What is the scanning of environment and its process for a better marketing?
Environmental scanning is one of the essential components of the global environmental analysis. Environmental monitoring, environmental forecasting and environmental assessment complete the global environmental analysis. The global environment refers to the macro environment which comprises industries, markets, companies, clients and competitors. Consequently, there exist corresponding analyses on the micro-level. Suppliers, customers and competitors representing the micro environment of a company are analyzed within the industry analysis.
Environmental scanning can be defined as ‘the study and interpretation of the political, economic, social and technological events and trends which influence a business, an industry or even a total market’. The factors which need to be considered for environmental scanning are events, trends, issues and expectations of the different interest groups. Issues are often forerunners of trend breaks. A trend break could be a value shift in society, a technological innovation that might be permanent or a paradigm change. Issues are less deep-seated and can be ‘a temporary short-lived reaction to a social phenomenon’. A trend can be defined as an ‘environmental phenomenon that has adopted a structural character’.
Environmental scanning is an ongoing process and organizations are always refining the way their particular company or business goes through the process. Environmental scanning reinforces productive strategic plans and policies that can be implemented to make the organization get the maximum use of the business environment they are in. Environmental scanning not only helps the business find its strengths in its current environment but it also finds the weakness of competitors, identifies new markets, potential customers and up and coming technological platforms and devices that can be best used to sell/market the product or service. Environmental scanning helps a business improve their decision-making process in times of risk to the external and internal environments the business is in.
When scanning the environment, the organization needs to look at all the influences of the company. The scanning process makes the organization aware of what the business environment is about. It allows the organization to adapt and learn from that environment. When the company responds to an environmental scanning process it allows them to easily respond and react to any changes to both the internal and external business environment. Environmental scanning is a useful tool for strategic management as it helps them to create and develop the aims and objectives of the company which assists with the production of the company or organization.
When looking at the weaknesses of the organization’s placing in the current business environment a formal environmental scanning is used. A common formal environmental scanning process has five steps. The five steps are fundamental in the achievement of each step and may develop each other in some form:
The first step of the environmental scanning process requires the identification of the needs and the issues that have occurred that caused the organization to decide an environmental scanning is required. Before starting the process, there are several factors that need to be considered which include the purpose of the scanning, who will be participating in the processes and the amount of time and the resources that will be allocated for the duration of the scanning process.
The second step of the scanning process is gathering the information. All the needs of the organization are translated into required pieces of information that will be useful in the process.
The third step is analyzing all the information that the business have collected. When analyzing the information organizations are made aware of the trends or issues that they may be influenced by.
The step four of the environmental scanning process is all about the communication of the results obtained in step three. The appropriate decision makers analyze the translated information of the potential effects of the organization. All the information is presented in a simple and concise format.
With all the information obtained from steps three and four, step five is all about making informed decisions. Management creates appropriate steps that will position the organization in the current business environment.