Social networking is at the most popular; currently and with a strategic marketing plan, a venture into social network is bound to boom at a very fast rate. Discussed below is a marketing plan relating to a social network that is supposed to be launched soon. I have related different issues from macro level factors in external environment, The Porters Forces of competition and how political, economic and social factors can affect the establishment and success of a social network. Thorough scrutiny of macro level factors before starting an online social network is crucial.
To start with, Competitors’ actions affect the capability of business ventures to remain profitable, because they will continually seek to outclass each other, by improving their product and services, and by seeking to offer a better value for money. This has seen further enhanced to the already existing social networks and lowered rates for services offered in an attempt to woo the consumers.
The economic system is referred to an organization of the economy in the allocation of resources. There is always a tendency for the economy to undergo periods of faster and slower rate of growth. Businesses improve when the economy is booming, and the living standards are rising (David & Song, 2008). This has been the case with the market currently able to accommodate almost all the up coming social networks. This has been achieved through the improving economies especially from the third-world countries which are rapidly embracing technology.
The social system is the source of attitudes, ideas and behavioral patterns which get concerned in human relationships. Particularly, businesses get influenced by customer attitudes and behaviors which rely on factors, such as the age structure of a population, leisure and the nature of work. This has worked in favor of anybody in the quest to launch a social network. One needs to have a target group. This factor has seen almost all the social networks designed and targeting the youth.
The political system devises the rules and framework within which businesses operate. Government policies support and encourage some business activities, while discouraging others. This factor has been extremely favorable with most governments promoting technological innovation such as social networks. This is because it creates job opportunities and promotes business activities through faster and cheaper communication.
To many firms, local political considerations are of prime concern. However, companies involved in international operations have to deal with the additional dimension of international political progress. Majority of companies exports and may have joint business ventures or branch companies abroad. Particularly in the so-called ‘Third World’ countries, the domestic, political and economic status is usually less stable than in the developed nations (Daniel, 2009). Marketing companies operating in volatile conditions also have to monitor the local political situation clearly. This can impact negatively on social networks because they might be forced to conform to the political situations in some countries or risk a ban in those countries. This has happened before with Google banned from operating in China. In summary, whichever industry the marketing firm involves itself in, variations in the political and legal environments at both the international and domestic levels can affect the firm and, therefore, needs to be understood fully.
Firms are concerned about economic factors because among other things, they influence profits, demands, costs and prices. These factors are particularly out of control of an individual firm though their effects can be profound. Economic and political forces are often related. The increasing demand for more social networks with more features and lowered prices is a superb example of the effect of economic structure on the development of social networks.
A high level of unemployment decreases effective demand for most of the luxury consumer goods, negatively affecting the demand for the expertise and industrial machinery required to come up with such goods. The other domestic economic variables are the level of domestic rates of interest and the rate of inflation, which affect potential return from new investments and can prevent the adoption and diffusion of latest technologies.
Social-cultural macro level manifests itself in changing tastes, changing priorities and changing purchasing behavior. The services the consumers demand is a function of their social conditioning and consequently their beliefs and attitudes. This factor has too impacted negatively on the development of social networks since some communities and churches still regard social networks more like a taboo. This has been brought about by focusing more on their negative impacts which are outdid by the positive ones by far, discouraging the members to join the networks..
Michael Porter’s forces are based on the view that a corporate strategy ought to meet the threats and opportunities in the firms’ external environment. Especially, competitive strategy must be based on an understanding of the industry structures and the way in which they change.
The entry of competitors refers to how easy or difficult it is for new entrants to attain competitiveness and the barriers that exist. This can be affected by the political environment where the government might set high standards for joining the social network industry.
The threat of substitutes can be described as how easily can a particular product or service be substituted by another cheaper and more effective one. This can be affected by the economic environment where people become wealthier and demand more quality services than a certain social network can provide. This can be accelerated by the rising technological innovations. The bargaining power of buyers is currently high for social networks considering the awareness that has been created concerning the advantages of a social network (Wasserman & Faust, 1994). It refers to how strong position of the buyers is and if they can work together to buy large volumes.
The suppliers bargaining power can be taken to mean the strength and the position of sellers or whether there is a monopoly. The government, in case of monopoly, can move in to make the market favorable for new entrants to enhance provision of quality services. The rivalry among the existing players is also another of Porter’s competition forces.
Considering all factors, there is a favorable environment for the establishment of a local network in the current world full of technological advancements. Also, it would be more advisable to concentrate on a niche application targeting a particular group because as such you are able to provide the latest and very high quality services.