Macroenvironmantal forces: Banking industry

Social forces include the demographic characteristics of the population and its value.

Demographic

Age structure

One important trend is the shifting age structure of the world’s population, as aging is now a phenomenon realized by people around the world.

Households and Family

The number of households has been growing, as the household size has correspondingly been declining. Also, there appears to be an increase in the number of double-income family.

Population Shifts

As a result of the over-development and congestion of the city center, previously rural area are been urbanized which caused large proportions of Asian population reallocated from city centers to suburbs.

Shifts from home to foreign countries are also common.

Culture

A second social force, culture, incorporates the set of values, ideas and attitudes that are learned and shared among the members of a group.

The changing attitudes and Roles of Men and Women

Research suggests that the majority or adults today believe men and women should equally share most responsibilities.

Beliefs, Values and Habits

The values of the population change with the demographics of the people who hold these values. People who are more educated live a busy lifestyle which indicates that they place great importance on efficiency and the up-to-date information. The increasing median age population implies the majority would be more mature when allocating incomes. The increase in the number of double-income couples results in growing emphasis on the togetherness of a family which implies higher values on leisure time spent as family.

A change in consumption orientation is also apparent. Today, and for the foreseeable future, value consciousness will drive consumption behavior.

Economic and Regulatory Forces

The economy pertains to the income, expenditures, and resources that affect the cost of running a business and household. Regulation consists of restrictions that laws in different Asian countries place on business with regard to the conduct of its activities.

Business and Consumer Expectations

Of particular concern at the macroeconomic level is the inflationary or recessionary state of the economy. During the most recent financial crisis started in 2007, the banking industry suffered huge losses. Although a lot of signs indicate that the economy is recovering, people nowadays are still not so confident about the future.

Liberalization

As a result of globalization, liberalization in trade and investment is encouraged in order to facilitate international interactions in economic and social arenas by diplomatic coordination of regulations and standards. As a result, the economy is more dynamic and efficient which becomes easier for countries to attract foreign direct investment.

Increasing Regulations on Banking Industry

Due to the financial crisis, many countries are establishing more regulations that decrease the potential to earn profits from investments and other activities at banks in order to protect both the customers and the banks.

Technological Forces

Technology refers to inventions or innovations from applied science or engineering research. Each new wave of technological innovation can replace existing products and companies.

Electronic Business Technologies

In the past two decades, consumers are becoming much more reliant on online management of their bank accounts as the number of homes and businesses enjoying broadband access to the Internet has reached true mass-market scope.

With the increasing world’s cellphone subscriber base, the lower phone prices and the expand of cellular service, a truly revolutionary wave of mobile phones that can manage financial accounts is slowly taking root all over the world.

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However, with the sophistication of the Internet has arisen the issue of cyber security, another technological change to which the banking industry has had to respond.

Implication

Obviously, the indication of an aging population has brought about substantial growth in savings and retirement plans. Smaller households and double-income families lead to higher discretionary incomes that can be saved or invested. Thus, in the banking industry, marketers should offer more savings and investment account options which enables consumers to select the most appropriate plan that can be personalized to best suit themselves.

Due to the unique attitudes, ancestry, communication preferences and lifestyles of different groups according to generation cohorts, genders and so on, the banking industry may develop different marketing programs.

As, the technology develops, banks should consider offering a comprehensive range of services, such as viewing and making transactions, paying bills, online and by cell phone in order to provide convenience for customers so as to gain customers. Moreover, for customers’ accounts safety, banks should create more secure systems and give instructions on how to protect one’s account.

Considering population shifts, establishing more branches properly with regard to the bank size and target customers would be a wise choice.

One important strategy can be offering customers foreign currency accounts responding to the increase in foreign currency use.

Another noteworthy strategy would be developing online savings accounts for the teenagers due to the increasing level of education. From this, banks can further educate the youth and encourage financial management, and develop future loyalty customers

Banks should develop low-risk investment programs as people are still not so confident about the future economy. An era of much lower risk-taking by traditional lenders has begun that will last for years.

As consumers are becoming more value conscious, the banking industry will become more competitive. Banks have to compete on value of their services in order to get customers who are requiring more transparency when choosing product.

Greatly increased regulatory oversight will restrict lenders and investment companies of all types. Alternative lending sources will be used to a growing degree by small businesses and some consumers unable to get loans elsewhere.

2.

Responses and comments:

Maybank has done the following in response to the macroenvironmental changes.

Deciding whether the response is appropriate or not, we need to consider whether there are needs and wants for it, whether it is targeting the right group , whether there are points of difference, and whether Maybank would be more likely to reach its goal by performing the response.

Offering a number of savings and investment account options such as the Gold Savings Passbook Account and Flexi Plan 2.

This response is appropriate as it responded to growth in savings and retirement plans. Moreover, different options can cater to different group of people which will broaden the bank’s target customers.

Pioneering online savings accounts for the teenage market by developing the “imteen” account.

“imteen” account is a good idea as through Multi-tiered interest rate, Passbookless, Convenient ATM access, Online access, Free Personal Accident (PA) coverage, Academic Cash rewards, Maybank will attract parents who want their children(12-18y) to learn to manage their finance with small risk, and earn future customers.

Establishing branches throughout Asia region as well as the world.

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As Maybank’s businesses are mainly in South East Asia, it is not advisable for it to launch a lot of branches outside Asia as it will not be profitable in the short run. In addition, since the world is still in the shadow of crisis, Maybank should focus more on regain trusts from customers instead of expanding its businesses quickly.

Developing the low-maintenance Premier Club account for “individuals who are constantly on the go”

This response is appropriate since it satisfies the needs of people who are busy and in need of current events and situations.

Offering its customers its range of foreign currency accounts which minimize the risk of foreign exchange rate fluctuations.

This action is appropriate as it sets clear targeted segments and tries to satisfy their needs and wants of exchanging foreign currency easily and frequently.

Offering a comprehensive range of services that is accessible online while implementing the Transaction Authorisation Code system to create a more secure environment.

These responses are obviously right as they meet customers’ needs and wants of making transactions and other services online conveniently and safely.

Offering many services accessible by cell phone. Using M-money to conduct services which is promoted to be secure and convenient.

Maybank needs to be careful when implementing the technology. Although mobile banking makes banking services possible everywhere, there are still a lot of challenges.

Firstly, Maybank have to find ways to satisfy customers with different mobile phones since it is very difficult for banks to offer mobile banking solution on any type of device.

Secondly, security of financial transactions, being executed from remote locations and transmission over the air, need to be addressed jointly by mobile application developers, wireless network service providers and the banks’ IT departments.

Thirdly, another challenge for Maybank is to scale-up the mobile banking infrastructure to handle exponential growth of the customer base as banks unable to meet the customers’ increasing expectations from the solution may lose customer confidence.

Other responses:

Responding to the changing attitudes and roles of men and women, Maybank should develop banking services catering to both genders. As indicated in the textbook, in Singapore, the United Overseas Bank launched a credit card just for ladies under the advertising theme, “The Men Don’t Get It.” Maybank should expand its female customer group by providing special services like promotions on spa, shopping, dining, and travelling and so on.

The trend of value consciousness leads to Maybank analyzing the market more carefully. Maybe it should add low-fee credit cards in response to this new orientation.

In order to earn money and minimize the risk when lending, Maybank should try to develop new ways to make loans to customers. For example, enabling lending by and between members of lending clubs, or between friends and family.

3. Some of the macroenvironmental forces affecting other industries are the similar to those in the banking industry, while some are different.

Similarities:

For social environment, demographic forces nearly affect every industry greatly. For example, age structure will influence clothing industry by deciding what styles of clothes to produce, and will impact food industry on their strategy about what aspect should they concentrate on, tastes, calorie, or eating environment. It will also affect computer industry by customers’ needs and wants changing among different age groups.

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With regard to economic forces, globalization is an important trend. It has led to the rise of massive multinational food processing companies, which often sell their foods under local names in local languages, after producing them in regional factories worldwide. Due to globalization, more and more local clothes brands are known to the world and design, production, and selling can be done in different countries. The Computer industry is a truly globalized sector, where research, development and manufacturing of components and systems have grown in the labs and manufacturing plants of mainly Asia countries.

When it comes to political environment, political risks matter similarly to almost all industries, as they need licenses, protection for properties in foreign countries, and avoidance of social unrest.

In terms of technology forces, almost every industry is affected greatly nowadays. In clothing industry, the sweeping change in apparel retailing is the rising success of e-commerce which increases efficiency. Meanwhile, in food industry, technology has revolutionized the way that we grow, transport, process, package, purchase and cook food. There is no difference in banking industry as indicated above. Most importantly, technology is essential to computer industry, not only because of its own development, but also the other corresponding techniques such as Wi-Fi, and Internet appliances.

Differences:

From my point of view, all macroenvironmental forces will affect all industries. The difference lies in to what extend they affect the industry. Some may be tiny and marketers do not need to change strategies, some may huge which force marketers to respond.

As for political environment, different laws impact differently to different industries. On one hand, Patent law, copyright law and other related laws are very important to many industries as they give inventors or author the right to protect their intellectual properties. It is especially important in computer industry, as the core of InfoTech is creation and wisdom. Also, in clothing industry, the increasing emphasis on copyright would prevent others from copying the design. However the effect would not be so significant in banking and food industry. On the other hand, the laws and regulations considering health are very crucial to food industry.

Considering social forces, culture plays an important role in many industries. However, they may not be as powerful in banking industries as they are in other industries. For food industry, people’s purchases of food largely depend on their eating habits. Nevertheless, as people are paying more attention to health and fitness, it may need to change its focus from taste to lower calorie or full nutrition. In clothing industry, culture mainly determines what a group of people would wear. Also, as the increase concern on health, people have developed a keen interest in sports apparel and workout gear. On the other hand, for banking and computer industries, the effect of culture may not be that significant.

Implication:

Before making decisions on market strategies, marketers should first carry out a careful environmental scanning analyzing the main forces that affect the industry significantly and that should concentrate on.

It is also advisable for marketers to notice all the other insignificant forces in case as the society develops, they become significant enough to affect the industry.

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