Marketing Plan: Environmental Analysis

The Environmental Analysis presents information regarding the organization’s current situation with respect to the marketing environment, the current target market or markets, and the firm’s current marketing objectives and performance. 

(See Sample Marketing Plan for example) attached

Think about your area. What is a business that is missing? What threats or opportunities would your have to succeed in your area. For example, you live in a small town and there isn’t a coffee shop. Would a coffee shop be successful in this environment? What would you need to consider about the environment before you opened a coffee shop? Are their retirees, farmers, college students? What hours would you need to be open to accommodate schedules in this area? 

I live in St. Albans Vermont 05478 and I believe that we could use a bowling ally in town. 

Marketing Plan


Star Software Inc. is a small, family-owned corporation in the first year of a transition from

first-generation to second-generation. Star Software sells custom-made calendar

programs and related items to about 400 businesses, which use the software mainly for promo-

tion. As Star’s business is highly seasonal, its 18 employees face scheduling challenges, with

greatest demand during October, November, and December. In other months, the equipment

and staff are sometimes idle. A major challenge facing Star Software is how to increase profits

and make better use of its resources during the off-season.

An evaluation of the company’s internal strengths and weaknesses and external oppor-

tunities and threats served as the foundation for this strategic analysis and marketing plan.

The plan focuses on the company’s growth strategy, suggesting ways it can build on existing

customer relationships, and on the development of new products and/or services targeted to

specific customer niches. Since Star Software markets a product used primarily as a promo-

tional tool by its clients, it is currently considered a business-to-business marketer.


Founded as a commercial printing company, Star Software Inc. has evolved into a marketer of

high-quality, custom-made calendar software and related specialty items.

In the mid-1960s, Bob McLemore purchased the company and, through his full-time commit-

ment, turned it into a very successful family-run operation. In the near future, McLemore’s

37 -year-old son, Jonathan, will take over as Star Software’s president and allow the elder

McLemore to scale back his involvement.

A. The Marketing Environment 1. Competitive forces. The competition in the specialty advertising industry is very

strong on a local and regional basis but somewhat weak nationally. Sales figures for

the industry as a whole are difficult to obtain since very little business is conducted on

a national scale.

The competition within the calendar industry is strong in the paper segment and weak

in the software-based segment. Currently, paper calendars hold a dominant market share

of approximately 65 percent; however, the software-based segment is growing rapidly.

The 35 percent market share held by software-based calendars is divided among many

Sample Marketing Plan

The Executive Summary, one of the most frequently read components of a marketing plan, is a synopsis of the marketing plan. Although it does not provide detailed information, it does present an overview of the plan so readers can identify key issues pertain- ing to their roles in the planning and implementation processes. Although this is the first section in a marketing plan, it is usually written last.


The Environmental Analysis presents information regarding the organization’s current situation with respect to the marketing environment, the current target market(s), and the firm’s current marketing objec- tives and performance.



This section of the envi- ronmental analysis considers relevant external environmental forces, such as competitive, economic, political, legal and regulatory, technological, and sociocultural forces.



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different firms. Star Software, which holds 30 percent of the software-based calendar

market, is the only company that markets a software-based calendar on a national basis.

As software-based calendars become more popular, additional competition is expected to

enter the market.

2. Economic forces. Nationwide, many companies have reduced their overall promotion budgets as they face the need to cut expenses. However, most of these reductions have

occurred in the budgets for mass-media advertising (television, magazines, and newspa-

pers). While overall promotion budgets are shrinking, many companies are diverting a

larger percentage of their budgets to sales promotion and specialty advertising. This trend

is expected to continue as a weak, slow-growth economy forces most companies to focus

more on the “value” they receive from their promotion dollars. Specialty advertising, such

as can be done with a software-based calendar, provides this value.

3. Political forces. There are no expected political influences or events that could affect the operations of Star Software.

4. Legal and regulatory forces. In recent years, more attention has been paid to “junk mail.” A large percentage of specialty advertising products are distributed by mail, and some

of these products are considered “junk.” Although this label is attached to the type of

products Star Software makes, the problem of junk mail falls on Star’s clients and not

on the company itself. While legislation may be introduced to curb the tide of adver-

tising delivered through the mail, the fact that more companies are diverting their pro-

motion dollars to specialty advertising indicates that most do not fear the potential for

increased legislation.

5. Technological forces. A major technological trend involves the growing popularity of tab- let computers. Tablet computers, such as the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab, provide

consumers with increased mobility and application services. Tablet computers have begun

taking market share away from desktop, laptop, and netbook computers. As this trend

continues, current software-based calendar products will have to be adapted to match the

new technology.

6. Sociocultural forces. In today’s society, consumers have less time for work or leisure. The hallmarks of today’s successful products are convenience and ease of use. In short,

if the product does not save time and is not e