The Macro Environment

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The macro environment


Marketing's role is to match the capabilities and resources within the organisation with market opportunities external to the organisation. Understanding customer needs is central to achieving this aim, but marketers must also be aware of factors that can cause customer needs to evolve. A change in customer needs will impact upon the organisation's ability to serve its customers. This means that marketers have to be knowledgeable about what is happening in the external environment, or macro environment.
Beyond the organisations that immediately influence a company's operations lies the macro environment. This consists of the larger social and international forces that affect the society within which a
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Nations have different levels of income:
• Subsistence economies consume what they produce, so provide limited market opportunities.
• Industrial economies offer rich markets with varied goods.
The operation of the economic environment is affected by government economic policy. In struggling economies, consumer purchasing power is reduced. Consumers at different income levels spend their money on different things. Economic variables affect these spending patterns.


The economic problems faced by some countries have meant that some international marketers cannot be paid in hard currency. To make sales, therefore, they have had to barter their products. An example of this was the barter of Pepsi-Cola for Russian vodka by the Pepsi company and the former Soviet government.


This is important to marketers insofar as it is the source of many raw materials and fluctuation in supply can affect the prices paid for purchases. Furthermore, the increasing cost of some raw materials has meant that recycling of some materials, such as aluminium, has become economic.
There is increasing pressure from public opinion as to where raw materials are sourced from, and their effect on the natural environment. Paper manufacturers have had to pay attention to sourcing pulp from renewable forests, where trees are replanted to make up for those which have been felled. There is also pressure on them not to use chemicals and bleaches in their

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