The environmental variables affecting a company are of two kinds, controllable and uncontrollable. The marketing mix is controlled by the marketing manager. There are some variables, however, that are uncontrollable and managers have to take them as givens. These include the: economic, cultural, legal, political, social environments and technological. A good marketing team scans these various environments for possible threats and/or existing opportunities.
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Finding all the possible threats to a company, should start by examine the Environmental threat "Sometimes, there is something going on in the environment that can have an adverse effect on an organization if no action is taken. As such we can point out the effect of electronic commerce on retail businesses, as we known them until few years ago, and also, the effect of digital media consuming, with technologies as the successful MP3 file format for recording and storing music, on the record industry. In both examples, acknowledgement of the environmental change would help the existing businesses to shift toward the new technologies, and prepare for a different way of earning the trust of the consumers.
Among the threats may be: .
(i) competitors, (ii) suppliers, (iii) channels, (iv) various market segments and other realizations, (v) relevant other 'publics', (vi) aspects of one's own organization beyond ordinary means of control, (vii) economic factors, (viii) macro trends among customers (behavioral change), (ix) technological change, as well as both (x) political and cultural factors. Most of these ten variables cannot be altered by the company/organization. But, many of them offer opportunity that the firm can take advantage of. And still others pose serious threat that the company, mindful of the danger they pose, can avoid. Managements of alert for these types of changes will recognize opportunities and threats before its competitors manage to do so and will have an important advantage over those competitors.