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Hang on, Who? What?… Jan Edwards of The Marketing Eye explains…

If you’re not from a marketing world, I wouldn’t blame you for not having a clue about what or who PESTEL and Porter are, but if you’re in business, you need to have a handle on what they represent, even if you can’t attach a label to them.

PESTEL is an acronym for all the things that are going on around your business that are likely to influence it. The scary thing is, you can’t control them directly, but you can react to them.

P stands for Political
These are the actions that local and national governments are taking that affect us all – Brexit, business rates and taxes are all decisions made at the very top of the chain

E stands for Economic
Recession or boom, stable or choppy, the economy has a direct impact on the fortunes of every business. How much are people spending, how secure in their jobs do people feel, what is the exchange rate like? They all have an impact on people’s purchasing decisions. Of course, there is nothing to stop a business being counter-cyclical and prospering in the hard times and finding less demand in the good time – debt management for example.

S stands for Social
These are the trends in society in general. There are myriad factors that constantly change and evolve: attitudes toward mental health, care for the elderly and other vulnerable communities, race. religion and politics are all examples of social trends.

T stands for Technology
The relentless march of technology affects us all, whether it’s improving productivity in our businesses, making communication easier or adding a new dimension to our leisure time. New technologies can wipe out existing businesses and create whole new industries in the blink of an eye.

E stands for Environmental
This reflects the mood of the people and Government towards protecting the environment – plastic bags, vehicle emissions and fracking to name but a few.

L stands for Legal
This is new legislation that is either introduced or being talked about. Think about how much activity was created this year – not all entirely productive – by the introduction of GDPR. Before that we’ve had equal rights, the working time directive, corporate manslaughter, increased fines for pollution, the list goes on. All businesses have to change their processes to comply, for some it will create opportunities, for others it might pose an existential threat.

And what about Porter?

Porter was an academic who created a famous model about competition. In a nutshell, he said that a business’s success was directly related to the threat of new entrants, the bargaining power of buyers and suppliers and the threat of substitute products and services. By understanding where the power lies, action can be taken to exploit strengths and overcome weaknesses.

So, with the business lesson done for the day, how can any business owner reasonably expect to keep his or her tabs on all of these influences as well as deal with the day job?

As ever, technology comes to our aid and relevant insights can be served up in such a way that they become part of our daily routine without us having to go looking for them. An intelligent online tool like Market Monitor will cut through the noise to deliver relevant information into your inbox every morning. Over time, the tool will learn, and the outputs become more and more focused. A quick glance at the headlines is then all that is needed to keep you informed and choose the reading that is most interesting.

Other alternatives include Google Alerts albeit the outputs can become overwhelming and dominated by false positives. LinkedIn can also be a valuable source of market information if you build your network of contacts carefully. Like most social networks, LinkedIn suffers with a degree of noise so rapid scrolling is needed to find the really interesting updates.

Whichever system you use, the bottom line is that for business owners to continue to compete and stay ahead, they have to stay connected to their environment. Choose your weapons wisely!

If you would like to talk to us about Market Monitor, please contact Jason@themarketingeye.com
Or telephone 01825 765617 – We are offering a free 30 day trail