What is an Environmental Scan?
Environmental scanning is a crucial phase of developing a marketing plan. It is the process of gathering all kinds of information to determine if the market for a product or service would be beneficial to the company.
Brown and Weiner (1985) define environmental scanning as "a kind of radar to scan the world systematically and signal the new, the unexpected, the major and the minor"
The basic purpose of environmental scanning is to determine the future direction of the organization, for example , whether the company will invest in or bring to market a particular product.
When a company performs environmental scanning, it looks for a range of things that can affect future operations. These fall under broad categories that can include:
Consider industry-specific Forces
The automobile industry:
• gas price
• new technologies
• environmental concerns
• changes in consumer preferences
• industry/government incentives
• global/foreign competitions
Consider broader forces
• economy and disposable income
• social media
• mobile technology
• consumer health
• population change (e.g., immigration, aging)
from Portland State Library, Business Strategy: Environmental Plan