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How to do market research? Phase 4: PESTEL and competition analysis

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How to do market research? This is the question we’re helping you to answer with the publication of our online step-by-step guide to market research.
Each of the 7 phases of our market research methodology is accompanied by a post on this blog. Today we’ll be dealing with Phase 4: the PESTEL analysis and the competition analysis.


If you missed the latest episodes you can find them back here :

  • Phase 1 : putting his/her business idea on paper and the Design Thinking session
  • Phase 2 : improving the original business idea
  • Phase 3 : choosing the right market research methods

Phase 4 focuses on using secondary sources to get a better understanding of the market dynamics. To this aim we’ll introduce you to 2 types of analysis: the PESTEL analysis and the competition analysis.

How to do market research PESTEL and competition analysis Observe the market

The PESTEL analysis

The PESTEL analysis stands for Political – Economical – Sociological – Technological – Ecological – Legal analysis.
It consists in assessing all the factors which you can’t influence but have nevertheless a great impact on the market dynamics.
Those factors can be of several types:

  • a political project that may impede or on the contrary favour your project
  • economical or legal constraints
  • technological literacy of a country

Doing a PESTEL analysis will ensure you cover all those factors and identify well in advance the possible threats to your project’s success.

The competition analysis

Doing a competition analysis belongs also to Phase 4 because it can mostly be based on secondary type of information (books, websites, financial statements, academic articles, professional reports, …).
Needless to say, a competition analysis is instrumental. It needs to be carried out as objectively as possible to remove biases from your conclusions and give your faithful account of the hurdles you will face when entering the market. Our step-by-step guide will help you find the right sources and methods to carry it out.

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Pierre-Nicolas est Docteur en Marketing et dirige l'agence d'études de marché IntoTheMinds. Ses domaines de prédilection sont le BigData l'e-commerce, le commerce de proximité, l'HoReCa et la logistique. Il est également chercheur en marketing à l'Université Libre de Bruxelles et sert de coach et formateur à plusieurs organisations et institutions publiques. Il peut être contacté par email, Linkedin ou par téléphone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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