EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT INFLUENCES ON MARKETING
External environmental factors such as political conditions, the legal system, and cultural attitudes influence marketing decisions at every level, including not only global marketing but domestic marketing. The effects of these factors on international marketing is perhaps more clearcut, but their impact is felt in domestic marketing as well.
The United States is a large and diverse country. The legal system varies by state, while the political environment and cultural attitudes vary by region, which may not always correspond directly to state boundaries. The overall importance of the domestic market for most firms and industries accentuates the significance of these regional differences, and as in international marketing they can spell the difference between success and failure.
Political factors can have a dramatic effect on international marketing. China has successfully pressured Yahoo! and other internet services into acquiescing in censorship of Internet access. Explicit criticism of the Chinese government might only figure in marketing campaigns for films with a political message, but marketing slogans that seem innocuous to us ("freedom," for example, evoked by many campaigns) may spark Chinese official sensitivities. In more democratic countries, firms may have access to the political process to make their case; on the other hand, the authorities may respond to popular concerns by restricting marketing of products such as cigarettes - or other products that may be noncontroversial in the United States. Attitudes toward the United States can also influence consumer choices (Gross, 2005).
Similar political sensitivities exist in the United States. Cigarettes are a familiar example of a product for which severe restrictions have been placed on marketing. Recently, much critical attention has been focused on marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals. Firms inv...