These acronyms are used as a framework for supporting marketing planning by reviewing the opportunities and threats of the broader macro-environment of a business. I’ve never been a fan of the amount of attention paid to them in student assignments or exams, since, for me, they warrant some consideration, but are much less likely to affect the future plans and strategies for a business than the micro-environment factors such as customers, competitors and intermediaries in the buying process.
PESTLE stands for:
PEST is shortened form focusing on Political, Economic, Sociological and Technological factor. I prefer the longer form which emphasises the legal issues such as privacy and distance-selling laws that are important in digital marketing. In our digital marketing book we use SLEPT since this starts with the more important factors from a digital marketing point-of-view.
- Social forces. Cultural diversity among digital communities, that influences the use of the Internet and the services businesses provide online. The impact of social exclusion where some people in society don’t have access to digital devices or platforms.
- Legal forces. Determine the methods by which products can be promoted and sold online. Laws and ethical guidelines that seek to safeguard individuals’ rights to privacy and businesses’ rights to free trade.
- Economic forces. Cause variation in economic conditions and affect trading opportunities, influence consumer spending and business performance and have significant implications for digital marketing planning.
- Political forces. National governments and transnational organisations have an important role in determining the future adoption and control of the Internet and the rules by which it is governed.
- Technological forces. Changes in technology that influence marketing opportunities, create new product development opportunities, introduce new ways to access target markets through channel integration and create new forms of access platforms and applications.
We focus on the technological and legal forces.