In order to properly identify opportunities and monitor threats, the company ought to begin with a thoroughgoing understanding of the marketing environment in which the firm operates. The marketing environment consists of all the forces and actors outside marketing that influence the marketing management's ability to maintain and develop successful relationships with its focused customers. Though these factors and forces can vary depending on the particular company and industrial group, generally they may be divided into wide macro-environmental and micro-environmental components. For most of the companies, the micro-environmental components are: the suppliers,company, marketing channel firms (intermediaries), competitors, customer markets and publics. The macro-environmental components are thought to be: economic, demographic, natural, political, technological and cultural forces. The intelligent marketing manager knows that he or she cannot always influence environmental forces. Smart managers can take a proactive, instead of reactive, approach to the marketing environment.
Since a company's marketing management gather and processes data on these environments, it ought to be ever vigilant in its efforts to apply what it studied to developing opportunities and dealing with threats. Studies have shown that outstanding companies not just have a keen sense of customer but an appreciation of the environmental forces swirling around them. In constant looking at the dynamic changes which are occurring in the aforementioned environments, companies are better organized to adapt to change, prepare long-range strategy, meet the requirements of today's and tomorrow's customers, and compete with the intense competition exit in the global marketplace.