When writing a marketing plan, a key part of the process is the consideration of the environment for which the company is operating in, or for which the company intends to enter. As such, the application of a set of standardised industry tools will allow a comprehensive environmental analysis to take place.
Writing a Marketing Plan: SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis A SWOT analysis is a standard industry tool which sees the evaluation of both the internal and external environments of a business. Here the analysis should take account of the companys key strategic strengths and weaknesses, which constitutes the internal environment.
The second part of the SWOT analysis is to consider the key opportunities and threats, which are present within the external environment. Having identified both these internal and external environments, the role of the marketing plan is to give an indication of how the company will create a link between the elements.
On the one hand, internal strengths should be matched with opportunities within the external environment. On the other hand, the plan should also indicate how the company will mitigate against the problems posed by threats from both external sources and internal weaknesses.
Writing a Marketing Plan: PEST Analysis
PEST Analysis A PEST analysis considers the Macro level factors of the external environment, which have an impact upon how a firm operates. The core factors are highlight below however, an extended version is sometimes used, which considers the addition of Environmental and Legal factors.
Political Considers issues related to government policy. Such issues include taxation policy, subsidies and the states management of labour issues.
Economic This factor considers the performance of the economy in general. Key factors to consider include GDP, economic growth and the business cycle.
Social This section should consider social trends within the target area. Trends to consider include, demographic ones such as the age of the population, as well as wider trends such as increasing social mobility.
Technological This section considers what technological developments will have an impact upon the business. Developments may be specific to a business, such as new production techniques. There may also be more generalised considerations, such as the development of the internet as a distribution channel.
Whilst these are the two basic tools of an environmental analysis, this is by no means a comprehensive list of tools which may be used. Additional tools to consider in environmental analysis include Porters five forces analysis, as well an analysis of specific competitors and players within the market.