Marketing Environment: External Influences on Marketing Strategy

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  • 0:05 What is a Marketing Strategy?
  • 1:23 SLEPT Influences
  • 3:50 Competitive Influences
  • 4:22 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: LaSheena McAfee

LaSheena has a Ph.D in Education.

What influences how a business sells its products - and itself? In this lesson, you will learn more about external influences that affect the marketing strategy of a business.

What Is a Marketing Strategy?

A marketing strategy is a plan developed by an organization that describes how a company's products and/or services will be offered to customers. Products are tangible items produced by labor to satisfy a need. A service is a valuable action or deed performed to fulfill a demand or need.

The marketing strategy is shaped by the ultimate goals of the company and is the foundation of the marketing plan. All businesses are exposed to the outside world, which means decision-making by the company is influenced frequently. Any force outside of company employees, leadership, and business strategy that can affect an organization's performance can be considered an external influence. From fast-food restaurants to car dealerships, there are decisions that must be made by business owners, and the decisions are usually influenced by an external force.

There are six main external factors that influence the marketing strategy of a business or organization. Some organizations may perform a SLEPT (social, legal, economical, political, and technological) analysis to obtain information on major external influences on their business. Another external factor that can influence a business is competition.

Social Influences


Legal Influences

Federal and state regulations on a specific industry can also influence how a company performs. For instance, in the alcoholic beverage industry, would it be sensible to have children under the age of 18 in advertisements selling alcoholic beverages if it is against the law for minors to consume alcohol?

Economical Influences

The state of the economy and our environment has a major influence on consumer buying power. If the economy is experiencing a recession, consumers may not be able to buy what they normally buy due to lack of employment. If a person is laid off and is in danger of depleting their savings, they may rethink buying the large cup of coffee they purchase at Starbucks on the way to work every day. Instead, they may start making their coffee at home. This change will eventually affect Starbucks' bottom line.

Political Influences

Political influences can affect how consumers purchase their products. If a company seems to support one specific political party over another, the company may alienate potential customers. For instance, if a company publicly supports a Republican or Democratic official, they may unknowingly persuade their customers into or out of buying their products.

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