goals and an environment that supports them, your employees will be able to work toward these goals and of course, your company sees the benefit. Best of all, your sales goals will improve as well. (See my article: Health Strategy, Appearance and Performance)

How does this happen? Goal setting is a habit. Success is a habit. Anyone that can be successful in one area can also be successful in another. By creating the environment that supports success, your employees and of course, your company will achieve more success. A healthy environment helps you create a healthy business and clearly a healthy business is a successful business.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

What Are Your Environments Costing You?

One of the fastest ways to reach your dreams is to change your environment. What are environments? There are many different kind of environments. Physical environment would constitute clearing your physical space. Cluttered space creates clutter thinking.

Spiritual Environment are the envioronments you create to connect with your spiritual side. Some people do it in nature, surrounding themselves with beauty and others do it through meditation and slowing down to listen to the whisper of their souls.

Environments are also the people we spend time with. We look at what we are working on in our lives and then surround ourselves with others who are creating the environments to reach similar goals and intentions. We then have them support us and we support them in order to create harmony and success for both involved.

A couple of examples … If better health is one of your goals, it would make sense to surround yourself with people who value health. Or, if growth and prosperity in your business is your focus, it would be smart to surround yourself with winners—people who are moving forward, inspiring each other and making a difference.

But before you make a decision to change your environment, you need to take certain steps to attract that new environment.

The first step is internal research. Ask yourself, What do I need? What kinds of changes do I need to make in my life?

Let's assume again that one of your goals is to make more money in your business while at the same time making a difference. In that case, look for an environment that can support you in achieving that dream.

The second step is to develop those qualities in yourself that will attract, effortlessly, the environment you are looking for.

For example, to create an environment where you can ask for support, you must be willing to be vulnerable so that others can support you.

Ask yourself, If I put myself in that environment, am I ready to receive support? So many times I have noticed a pattern in women who come to my coaching practice and experience being vulnerable in a safe environment. They are able to take that energy and acceptance and begin creating those same authentic and honest relationships in their other world.

The third step, once you have created the inner qualities that allow you to attract and be in that environment, is to be willing to take a risk.

Yes, making new decisions, meeting new people, stepping up big in your life, are risky! They all require stepping out of your comfort zone. But if your desire is strong enough, you will do what it takes to leap forward toward your big life. When the pain of remaining small becomes too much, you will have no choice. The leap you take doesn't have to be big and scary. It can be small, such as investing in a mastermind group or entering into a relationship with a coach who can support you in creating environments for success. And you don't have to do any of it alone. With a support system in place, you can create new environments easily.