Controllable And Uncontrollable Variables In Marketing  Environment


Business marketing environment is made up of actors and forces that affect the company’s ability to develop and maintain successful transactions and relationships with its target customers. Various environmental forces influence an organization’s marketing system.

Some are external to the firm and thus are largely uncontrollable by the organization. Others are within the firm and generally controllable. A firm needs to be aware that there are favourable and unfavourable trends in its external environment

Controllable And Uncontrollable Variables In Marketing Environment

Business activities do not operate in a vacuum. But they are surrounded by environmental variables, which affect them, either positively or negatively. These marketing environmental variables are categorized into two, namely:


These refer to those variables that can be easily controlled by a business-man or a company to suit the demand of the business. They include the following:

• Product:

A company or marketer is said to have control over a product because he or she can undertake the following adjustments to suit the prevailing demands of the business.  The business can increase the capacity of output to cope with increasing demand, modify the product in terms of colour, size, shape, fashion, design,or change the package of the product and so on.

• Price:

A business or a marketer is said to have control over the price of his products because he or she can undertake the following adjustments to suit the demand of the business: it can offer discounts,  offer price reductions or use the money off e.g. he can use this slogan, “buy two get one free”.

• Promotion:

A marketer is said to have control over the promotional activities of his organization because of the following factors:  it is able to select appropriate promotional media to use depending on different situations and is able to select appropriate slogans to use for different market segments. It can do this because different advertising slogans are perceived differently in different market segments.

• Place or Distribution:

A company or a marketer is able to control distribution activities in his or her organization by way of choosing appropriate marketing channels to use in the distribution of his goods and services e.g. supermarkets, village shops, kiosks and multiple shops. This will enable customers to get goods at the right time and place.

• Suppliers:

Companies can either increase the number of suppliers or decrease it.


these refer to those variables that a marketer has little or no control over them. But they can affect a marketer’s activities either positively or negatively. As such, a marketer has to devise ways of undertaking these activities under the umbrella of these variables. These variables include:

• Demography:

This simply refers to the study of the human population as well as its structure. This can affect marketing activities in the following ways:  A low rate of population growth implies a small potential market for goods and services, and vice versa.  A high mortality rate affects negatively the demand for goods and services. Demand for goods and services always decreases.

• Technology:

Changes in technology affect marketing activities either positively or negatively. However, the marketer has no control over them. As such, he needs to try and cope

Political stability:

When a country is stable politically, a marketer’s activities are boosted. As such a marketer is free to penetrate the market and serve all the customers. But during periods of political instability in a country, marketers’ activities are jeopardized.

Legal Forces:

The government makes laws that govern a given country. These rules and regulations may affect marketing activities either positively or negatively.

 Social and Cultural Forces:

These include races, tribes, religion, class or status. Due to these differences, the marketer has to produce what suits the market e.g. Muslims do not eat pork, while Christians do not smoke and drink beer e.t.c.

 Economic Forces:

When the economy of a country is booming, people’s purchasing power becomes high. Hence they are able to purchase more goods and services. Thus, a marketer registers high sales volume. But during the economic recession, coupled with inflation and devaluation of a country’s currency, prices of essential commodities hike. Hence, people are not able to purchase all that they require due to limited purchasing power.

• Competition:

A company has no control over the activities of competing firms. But to ensure a competitive strategy is laid down, it has to compete fairly by offering better services and other strategic techniques.


Since the marketer has little or no control over the uncontrollable variables, he can adjust to them. This can be done through the following strategies:

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Competition. It is important for marketers to understand their competition’s marketing mix. This involves looking at what they are doing and how they go about doing it. This allows you to see what they could be doing better, and use that information within your marketing strategy. And depending on your size, you may be able to influence your competition when you make the most of your signature strengths.

Economy. The current economy must also be taken into consideration. Luxury items may not do as well in a hurting economy. You can see the opportunities available to offer the most affordable product. Your marketing strategy will need to be adjusted in order to maintain or increase your market position in challenging circumstances.

Regulations. Changes in current laws and regulation are also key factors for companies to keep into consideration. As laws and regulations change, what kinds of products are allowed, how they are produced, exporting and importing regulations, and shipping can change drastically

Technology. Having the latest technology can reduce costs, improve the quality of your product, and make marketing more effective. This can allow you to better target your customer, produce more efficiently, and create innovative products. As technology changes, your product or service may become obsolete, like the many manufacturers of buggy whips after the invention of the automobile. Social. Marketing can be improved by paying attention to current social trends, such as concern for the environment and going “green”. Knowing what is most important to your customers will allow you to fine tune your marketing strategy to better target customers and create the kind of products and services.

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