The case of Edward Snowden in 2013 had been reported on a worldwide scale and caused a hard debate over data and privacy among many people. Going through the streets of America and asking people about Snowden shows, that although they are definitely affected by this case many of them haven´t even heard about Edward Snowden. Apart of this fact, the case of Snowden had and still has a big influence on peoples’ willingness of sharing data with companies and many turned more sensitive then before. The number of people who do not allow cookies to act on their server is increasing.

This case was totally unexpected by industrialized population and digital marketers should evaluate the importance of those forces when making decisions. Their tasks are related to the needs of consumers who are influenced by the macro-environment.

To start with, there are movements in the macro-environment, which could be assessed by management.

The waves of change

Speaking about ‘the waves of change’ means, that there are fluctuations in the characteristics of the environment, which vary at different rates over time. Pop culture compared with government and legal changes for example has a very short fluctuation while the natural environment tend to happen over longer time scales.

In general the operating companies have limited influence over the macro-environment, but as you could see in the example of Edward Snowden macro-environment can influence digital marketing decisions strongly. The most important forces for managing e-commerce are the technological and legal movements, while the social and cultural forces may have powerful impact on the image of a company.

Different forces to be considered

The key factors for marketing are technological, economic, political, legal, social and cultural forces — digital marketing by definition is a result of a technological innovation. The dramatic growth in the use of the Internet occurred because of the development of the World Wide Web, which became commercial in 1993 after development of the original concept by Tim Berners-Lee.

Here are some of the most important technologies thinking about digital marketing activities, which were invented in the last few years: www, Wi-Fi, Mobile web, Mobile apps and QR codes. In addition to them new technologies are emerging constantly!

Why macro-environment

The main reasons for keeping track of changes in the macro-environment are to be aware of how changes in social behaviour, new laws and technological innovation can crate opportunities or threats. Organisations that monitor and respond effectively to their macro-environment can create differentiation and competitive advantages which enable the business to survive and prosper.

To put it in a nutshell/ boatshell

Of course, for digital marketer it is the most important task to carry out a thorough assessment of the forces that are shaping the online marketing environment and identify which forces have implications for their own marketing planning and strategic initiatives. Research into potential customer value against the business value should be conducted.

The goal of monitoring macro environment is the Strategic agility of business to be able to react on macro-environmental forces as flexible as possible. To be even more concrete, Nokia with its mobile phones or Kodak with it films have suffered strong throwbacks in the last few year. They should have been monitoring macro-environment more carefully and react flexible, even if this means fighting against company’s own strategies.