What Makes Up the Digital Marketing Environment

& Why How Your Small Business is Impacted

If someone asked me 10 years ago, “What makes up the digital market environment?” I would’ve said the internet, websites trying to sell stuff, ads, social media, and the people who use it. I think many people would answer this question the same way and while a good guess there’s a lot missing from it. I’ll tell you about the components of the digital market environment but more importantly, I’ll explain why you should care and how it impacts your small business.

The digital marketing environment consists of the players involved directly in the marketplace (Mirco-Environment) and the external forces that impact the marketplace (Macro-Environment). The digital mirco-environment players include your customers, competitors, suppliers, and intermediaries that link you together (think Google or Yelp). The external forces making up the digital macro-environment are made up of factors including technological innovation and trends, societal factors and opinions, and both international and domestic affairs like law, culture, and economy.

Are you still struggling to see why you need to understand this? I’m sure the micro-environment seems pretty straightforward because you know your customers, who you’re up against, who can get you what you need to offer your products/services/efforts and the intermediaries that connect you all together. It’s far deeper than this but ok sure you have a decent enough grasp on it but you’ve neglected the rest of the picture.

Small businesses can’t typically afford a billboard or to be printed in nationwide magazine publications, but a Facebook post or website can reach just as many consumers, if not more with the click of a button. While this may not necessarily “level the playing field” against a competitor like Coke or Nike, it does allow newer brands with smaller budgets to communicate who they are, what they offer, and why they should be considered by people around the world. Early on in my best friend’s career as a chef, she became the personal chef for a musical superstar, DJ Khaled. DJ Khaled constantly posted her and her meals on Snapchat and this act got her exposure around the world. Yes, having a celebrity endorsement is impactful but if there were no social media, the likeliness of her becoming a known celebrity chef within a few months would’ve taken much longer to cultivate. As a result, she now cooks for household names on a daily basis. 

Data and image by bluebite.com

Those funny memes you posted may have lost some of your following because you weren’t aware that it was considered culturally offensive to an entire subset of your customer base. That flashy website you put together that asks for all types of personal information including billing information doesn’t have proper legal protections for data protection and privacy rights, so customers don’t trust your site with all the identity theft that’s been running rampant.

I’m sure you get it now. It’s not enough to know the players, what motivates them, what they need or want, and how to access them. You must know about as many of the external factors that directly impact how you operate on a digital landscape because it all impacts your business’s ability to grow, adapt, connect, and compete. The changes in the economy impact your customers which means it will impact how they engage with your business. So get to know the micro and macro environment and you will put your business in a position of strength.

Running a small business can be challenging in today’s climate but with the right tools, your endeavor can become a thriving enterprise. Planning and goal-setting are essential for consistent branding and marketing in your organization. When in doubt, consult a professional or visit King Marketing 101 for tips and resources. 


Raymell King-Foster (Ray), has a Bachelors in Business & Organizational Leadership in Orlando, FL and a professional background in non-profit, education, marketing design, and management. She is the President and Creative Director of King Creative Solutions, a creative design agency that delivers high-quality design, strategies, and expertise to their clients.

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