chapter  4
50 Pages

Market and environmental analysis

If there is a single issue or theme which now links all types and sizes of organization,

it is that of the far faster pace of environmental change and the consequently greater

degree of environmental uncertainty than was typically the case even a few years

ago. This change and uncertainty has been manifested in a wide variety of ways, and

has led to a series of environmental pressures and challenges with which managers

need to come to terms: a number of these are illustrated in Figure 4.1. Although the

fourteen points identified in Figure 4.1 are not intended either as a complete or a

definitive list of the sorts of challenges that managers now face, they go some way

towards illustrating the nature of the ways in which organizational environments are

changing and how the pressures upon managers are increasing. They also illustrate

the point made in Chapter 1 that strategic marketing planning is an essentially itera-

tive process. It is iterative for a number of reasons, the most significant of which

being that, as the company’s external environment changes, so opportunities and

threats emerge and disappear only to re-emerge perhaps in a modified form at a later

stage. Because of this, the marketing planner needs to recognize the fundamental

necessity both for an environmental monitoring process that is capable of identifying

in advance any possible opportunities and threats, and for a planning system and

organizational structure that is capable of quite possibly radical change to reflect the

environment so that the effects of threats are minimized and that opportunities are