Marketing environments are the forces that affect the development, strategy, effectiveness and distribution of marketing messages. Marketing environments are typically categorized as either macro or micro. While the marketing macroenvironment consists of overarching external conditions like the national economy or taxation, the microenvironment is made up of smaller, more localized factors like your customers.

Internal Components

The people who work on your small business marketing team often make up the most influential portion of the marketing microenvironment. They have direct control over what type of marketing is produced, what messages it carries, who it aims for and why those people are targeted. In a small-business environment, no executives usually oversee the process, but the owner or manager may play such a role. This means the owner has ultimate control over the funding and direction of all campaigns and materials produced in the name of marketing. Internal microenvironmental influences are based on the opinions and experience of those who do the work.


Your suppliers have a tremendous amount of influence over what products you can deliver to the consumer. This influence also affects the marketing you produce and disseminate to promote those products. When the actions or status of a supplier affects the speed of production or availability of your full product line, your marketing may have to change in response. For example, if you own a travel agency that is currently promoting trips to Italy and the Italian national airline suddenly goes bankrupt, your marketing may have to shift focus toward another air supplier or to another destination altogether to avoid problems with clients and a false marketing message. Although external factors like supplier relations exist outside of your small business, they are considered part of the marketing microenvironment.

Vendors and Salespeople

Your vendors and salespeople have direct influence over the final result of your marketing efforts. They use the marketing materials and campaigns you put forth to drive sales and bring in new clients and more revenue. This front-line interaction with the consumer makes the vendor and salesperson powerful parts of the marketing microenvironment. They provide customer feedback and their own impressions and can drastically affect your marketing as a result. Small businesses should regularly talk to their front-line employees to ensure that the marketing message is in sync with the sales methods used at the time of sale.


The customer is a part of the marketing microenvironment on several levels. She likes or dislikes your marketing tactics and message and reacts accordingly. She decides to make a purchase with you or to buy from your competitor. She also pays the bills and allows your marketing to continue. When customer response suffers or consumer trends change, your marketing microenvironment is affected. A change in the marketing microenvironment requires a response in the marketing message and methods to right the ship. In the end, the customer is the most dominant force in the marketing microenvironmental universe.