Examining Your Marketing Environment

Understanding the marketing environment will help you to make a strategic marketing plan to exploit both it's weaknesses and benefits.

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As you begin to put together your new strategic marketing plan, you should be sure to take into account the internal and external factors playing in your marketing environment that will be affecting you in the upcoming year. In my previous post, How Effective is Your Marketing Plan? I asked you the following you the following question:

“Did your plan discuss opportunities, threats, weaknesses and strengths for your company to exploit/solve? (This is often seen as part of a SWOT analysis but could be an 8-factor or 5-factor analysis as well.)”

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Porter’s Five Forces

Many of us are familiar with SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) as our architecture for doing that internal and external review. Personally, I prefer to use an 8-factor analysis or a 5-factor analysis to understand better the environment I’ll be operating in for my strategic marketing plan in the upcoming year.

Porter’s 5 Forces helps us to understand the competitive marketing environment our business exists in. It’s critical to understanding the forces that will prevail up the business, and therefore the marketing environment you will be competing in during the upcoming year. This is how you will determine what to market, how to market, and what your competitors will be marketing.

Eight Forces Framework

The Eight Forces Framework gives us another way to look at the way external forces move upon our business, affecting our direction and success. (Sorry I don’t recall where I found this originally, or who to attribute it to, but it’s a great framework if you know the author, please let me know so I can properly attribute it.) While it usually does not entirely fall upon the Marketing Department to do this level of strategic planning, if it is not being done elsewhere within your company the Marketing Department should take the time.

Understanding the way the external world may act upon your business will help you to understand better how and why to take advantage of it, or sidestep it, as appropriate. When you’re planning your marketing efforts for the next year, this will be vital information that will give you a leg up in your planning.

marketing environmentPerhaps the most important part of any of these analyses, however, is the paragraph (or five) that you write explaining your findings for the marketing environment and what that will mean to your business, to your strategic marketing plan, to your products, and to you reputation in the community. This work is perhaps the most important and foundational component of your marketing plan. Everything else in your plan should build upon this framework. So take your time and do it thoroughly and comprehensively, then include it in your marketing plan so that you will remember the assumptions you built your plan on throughout the year, and in future years.

Tisha Oehmen

Tisha Oehmen is a professional brand strategist and a leader in the branding field. She was recently named a member of the Global Guru’s Top 30 Brand Gurus. She is also the co-founder of Oregon-based Paradux Media Group and the best-selling author of the book, Finding Brand: The Brand Book Tutorial.

Possessing expertise in both front- and back-office operations, Tisha conceptualizes, develops, and implements initiatives to foster brand effectiveness like no other. With over 15 years of experience in branding and marketing, Tisha has successfully led large financial institutions and health care companies down the path of renaming their business.

Where Tisha really shines is in the work that isn’t done. Sometimes a name change for a business isn’t in their best interest and after meeting with Tisha, they are able to find the true value and equity that has always been in their brand. Tisha has a special knack of being able to communicate the value so that the CEO/Business owner can see its luster and then with a little polishing, make it shine company wide.

Tisha is best known for developing long lasting branding campaigns that speak to the heart of the business, the brand, and the community. True brand, no matter how big or small, has longevity. Creating branding campaigns that have longevity, that have a laser-like focus, is where Tisha thrives.

Tisha received her M.B.A. from the University of Oregon, from where she also earned a B.A. in Political Science. She enjoyed a distinguished academic career punctuated by enthusiastic and successful participation in competitive speaking events, and holds numerous awards for her skill in public speaking. Tisha is widely recognized for her ability to capture an audience’s attention with her straightforward and engaging speaking style.

When not working, she enjoys golfing, baking, reading, and hiking with her partner, Mike, and their two dogs, Chloe and Jackson. She’s also an active member of Rotary International, the Chamber of Commerce, and is a very proud supporter of the Oregon Ducks. Tisha lives in Eagle Point, Oregon.

Reader Interactions


  1. Dan Joubert says

    Thank you Tisha for a very insightful editorial; I can’t believe no one has commented on this yet.

    While I was aware of SWOT and Porter’s 5 point analysis, you brought something new to the table with the introduction of the Eight Forces Framework, that includes external factors affecting a business in a more dynamic scenario.

    Regardless of whose concept this may have been, it is cause to pause and consider stepping back objectively when you approach your marketing plans, rather than remain subjective and assumptive.


    • Tisha says

      Dan, thank you for your comment! I always find that 8-Forces helps me to take a holistic view of the environment – and as a result, make better plans.

  2. Borgman says

    This is a good blog message, I will keep the post in my mind. If you can add more video and pictures can be much better. Because they help much clear understanding. 🙂 thanks Borgman.

  3. rachat de credit says

    I like browsing your blog because you can constantly bring us new and cool things, I feel that I must at least say a thank you for your hard work.

    – Henry

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