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As a digital marketer, have you included PESTLE analysis research into your strategy? Because if you haven’t, you’re missing out on some pretty important information. It’s so important, even Santa Claus would include PESTLE into his campaigns. And let’s be honest, he’d be the best digital marketer around with his social reach and impressive brand image. Copying Santa’s approach should probably be the next item on your to-do list.

But you’re likely wondering what sort of valuable insights will PESTLE in digital marketing provide you? Before we get to that, let’s first begin by answering the top question on your mind. Which is…

What is PESTLE analysis?

 Before you can take advantage of the benefits of PESTLE analysis in your digital marketing strategy, you first need to know what PESTLE analysis is. Otherwise you won’t be able to get the most of it.

PESTLE analysis is a strategic decision-making tool. It’s also an acronym, which stands for…

  • Political
  • Economical
  • Social
  • Technological
  • Legal
  • Environmental

These six categories are macro-environmental factors that affect a business, product, or service. These factors are inescapable. You also, as a digital marketer or business, can’t influence the factors. Instead, you can identify key concerns or changes within this framework, and figure out how to use it to your digital marketing advantage.

Before we get too far ahead, let’s refresh ourselves on the fundamentals of digital marketing.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing harnesses digital technologies to market services or products. It’s mostly done through the internet, computers, and smartphone devices.

Digital marketing has enabled companies to reach new audiences without having to step outside their front door. Marketers use the same technologies as their target market, which can include:

  • Email
  • Social media
  • Advertisements (through Google, Facebook, and Instagram)
  • Websites

However, those are just the means to transport information to consumers. Before any of that, digital marketers will spend countless hours researching. Everything from the product to analyzing competitors is fair game. And, if the marketer is smart, they’d include PESTLE analysis during the research phase.

How does PESTLE analysis benefit digital marketing?

As you know, PESTLE analysis involves the six macro-environmental factors that influence business, product, and services. It also impacts consumer buying behaviors.

A digital marketer’s job isn’t to outsmart or outrun these influences; their job is to understand the influences and work with them to successfully market the product.

How is this achieved? With a thorough PESTLE analysis.

In the analysis, the marketer will break down each letter into its own section. Political is one, Economic is the second, Social is third, and so on. Then the researching begins.

Let me give you a quick example.

For the political section, it’s important to understand the political climate of where the product is produced and will be sold. It may be one country or many. It’s important to grasp the political (in)stability and regulations prior to marketing the product or service.

Let’s say the marketer doesn’t do the PESTLE analysis or decides to skip this section. What could happen? Well…

Since they didn’t do their research, the marketer starts selling the product to citizens of a governmentally intrusive country. Like China, for instance.

If Chinese citizens buy the product and the government finds out, the product may be shut down. Or even in legal trouble. Any money used to market the product to Chinese audiences becomes nothing more than a waste now that it’s impossible to recoup costs.

Obviously, a fate like this can be avoided if the marketer did their research about the country before distributing the product or service. Now, this little mistake could be costly to fix. Especially when, in hindsight, it should never have come to be.

What’s the point of PESTLE analysis in digital marketing?

The point of the PESTLE analysis is to avoid problems later on. This means a PESTLE analysis should happen before the marketing begins. Because you should only market once you have a full understanding of the political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental landscape related to the product or company.

PESTLE analysis can also help a marketer justify choices made (or not made) about marketing the service or product. You can easily reference the section of the PESTLE analysis whenever a problem or bump comes up. It’s an easy way to explain to the bosses why you’re not following through with X or Y plan.

You can say, “After researching the economy of this location through our PESTLE analysis, we’ve decided to only target these specific audiences because it’ll likely provide the highest interest and profit.”

Be sure to insert the results of the PESTLE analysis into the marketing plan, this way people understand where your thoughts are coming from.

How to do PESTLE analysis?

Now that you have a better grasp as to why including PESTLE analysis is critical to digital marketing, you’re left wondering: Okay, well, how do I do one?

We’ve got an arsenal of articles to help you, specifically this handy little guide on how to do a PEST analysis article from scratch. PEST is the same as PESTLE, but without the “legal” and “environmental” factors.

For these sections, reference our articles on both the legal factors affecting businesses and products, followed by the similar article about environmental factors.

And if you take a look around, we’ve got plenty of PESTLE analysis examples all over for you to check out too. Everything from countries to companies is covered. If you’re feeling stuck, be sure to check these out whenever you need.

Conclusion

PESTLE analysis allows digital marketers to plan ahead. Because the analysis highlights six key influences on any product, service, or business, understanding what they are is crucial for marketing success. If the analysis isn’t used, the marketer opens themselves to possible liability, legal issues, and poor profits.

If you’re a digital marketer or someone will be using digital technology to market a product or service, don’t skimp on your PESTLE analysis. If you do, it may prove to be a costly problem in the future.

Photo by Carlos Muza