There are five main elements to the macro integrated marketing communications (IMC) environment: social forces, political forces, economic forces, natural forces and technological forces, and these may be collectively known as the SPENT factors. Political factors relate to the opportunities and restrictions that are in place as a result of the political environment and the legal system that applies to a given market. Having explored all of the external macro factors that impact upon the market as a whole, the next area for scrutiny in the IMC environment are the market characteristics themselves. An IMC environmental analysis is only of any real value if it is used to drive the formulation of an effective IMC strategy. Markets are dynamic entities and in order for an organisation to claim real knowledge of its markets and the potential opportunities within it, they must undertake a process of environmental analysis on a continuous and an ongoing basis.