Most marketers are curious; they enjoy observing and noting what's happening in their community. Although the word "community" usually denotes a city, town, or neighborhood, we use the word here in a much broader sense. "Community" refers to the environment in which marketer operates. For Esther and Jim Williams, who operate an A&W drive-in in Mattoon, Illinois in the US, community is quite small. For Verizon Communication, community encompasses practically the entire world, extending even to outer space.
Regardless of the scope of the marketer's community, maintaining contact with it is essential. Contact could mean reading the local newspaper and listening to the local gossip. Or it could mean subscribing to information releases of several marketing research firms that monitor world events 24 hours a day, every day. Either might do the job, although the differences in financial costs would be great. In the chapter "MARKETING RESEARCH: AN AID TO DECISION MAKING" we discuss some of the more important trends in the world community. Esther and Jim would find this discussion interesting, but not very useful.
Ultimately, to be considered a responsible citizen in the environments in which a company operates, marketers have the ongoing task of engaging in only pro-societal activities and conducting business in an ethical manner. There are many marketing companies that donate millions of dollars or land to communities, clean lakes and rivers, revamp deteriorating neighborhoods, give free products to the needy, manage recycling activities, and so forth. There is no doubt that the need for marketing to continue such activities will increase.