What Is a Macro Environment in Marketing?

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According to BusinessDictionary.com, a macro environment consists of the major external and uncontrollable factors that influence an organization's decision making and affect its performance and strategies. It refers to all forces that are part of the larger society.

There are six major macro marketing environment forces: political, economic, sociocultural, technological, legal and environmental. The political environment includes all laws, government agencies and lobbying groups that influence or limit individuals or organizations. The economic environment consists of factors that include salary levels, credit trends and pricing patterns that affect consumer spending habits and purchasing power. The sociocultural environment includes institutions and other forces that affect the basic values, behaviors and preferences of the society, all of which have an effect on consumer marketing decisions. The technological environment is comprised of those forces that affect the technology that creates new products, new markets and new marketing opportunities. The legal environment also affects an organization; even though a company cannot directly influence any laws, lobbying or becoming part of a trade organization is widely accepted in helping to influence particular legal decisions. Specific examples of macro environment influences include competitors, changes in interest rates and changes in cultural tastes, catastrophic weather or government regulations.