the Environment: Actors and Forces|My course tutor

Posted: February 25th, 2023

 

  • Chapter 9 of the course text, Principles of Marketing
  • Chapter 10 of the course text, Principles of Marketing
  • It is recommended you review the course text and other resources read or watched throughout this course.

Instructions:

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Throughout this course you have explored all elements of a marketing plan. Now it is time to put your marketing plan together for the company you selected for your marketing manager internship.

Part A – General Information and Situational Analysis

Section 1 – Company Background

  • Describe the selected company and brand and a brief history.
  • Summarize the core products and services the company offers.
  • Identify direct current competitors and explain why they are direct competitors.

Section 2 – SWOT Analysis

  • Complete a SWOT analysis.
  • Propose the product or service line you want to develop a marketing plan for.
  • Justify your proposal with a SWOT-based argument for why it warrants marketing investment.

Section 3 – Macro- and Microenvironment

  • Analyze at least two elements from each quadrant of Table 8.1 in the course text as the micro- and macroenvironment factors that affect the company’s overall marketing strategy.

Part B – The Marketing Plan

Section 1 – Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning (STP)

  • Describe your segmentation approach for your proposed product or service and provide rationale for this approach.
  • Describe the target audiences or markets.
  • Create a positioning statement.

Section 2 – The Marketing Mix

  • Formulate the four Ps for your proposed product or service:
    • Product
      • Describe your core product, extended product, and the product concept.
      • Explain how you plan to achieve competitive differentiation through creating customer value in four areas
        1. Branding
        2. Packaging
        3. Support
        4. Quality
      • Price
      • Place
      • Promotion with a special focus on digital media and integrated marketing communications (IMC)

Section 3 – Global and Ethical Considerations, and Conclusion

  • Identify three business or sociocultural considerations in translating your marketing plan for use in a foreign market.
  • Discuss the company’s policy or philosophy on one of the areas below:
    • corporate social responsibility (CSR
    • green marketing practices
    • ethics
    • ethical marketing
    • diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices.
  • Conclude with a summary of your plan and why it deserves to be funded.

Helpful Tips

  • Part A
    • Section 1: Understanding the background of the company will help you complete the SWOT analysis. Use your Week 2 assignment and make sure you incorporated your instructor’s feedback and have improved your previously submitted work.
    • Section 2: Propose a new idea to market the product or service line. Avoid writing about or proposing the current marketing strategy. This is your idea, so use the SWOT analysis to defend it. Use your Week 2 assignment and make sure you incorporated your instructor’s feedback and have improved your previously submitted work.
    • Section 3: Use the information you researched and analyzed in the Week 4 video presentation to complete this section. Analyze some micro- and macroenvironment factors that affect the company’s overall marketing strategy globally. You need to provide enough details about the information you included in your slides to incorporate it with the rest of the paper.
    • Make sure you incorporated your instructor’s feedback.
  • Part B
    • Section 1: Use the information you researched and analyzed in the Week 4 discussion forum, Finding and Targeting Your People. You need to beef up the information you discussed in that discussion forum to align it with your overall marketing plan. Also, review and refer to Section 7.3 of the course text, Principles of Marketing.
    • Section 2: Spend considerable time completing the four P’s of your marketing plan; this is the essence of your plan. Someone should be able to understand your plan just by reading this section only.
    • Section 3: Research, analyze, and discuss your internship brand at the global level or in a foreign market. Also, discuss its CSR and DEI efforts.

Upload Your Project to Folio

It is recommended that you upload your completed paper to Folio. Skills, that were reviewed in Week 4, can be tagged on your Folio page along with a description of the project’s purpose. For more information on these skills, review the Marketing Skills: Developing Career ReadinessLinks to an external site. module in Week 4. For information on how to set up and use your Folio account as well as tag skills, check out the Folio webpage in the Student Success Center.

Project Submission Instructions

  • At the end of your marketing plan, add an APA-formatted appendix.
  • Save your marketing plan as a Word document.
  • Upload it to Waypoint.

Directions

Click each tab to review the instructions to complete and submit your project.

Formatting Requirements

The Marketing Plan final project paper

  • Must be 9 to 11 double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages or slides) and formatted according to APA StyleLinks to an external site. as outlined in the Writing Center’s APA Formatting for Microsoft WordLinks to an external site.resource.
  • Must include a separate title page and slide with the following:
    • Title of project in bold font
  • Space should be between title and the rest of the information on the title page.
  • Student’s name
  • Name of institution (The University of Arizona Global Campus)
  • Course name and number
  • Instructor’s name
  • Due date
  • Must utilize academic voice. See the Academic VoiceLinks to an external site. resource for additional guidance.
  • Must include an introduction and conclusion paragraph and subject headers for all parts, sections, and subsections. Your introduction paragraph needs to end with a clear thesis statement that indicates the purpose of your paper.
  • Must use at least four scholarly or credible sources in addition to the course text.
  • Must document any information used from sources in APA Style as outlined in the Writing Center’s APA: Citing Within Your PaperLinks to an external site. guide.
  • Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA Style as outlined in the Writing Center. See the APA: Formatting Your References ListLinks to an external site. resource in the Writing Center for specifications.1 In the Environment: Actors and Forces

    All companies are surrounded by pressures deriving from people (actors) and the dynamics of the current situation (forces). These actors and forces exert pressures on both the micro environment (factors specifically affecting one company) and the macro environment (factors affecting many companies). These influences create both opportunities and threats for any company. Table 8.1 depicts the relationships between these factors in the marketing environment.

    Table 8.1: Factors in the marketing environment
      Actors Forces
    Micro environment Company groups

    · Stakeholders (managers, employees, board members, stockholders, suppliers)

    · Competitors

    · The public

    · Customers

    Strategic moves by . . .

    · Competitors

    · Channel partners

    · Changes in consumer behavior

    Macro environment Leaders in . . .

    · Culture/society

    · Politics

    · Economics

    · Technology development

    · Finance

    · Law

    Trends in . . .

    · Globalization

    · Technology

    · Media

    Note. Marketers must anticipate and plan for the influence of actors and forces on a company’s micro and macro environment as they develop the marketing mix.

    Actors in the micro environment include the individuals who affect the company’s ability to serve its customers. In this group are a company’s close allies—stakeholders such as management groups, employees, board members, stockholders, and suppliers—as well as competitors and various publics. Customers also play a role in the micro environment, through their consumer behavior and their participation in the public conversation about the company in social media and elsewhere. As part of the trend toward cocreation, customers are serving on advisory boards and being invited into innovation efforts, increasing their importance as actors in the micro environment.

    Near East quinoa product in package.

    jfmdesign/iStock/Getty

    Small changes in behavior can have far-ranging effects, as illustrated by the quinoa example in the text. Can you think of any other examples?

    In the macro environment are larger societal forces and actors with widespread influence. Increasing globalization is bringing forces from around the world into play. While a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil is unlikely to affect markets in Burma or Boston, small changes in consumer, business, or governmental behavior can have far-ranging effects. For example, as described in Chapter 1, the increasing consumption of quinoa in the United States as a health food has led to negative health consequences in the South American countries where it is grown. Companies must consider not only the potential markets beyond national borders but also the interconnected effects of actors and forces in many countries.

    Toward what end do marketers study actors and forces in the marketing environment? In a word,  planning. In Chapter 2 you learned that research provides the essential inputs to strategic planning. Analysis of environmental actors and forces contributes to the first step in the marketing process. There can be no selection of a marketing strategy, development of a campaign, or execution and measurement without this crucial step.

    Micro- and macro-environmental forces make up the focus of study in this chapter. We’ll begin with a look at the actors in the micro environment. Upcoming sections in this chapter address macro-environmental forces, including sociocultural factors, technological and ecological factors, and economic, political, and legal factors.

    Actors in the Micro Environment

    Let’s examine the actors in the micro environment:

    Company groups: Employees form groups within a company, charged with carrying out its objectives and strategic plans. Important groups to consider include top management, finance, research and development (R&D), purchasing, operations, and accounting. Employees as individuals are also actors in their employer company’s micro environment. In a company with a marketing orientation, individuals in every functional role must work together to deliver value to customers.

    Members of an incorporated firm’s board of directors set policy, oversee control procedures, and govern the firm while looking after its investors’ interests. Members of this company group may include both the firm’s top management and experts or respected persons drawn from the firm’s community.

    Channel partners form another company group. Suppliers, distributors, and resellers are critical to a company’s overall ability to deliver customer value. When channel partners have problems, they can affect the other partners’ performance.

    Since marketers strive to align company stakeholders with the goal of building long-term customer relationships, shifts in the makeup of the board, management, employee force, or channel partners can affect marketing strategy.

    Competitors: Marketing-oriented companies are constantly engaged in monitoring competitors in their environment. Successful positioning would be impossible without knowledge of competitors’ strategies and trends.

    Influencing the competitive environment are factors such as each firm’s position in the industry structure (leader, challenger, etc.), the size and number of competitors, and the degree to which competition focuses on price. Also influential is each competitor’s mission, strategic motivations, and attitude—leader? underdog?—factors that foretell likely responses to each other’s strategic moves.

    Product issues also affect the competitive environment, including indirect competition from substitutes and direct competitors’ strategies regarding their offerings’ branding, quality, price, and degrees of service and support. In addition, the relation of supply to demand in the marketplace, and trends that might predict change in supply and demand, are part of the competitive landscape.

    In addition to the threat of moves by existing competitors, marketers must monitor the entry of new competitors. Technological innovation by a competitor could change demand for a company’s products or services radically and quickly. For example, e-mail replaced much of the traffic in local delivery of documents; digital photography made film processing unnecessary.

    Finally, few industries are safe from foreign competitors. Most businesses face some risk of losing their home market to a foreign company with aggressive plans for expansion.

    Publics: In the micro environment are groups with an interest in or impact on an organization. Publics include financial communities, government and citizen-action groups, and the general population with an interest in the locale or industry of a company. Most important among the publics are those intent on spreading communications—the media, including news, features, and editorial opinion platforms, and the commentators who, through blogs and other channels, share their opinions widely. Any or all of these publics can create good or bad word of mouth and thus require monitoring and relationship management.

    Customer markets: Customer markets can be consumer (buying goods and services for personal consumption), business (buying for use in production of other goods and services), resellers (retailers and others buying for resale at a profit), or government (buying to produce public services or provide goods or services to those in need of them). Customer markets influence companies through their structure, which determines the size of the customer base and the aggregate buying power available to a company. Each structure has distinct characteristics that will affect marketing strategy and thus needs close observation to detect trends that might call for shifts in strategic direction.

    Environmental Scanning

    Knowledge of the micro and macro environment must come from somewhere. Marketers’ research designed to collect information about the external marketing environment in order to identify and interpret potential trends is known as environmental scanning. Conducting an environmental scan is part of the strategic analysis phase of the marketing process, as discussed in Chapter 2. Environmental scanning is typically conducted by the marketing department’s research team.

    Environmental scanning is used to understand forces that may affect a company’s strategic plans, such as competitors’ moves. Environmental scanning brings to light trends a company’s marketers would otherwise be unable to sense.

    The process of environmental scanning serves three goals:

    · to provide an understanding of current and potential changes in the environment

    · to provide important intelligence for strategic decision makers

    · to facilitate strategic thinking at every level in the organization

    Environmental scanning is a wide-ranging activity encompassing everything a company does to keep abreast of developments in the wider environment that may affect its future. Effective environmental scanning requires maximum exposure to the widest possible range of media, customer conversations, and thought leaders in the industry, region, and political/governmental sphere (Mercer, 1998).

    One form environmental scanning takes is the pursuit of competitive intelligence. Researchers gather information about all aspects of competitors’ marketing and business activities. Another form is market sensing—the pursuit of information about customers’ behaviors, preferences, and motivations.

    Every marketer hopes to predict trends ahead of competitors. The holy grail of environmental scanning is to detect weak signals—the first signs of an emerging development in any of the environmental forces. Paradoxically, weak signals have the most strategic value when they are weakest—like the first dark cloud that warns of an approaching thunderstorm. Furthermore, it can be hard to weed out irrelevant weak signals and to properly interpret the relevant ones. Even so, weak signals are such an important source of competitive advantage that wise marketers develop market sensing programs specifically designed to detect them.

    The use of customer advisory panels is one example of marketers attempting to pick up weak signals about shifts in customer preferences or behavior. Another is careful “listening” to customers on social media platforms. When Nordstrom began noticing that its Pinterest followers were putting together virtual “wish lists,” the retailer began reflecting those choices in actual product groupings in its physical and online stores, using those weak signals from customers to increase product sales (Brown, 2013).

    Perhaps the most dramatic trend an environmental scan would pick up today is the striking increase in customer-generated information available about competing options to fill specific needs or desires. Marketers must respond strategically to be sure the differentiating features and benefits of their offerings are part of the conversation or risk being forced to compete primarily on price.

    Field Trip 8.1:  Customer-Generated Product Information

    How much customer-generated information is available about competing consumer product options? Consider rotisserie ovens as a product category. Visit Amazon.com, Walmart.com, or another major retailer’s website and enter “rotisserie oven” in the search field. Choose one of the top listings in your search results and look for customer reviews. How many do you find?

    Have you ever posted or sought customer-generated information? Why?

    If you were marketing rotisserie ovens, how might you use this information?

    In summary, marketers must anticipate and plan for the influence of actors (people, either individually or in groups) and forces (situational factors) on a company’s micro and macro environment as they develop their marketing strategy. The primary tool by which they understand these influences is environmental scanning.

    Questions to Consider

    Consider a manufacturer of vinyl records today. What would an environmental scan pick up regarding future demand for the company’s products? How might environmental factors—such as the music industry’s search for a revenue source that doesn’t lend itself to illegal downloads, consumers’ dissatisfaction with the relatively poor sound fidelity of MP3 audio files, or indie retailers’ and musicians’ embrace of the vinyl format—affect demand for vinyl records? How would these trends be classified in our schema of micro-environmental actors and macro-environmental forces?

SOLUTION

Introduction:

Unemployment remains a serious issue worldwide that can have far-reaching effects on people’s lives, local economies, and national production levels. Governments and organizations around the world have implemented various training efforts to combat the issue of unemployment. However, while the implementation of such efforts has shown positive results in some places, their overall efficacy is still up for discussion. The goal of this report is to examine the existing literature on the topic of training programs designed to boost employment prospects, and to provide recommendations to decision-makers regarding the implementation of such programs.

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