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MGMT 491

What is a PESTEL Analysis?

A PESTEL analysis is a framework or tool used by marketers to analyze and monitor the macro-environmental (external marketing environment) factors that have an impact on an organization, company, or industry.  It examines the Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental, and Legal factors in the external environment.  A PESTEL analysis is used to identify threats and weaknesses  which are used in a SWOT analysis.

  • Political factors include government policies, leadership, and change; foreign trade policies; internal political issues and trends; tax policy; regulation and de-regulation trends.
  • Economic factors include current and projected economic growth; inflation and interest rates; job growth and unemployment; labor costs; impact of globalization; disposable income of consumers and businesses; likely changes in the economic environment.
  • Social factors include demographics (age, gender, race, family size); consumer attitudes, opinions, and buying patterns; population growth rate and employment patterns; socio-cultural changes; ethnic and religious trends; living standards.
  • Technological factors affect marketing in (1) new ways of producing goods and services; (2) new ways of distributing goods and services; (3) new ways of communicating with target markets.
  • Environmental factors are important due to the increasing scarcity of raw materials; pollution targets; doing business as an ethical and sustainable company; carbon footprint targets.
  • Legal factors include health and safety; equal opportunities; advertising standards; consumer rights and laws; product labeling and product safety.

Country and Political Reports for PESTEL Analysis

Business Source Complete provides access to up-to-date country reports which can inform your analysis of the macroeconomic factors that impact the industry and company you are researching. You will have to log in with your NetID and Password to access the 2021 US Country Monitor report:

Resources for a PESTEL Analysis

Public Company Websites.  Google search the company name and "investor relations."  This will often provide links to Annual Reports; financial reports such as 10-K, 10-Q, and 8-K; and corporate social responsibility reports.


Nexis Uni   PESTEL factor information is provided for countries. At the landing page, select Publication and enter "United States" and date > 07/01/2016, for example, in the search box.   Begin typing PRS Group Political in the Publication box and then select PRS Group Political Risk Service that appears below the box and click Search.

screenshot of Nexis Uni search

  • Select News instead of Publication to search for articles on companies, industries, and individual PESTEL factors. 
  • Open the Business section and select Company Dossier to search for information on a specific company.  The company report will include its brands and competitors, with links to current news articles, court cases, and intellectual property.
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