Chapter 3: 3. 1, marketing env, the actors and forces outside marketing that affect marketing management"s ability to build and maintain successful relationships with target customers, microenvironment, consists of the actors close to the company. Suppliers: watch for supply availability and costs, supply shortages, delays, strikes etc. can cost sales in s-r and damage customer satisfaction in l-r, rising supply costs may cause price increase --> decrease sales volume. Marketing intermediaries: firms that help the company promote, sell and distribute its goods to final buyers. Resellers: distribution channel firms that help the company find customers or make sales to them. Physical distribution firms: help the company stock and move goods from points of origin to destinations. Financial intermediaries: banks, credit companies, insurance companies etc. that help finance transactions or insure against the risks associated with the buying and selling of goods. Competitors: gain strategic adv. by positioning their offerings strongly against competitors" offerings in the minds of consumers.