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The bargaining power of the supplier gets maximised in the following situations:

1. The seller firm is a monopoly or an oligopoly firm.

2. The supplier is not obliged to contend with other substitute products for sale to the buyer group.

3. The buyer is not an important customer.

4. The buyer is not an important customer. The suppliers’ product is an important Jo input to the buyer’s business and finished bu product.

5. The supplier poses a real threat of forward integration.

(vii) Market intermediaries: Every producer has to have a number of intermediaries for promoting, selling and distributing the goods and serv ultimate consumers. These intermediaries may be individual or business firms. These intermediaries are the middlemen (wholesalers, retailers, agents, etc.), distributing agencies market service agencies and financial institutions.

(viii) Customers: The customers may be classified as:

a. Ultimate customers: These customers may be individual and householders.

b. Industrial customers: These customers are organisations which buy goods and services for producing other goods and services for the purpose of earning profits or fulfilling other objectives.

c. Resellers: They are the intermediaries who purchase goods with a view to reselling them at a profit. They can be wholesalers, retailers, distributors, etc.

d. Government and other non-profit customers: These customers purchase goods and services and make them available to those for whom they are produced, for their consumption in most cases.

e. International customers: These customers are individuals and organisations of other countries who buy goods and services either for consumption or for industrial use. Such buyers may be consumers, producers, resellers and governments.

f. Competitor: Competitors are those who sell the goods and services of the same and similar description in the same market. Apart from competition on price, there is likely to be product differentiation. Therefore, it is necessary to build an efficient system of marketing. This will bring confidence and better results.

g. Public: It is the duty of the company to satisfy the people at large along with its competitors and the consumers. It is necessary for future growth. The actions of the company do influence the other groups forming the general public for the company. A public is defined as ‘any group that has an actual or potential interest in or impact on a company’s ability to achieve its objective. Public relations are certainly a broad marketing operation which must be fully taken care of.

2. Macro-environment

The macro marketing environment takes into account all factors that can influence an organisation, but are outside of their control. These are: political, economic, socio-cultural and technological.

(a) The political environment: These are laws, procedures, practices and policies formulated by government to regulate and facilitate business activities. It also involves the stability or instability of the government. These include all laws, government agencies and lobbying groups that influence or restrict individuals or organisations. It is important for marketers to be aware of these restrictions as they can be complex. Some products are regulated by both state and federal laws. There are even restrictions for some products as to who the target market may be. For example, cigarettes should not be marketed to younger children. There are also many restrictions on subliminal messages and monopolies. As laws and regulations change often, this is a very important aspect for a marketer to monitor.

(b) The economic environment: These consist of inflation, national income and the economic system of a country. It also includes changes in the business cycle. A marketer should be able to adjust to such changes in order to operate successfully. It consists of all factors such as salary levels, credit trends and pricing patterns that affect consumers’ spending habits and purchasing power. This refers to the purchasing power of potential customers and the ways in which people spend their money. The four stages of the economy cycle through prosperity, recession, depression and recovery. Consumers spend more during the prosperity stage than in the depression stage, which is when the lowest amount of consumer spending takes place. Your marketing campaign, product offerings and pricing must be taken into account for the current economic cycle to be successful.

(c) The social environment: These are values and norms of the society, interest groups, reference groups and social class. These factors influence buying C decisions of consumers, including institutions and other forces that affect the basic values, behaviours, and preferences of the society- all of which have an effect on consumer marketing decisions.

(d) The technological environment: These are changes or advancement in process, equipment and devices that are used to accomplish the tasks of the marketer or an organisation. It is perhaps one of the fastest changing factors in the macro environment. This includes all developments from antibiotics and surgery to nuclear missiles and chemical weapons to automobiles and credit cards. As these markets develop it can create new markets and new uses for products. It also requires a company to stay ahead of others and update their own technology as it becomes outdated. They must be informed of trends so they can be part of the upcoming events rather than becoming outdated and suffering the consequences financially.

(e) Cultural factors: These are ways of life of the people such as language, aesthet ics and their perception. A marketer should learn to adjust to the culture of the people for him or her to operate suc cessfully.

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