What Is A PESTEL Analysis And Why It Matters

The PESTEL analysis is a framework that can help marketers assess whether macro-economic factors are affecting an organization. This is a critical step that helps organizations identify potential threats and weaknesses that can be used in other frameworks such as SWOT or to gain a broader and better understanding of the overall marketing environment.

Why does a PESTEL analysis matter?

A PESTEL analysis is one of the tools and frameworks that marketers can use to assess the impact of external market forces on the organization’s growth and profitability over time.

Indeed, the PESTEL analysis becomes a companion framework to other tools, and frameworks, like the SWOT analysis as it allows to gain a broader perspective on the overall market and industry where the organization operates.

In too many cases marketers fall into the trap of analyzing an organization as it operated in a vacuum. Understanding macro trends, and how those are and will affect the organization is a crucial skill for marketers to gain perspective on the company’s overall marketing strategy.

And to perform a better analysis of the current and future scenario. This also allows an organization to formulate a better business strategy. This also helps organizations adapt their business models based on the changing macroeconomic landscape.

Related: Business Strategy: Definition, Examples, And Case Studies

What are the critical components of a PESTEL analysis?

The PESTEL analysis comprises six macro-environmental factors that span from political to legal:

  • Political: how much is the government involved in the economy or in that particular market? And how much a government policy can influence that?
  • Economic: how many economic factors, such as interest rates, employment, foreign exchanged, unemployment and other factors will affect the company’s profitability?
  • Social: how much emerging trends or demographics, such as population growth, age distribution, and so on affect the organization? 
  • Technological:  how much technological innovation, development, and disruption might affect a market or the industry in which the organization operates? 
  • Environmental: how much the surrounding environment and the impact of a business on ecological aspects are influencing the organization’s policies as well?
  • Legal: how will change in legislation affect the organization’s profitability, sustainability, and growth?

Other connected frameworks

Porter’s Five Forces

Porter’s Five Forces is a model that helps organizations to gain a better understanding of their industries and competition. Published for the first time by Professor Michael Porter in his book “Competitive Strategy” in the 1980s. The model breaks down industries and markets by analyzing them through five forces.

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT Analysis is a framework used for evaluating the business‘s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It can aid in identifying the problematic areas of your business so that you can maximize your opportunities. It will also alert you to the challenges your organization might face in the future.

BCG Matrix

In the 1970s, Bruce D. Henderson, founder of the Boston Consulting Group, came up with The Product Portfolio (aka BCG Matrix, or Growth-share Matrix), which would look at a successful business product portfolio based on potential growth and market shares. It divided products into four main categories: cash cows, pets (dogs), question marks, and stars.

Balanced Scorecard

First proposed by accounting academic Robert Kaplan, the balanced scorecard is a management system that allows an organization to focus on big-picture strategic goals. The four perspectives of the balanced scorecard include financial, customer, business process, and organizational capacity. From there, according to the balanced scorecard, it’s possible to have a holistic view of the business.

Blue Ocean Strategy 

A blue ocean is a strategy where the boundaries of existing markets are redefined, and new uncontested markets are created. At its core, there is value innovation, for which uncontested markets are created, where competition is made irrelevant. And the cost-value trade-off is broken. Thus, companies following a blue ocean strategy offer much more value at a lower cost for the end customers.

Scenario Planning

Businesses use scenario planning to make assumptions on future events and how their respective business environments may change in response to those future events. Therefore, scenario planning identifies specific uncertainties – or different realities and how they might affect future business operations. Scenario planning attempts at better strategic decision making by avoiding two pitfalls: underprediction, and overprediction.


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Published by

Gennaro Cuofano

Gennaro is the creator of FourWeekMBA which target is to reach over two million business students, executives, and aspiring entrepreneurs in 2020 alone | He is also Head of Business Development for a high-tech startup, which he helped grow at double-digit rate | Gennaro earned an International MBA with emphasis on Corporate Finance and Business Strategy | Visit The FourWeekMBA BizSchool | Or Get in touch with Gennaro here

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