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Use of PEST analysis

As part of the development of strategies and plans to enable the organization to achieve its objectives, then that organization will use a systematic/rigorous process known as corporate planning. PEST/PESTLE alongside SWOT can be used as a basis for the analysis of business and environmental factors.

Problem solving and decision-making are important skills for business and life. Problem-solving often involves decision-making, and decision-making is especially important for management and leadership. There are processes and techniques to improve decision-making and the quality of decisions. Decision-making is more natural to certain personalities, so these people should focus more on improving the quality of their decisions. People that are less natural decision-makers are often able to make quality assessments, but then need to be more decisive in acting upon the assessments made. Problem-solving and decision-making are closely linked, and each requires creativity in identifying and developing options, for which the brainstorming technique is particularly useful.

Kotler (1998) claims that PEST analysis is a useful strategic tool for understanding market growth or decline, business position, potential and direction for operations. The headings of PEST are a framework for reviewing a situation, and can in addition to SWOT and Porter’s Five Forces models, be applied by companies to review a strategic directions, including marketing proposition.


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The use of PEST analysis can be seen effective for business and strategic planning, marketing planning, business and product development and research reports. PEST also ensures that company’s performance is aligned positively with the powerful forces of change that are affecting business environment (Porter, 1985). PEST is useful when a company decides to enter its business operations into new markets and new countries. The use of PEST, in this case, helps to break free of unconscious assumptions, and help to effectively adapt to the realities of the new environment.

The growing importance of environmental or ecological factors in the first decade of the 21st century have given rise to green business and encouraged widespread use of an updated version of the PEST framework. STEER analysis systematically considers Socio-cultural, Technological, Economic, Ecological, and Regulatory factors. Identifying PEST influences is a useful way of summarising the external environment in which a business operates. However, it must be followed up by consideration of how a business should respond to these influences.

Before producing a good PEST analysis, it is of primary importance to, firstly, brainstorm the relevant factors that apply to the company or to its business environment. Second requirement is to identify the information that applies to these factors; and thirdly, to draw conclusions from this information. It is, however, necessary not only to describe factors, but to think through what they mean and how to they impact the business. PEST analysis is only a strategic starting point, and has its own limitations, emphasizing the need to test the conclusions and findings against the reality.

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