Marketing Q & A
Marketing Q&A
By Al Jabaly

Al Jabaly is a certified marketing and business consultant with over 20 years of small business experience. Email your questions to All questions will be answered via e-mail. Some of the most interesting questions will be posted in this weekly column. For further information, Al can be reached at 1-888-899-3190



P.E.S.T. stands for Political, Economic, Social and Technological Influences. This is a standard test that every business should do once a year. It will help you identify some of the factors that will affect your business that you might have no control over. And when you identify these influences, try to think of ways that you can overcome the possible repercussions!

POLITICAL INFLUENCES: These include government regulations, legal issues, formal and informal rules under which the business must operate. Here are some examples:

A) The tax policy

B) Employment laws

C) Environmental regulations

ECONOMIC INFLUENCES: Economic factors that affect the purchasing power of potential clients. These include:

A) Economic growth of the area

B) Interest rates

C) inflation rate

D) New major businesses coming in and setting up shop

SOCIAL INFLUENCES: These are the demographic and cultural influences that affect the customer’s needs and the size of potential markets. Some social factors include:

A) Population growth

B) Health consciousness

C) Age distribution

TECHNOLOGICAL INFLUENCES: These factors include:

A) Research & Development activity

B) Automation

C) Technology incentives

D) Rate of technological change

The P.E.S.T. analysis is a useful tool for understanding market growth or decline, and as such the position, potential and direction for a business. A P.E.S.T. analysis is a great business measurement tool. I strongly recommend that it be used to review a strategy or position, direction of a company, a marketing proposition, or an idea.