behaviour. Written regulations cannot possibly cover all potential marketing abuses and existing laws are often hard to enforce, However, businesses are also governed by social codes and rules of professional ethics. Enlightened companies encourage their managers to look beyond what the regulatory systems allows and simply do the right thing. These socially responsible firms actively seek out ways to protect the long run interests of their consumers and the environment. To exercise their social responsibility and build more positive imagine, many companies are now linking themselves to worthwhile causes. The cultural environment consists of institutions and other forces that affect a society’s basic values, perceptions, preferences and behaviours. People in a given society hold many beliefs and values. Core beliefs are passed on from parents to children and are reinforced by schools, businesses, religious institutions and govt. Secondary beliefs and values are more open to change. Marketers want to predict cultural shifts to spot new opportunities or threats. People use products, brands and services as a means of self- expression, and they buy products and services that match their view of themselves. People vary in their attitudes towards corporations, govt agencies, trade unions, uni and other organizations. People are still willing to work for major organizations and expect them to carry out society’s work. But the past two decades have seen a sharp decrease in confidence in and loyalty toward business and political organizations and institutions. Waves of company downsizing bred cynicism and distrust. People vary on their attitudes towards their society- nationalist defend it, reformers want to change it, and malcontents want to leave it. Their view influences their consumption patterns and attitudes toward the marketplace. People also vary in their attitudes towards the natural world- some feel ruled by it, others feel in harmony with it, and others seek to master it. More recently people have recognized that nature is finite and fragile; it can be destroyed or spoiled by human interactions. People are now moving more towards a spirituality approach to life with more permanent values- family, community, earth, faith and more certain grasp of right and wrong. This view influences their purchasing. Many companies view the marketing environment as an uncontrollable element to which they must react and adapt. These companies passively accept the environment and don’t try to change it. Instead, they analyze environmental forces and design strategies that will help the company avoid the threats and take advantage of the opportunities the environment provides. Other companies take a proactive stance and rather than assuming that strategic options are bounded by the current environment, they develop strategies to change it. Even more, rather than simply watching and reacting to environmental events, proactive firms take aggressive actions to 14
affect the publics and forces in their marketing environment. By taking action, companies can often overcome seemingly
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