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Pest Market Analysis Tool

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Pest Market Analysis Tool

PEST analysis method and examples, with free PEST template

The PEST analysis is a useful tool for understanding market growth or decline, and as such the position, potential and direction for a business. A PEST analysis is a business measurement tool. PEST is an acronym for Political, Economic, Social and Technological factors, which are used to assess the market for a business or organizational unit. The PEST analysis headings are a framework for reviewing a situation, and can also, like SWOT analysis, and Porter's Five Forces model, be used to review a strategy or position, direction of a company, a marketing proposition, or idea. Completing a PEST analysis is very simple, and is a good subject for workshop sessions. PEST analysis also works well in brainstorming meetings. Use PEST analysis for business and strategic planning, marketing planning, business and product development and research reports. You can also use PEST analysis exercises for team building games. PEST analysis is similar to SWOT analysis - it's simple, quick, and uses four key perspectives. As PEST factors are essentially external, completing a PEST analysis is helpful prior to completing a SWOT analysis (a SWOT analysis - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats - is based broadly on half internal and half external factors).

free pest analysis template tool

PEST analysis template - doc format (thanks N Silva)

PEST analysis template - pdf format

pest variations

The PEST model, like most very good simple concepts, has prompted several variations on the theme. For example, the PEST acronym is sometimes shown as STEP, which obviously represents the same factors. Stick with PEST - nearly everyone else does.

More confusingly (and some would say unnecessarily) PEST is also extended to seven or even more factors, by adding Ecological (or Environmental), Legislative (or Legal), and Industry Analysis, which produces the PESTELI model. Other variations on the theme include STEEP and PESTLE, which allow for a dedicated Ethical section. STEEPLED is another interpretation which includes pretty well everything except the kitchen sink: Political, Economic, Social and Technological - plus Ecological or Environmental, Ethical, Demographic and Legal.

It's a matter of personal choice, but for most situations the original PEST analysis model arguably covers all of the 'additional' factors within the original four main sections. For example Ecological or Environmental factors can be positioned under any or all of the four main PEST headings, depending on their effect. Legislative factors would normally be covered under the Political heading since they will generally be politically motivated. Demographics usually are an aspect of the larger Social issue. Industry Analysis is effectively covered under the Economic heading. Ethical considerations would typically be included in the Social and/or Political areas, depending on the perspective and the effect. Thus we can often see these 'additional' factors as 'sub-items' or perspectives within the four main sections.

Keeping to four fundamental perspectives also imposes a discipline of considering strategic context and effect. Many potential 'additional' factors (ethical, legislative, environmental for example) will commonly be contributory causes which act on one or some of the main four headings, rather than be big strategic factors in their own right.

The shape and simplicity of a four-part model is also somehow more strategically appealing and easier to manipulate and convey.

Ultimately you must use what version works best for you, and importantly for others who need to understand you, which is another good reason perhaps for sticking with PEST, because everyone knows it, and you'll not need to spend half the presentation explaining the meaning of STEEPLED or some other quirky interpretation.

If you have come across any other weird and wonderful extended interpretations of PEST I'd love to see them.

On which point (thanks D Taylor) I am informed of one such variation, which featured in some 2010 coursework: PEST LIED. The PEST element represents the usual factors - Political, Economic, Social and Technological. The LIED add-on stands for Legal, International, Environment and Demography. Suggestions of origin gratefully received, and any other variations of the PEST model.

pest or swot

A PEST analysis most commonly

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