Philip Kotler, the leader of marketing theory, defines marketing as a managerial process through which individuals or groups get what they need and want through creating and exchanging products and values with each other’ (Mercer p.11 1996). However, in order to know the needs and wants of the target market, the process itself, is not that simple, since it involves knowing the needs of the target market on a macro perspective, that includes environmental scanning followed by a yet micro approach that focuses on further fine tuning the requirements of product according to the customer’s needs, by using marketing mix tools.
For most the micro approach that involves use of marketing mix tools would be considered as being quite familiar but the need to undertake an in-depth environmental scan carries an utmost importance. It is from this scan that further tells the state or the business, the economic situation of the country and how well can it then fit its product/service, in an environment that is surrounded with different political, economical, social, technological, legal and environmental factors, that at times may be seen of going in favour of state, and at times may seem of being going against.
The need to undergo a complete environmental scan can thus be said as carrying an importance of its own because, for any state or business, knowing as to what the economy has to offer followed by what it does not, would clearly mark as to what policies or plans should be brought in, and, how each should then be used in a logical way to as to ensure maximum returns incurred from the potential market.
This Environmental scan could include PESTLE analysis that involves macro environmental scanning. Followed by this it could also involve SWOT analysis that is knowing the strengths and weakness what the business seem to posses, and, what further threats or opportunities it could also foresee in the future.
This level of scanning thus brings in an in-depth understanding for the market in general of what it has to offer, that before indentifying the needs and wants of customers from a niche perspective is considered as being very important to be known.
Such as knowing the inflation rate in the economy followed by political disturbances that may later tend to bring in a lot of hassles for businesses to operate in that particular market, and, if not that, than the technology as present in the country and how best can it be used according to what is being sold be it a product or service.
By leaving such a minimum ambiguity for business upon having undertaken the environmental scan, the impact of this scan would result in greater market exposure where investors would be looking to invest more, if and only if, all the environmental factors are in favour to their criteria and would result in strong marketing campaigns being undertaken that now have an in-depth knowledge over the market and the factors that may tend to reshape the market in the near future, may that be for good or for bad.
This environmental scan is considered as a pre requisite, since it includes most of the factors that just cannot be controlled by businesses. Such as climate, use of technology, government interventions, inflation rates, unemployment rate and many other.
Hence with such a characteristic knowing the best market is considered as being more important to be known and definitely first to be undertaken, rather than deciding over what niche segment what one would be focusing towards. A part of marketer where he/she is involved in fine tuning its marketing mix tools according to the needs of its target customers.