Successful marketing depends partly on the ability of a company to manage its marketing programs within its social environment. Social environmental forces are those forces that involve attitudes and shared beliefs of the population. Marketing managers are increasingly finding their tasks hard due to the fact that consumer values, lifestyles and beliefs are changing much more rapidly than they used to. For example, gender roles have been reversed, as indicated by the rising number of men who shop for groceries.
Demographics involve the study of population factors such as the percentage of the population who are of a given occupation, gender or race. This is besides general factors such as population density, size of population and location. Demographic changes can have adverse effects on marketing efforts of companies: the declining birth rate in most Western countries, the U.S. included, has an obvious effect on sales of baby products. Changes in age, ethnic and gender composition can also influence the demand for certain products within a given area.
Many people are now working longer hours than before -- almost 50 hours a week compared to just over 40 hours several decades ago. This has resulted in limited available free time for shopping and leisure activities. Time-short people seek to gain or maximize their free time. From a marketing standpoint, this means that many people, especially two-income households, with more income but less time are more willing to pay for convenience. Thus, you should market products that help consumers save time or make full use of it. One example is the yogurt drink, Nouriche, which allows consumers to multitask by driving and eating at the same time.
Shifting Gender Roles
For reasons such as the rising number of two-income families, male-female roles related to families, jobs, recreation and buying behavior have changed significantly. For example, a growing number of “house husbands” are staying at home and taking primary responsibility for child care and homemaking while their wives work full time. Employed women are also seeking a better balance between work and family. This makes them opt for time-saving products such as prepared and frozen foods and more efficient appliances and cleaning products.
Consumers are increasingly becoming conscious of environmental conservation. Savvy marketers have responded to these rising levels of consumers’ environmental consciousness with products that highlight this fact. One notable example is the development of hydrogen and electric-powered vehicles by motor companies such as Tesla and Honda. Such vehicles release non-toxic waste to the environment such as water.
- “Essentials of Marketing, 4th Edition”; Jim Blythe; 2008
- “Marketing, 4th Edition”; Bruce J. Walker, et al.; 2007
- Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images