In this chapter, the importance of understanding environmental forces was discussed. Marketing decisions are affected by external agencies, competitors, regulators, the economy, technology, and the social factors. Each of these elements of the marketing environment must be monitored continuously for changes that are taking place. Changes affect the way marketers go about providing want- and need-satisfying products.
Information about external forces must be gathered for each stage of the strategic marketing planning process. The purpose of collecting and analyzing information is to reduce the uncertainty associated with marketing decision making. While experience is an important resource, new problems or old problems that need new solutions require marketers to stay abreast of marketplace developments so that they can continue to offer successful products and service to the marketplace.