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Exploring Legislative-Based Marketing—Through the Lens of PEST Analysis

Regardless of what business you're in, no matter how small or big you are, you'll need a PEST analysis to capitalize on a larger market share or to outpace your competitors (Political. Economic. Social. Technological.) In short, a PEST analysis is performed to determine how each of those four factors will impact your business from a local and global vantage-point.

In this article, I'll share an example of how the "P" in Pest (Political) can either thrust your business ahead or bring it to a screeching halt. In addition to that, I'll share a few content and communication strategies to help your business capitalize on market-gaps.


For just a moment, imagine that you are the CEO of a baby detergent company in the state of New York.

To begin, I'd like to create a scenario where you are run a baby detergent company. You just got word that New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill that bans household cleaning products with the chemical 1,4-dioxane. The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2022. It just so happens that one of your top-selling baby detergents contains the chemical 1,4-dioxane. Compounded with the impact of Covid-19, the upcoming chemical ban will drastically impact the life of your business—for better or for worse.

By performing "P" (Political) related research, your business would have known about the looming ban long before the Senate gets a hold of it. In other words, a thorough PEST analysis gives you insights across the political or legislative landscape so your company is prepared.

In the case of this article, a well-performed PEST analysis can give your company an understanding of how to respond to a chemical ban to outpace your competitors.

How would your competitors respond to a chemical ban?

The Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA) and the American Cleaning Institute (ACI) jointly stand against the upcoming chemical ban of 1,4-dioxane. Both associations believe that such a ban could mean pulling many familiar household cleaning products off the shelves. As the pandemic continues to surge, countless consumers would need to quickly pivot, explore, test, and choose alternative home cleaning supplies they can trust. Simply put, consumers have little to no time to make such shifts in their buying habits—especially when it comes to cleaning products, during a pandemic. So how can these consumers be better served?

Continuing with our scenario... you're operating a baby detergent brand, in the state of New York. As a consequence of the 1,4-dioxane bill, your company has to pull its popular baby detergent off the market. In doing so, your company stands to lose a chunk of revenues. However, there are ways to offset those lost revenues... and still move ahead of your competitors.

One thing your company can do is survey the market to determine what products your competitors will phase out due to the 1,4-dioxane bill. This knowledge will help you identify consumer segments who will be forced to switch to new products. And you can target those consumers in your strategic marketing plan. Here's an example of what that might look like...

Let's say that your company's interest is to sell bulk shipments of a brand of detergent that doesn't contain the chemical 1,4-dioxane. To do that, you could target businesses that service highly susceptible populations such as long-term care facilities. Due to federal guidelines along with other regulations, these businesses have smaller windows of time to make product or manufacturing changes. In other words, they are closer to saying yes to a new product than everyday household buyers.

Inspiring trust and action through content and communications

Once you've targeted ideal consumer segments, you'll need to develop a content and communications strategy to capture a larger share of that market. Typically, if you're targeting a long-term care facility, you'd want to develop a Pre-Awareness Stage marketing strategy. To put it simply, you want to market to long-term facilities well before they learn about product bans or manufacturing shifts.

Empowering your target-audience with pending product shifts earlier in the buyer-journey builds cultivates trust before they are saturated with advertisements and sales content. Unfortunately, many businesses still deliver marketing and communications through the outdated buyer's-journey. That model is antiquated and has been around since the latter 1800s. I'll dive deeper into Pre-Awareness Stage marketing in future articles. In the meantime, I read the book, "Smash the Funnel: The Customer Journey Redefined for the Digital Age."

For the sake of this article, here are a few ways you might use content and communications to reel-in bulk buyers

  1. Deploy communications to inform consumers of details and legislative updates surrounding the 1,4-dioxane chemical bill. (S. 4389B/A. 6295A)
  2. Notify consumers how your company is shifting away from cleaning products that contain 1,4-dioxane.
  3. Create business content to educate consumers on your company's alternative cleaning products and how those products compare against products with the ingredient 1,4-dioxane.

Keep in mind, those are only examples. However, it's important to note that each of these three examples is designed to harness accurate information to deliver transparency and inspire trust. That should be the case with all business marketing and communications.

To be clear, legislative marketing insights should be gathered before your business or product launch. As time goes on, your company can perform periodic PEST updates to ensure your legislative insights are ready to deploy at all times.

How your company chooses to build its PEST analysis is determined by your own strategic goals. Not to mention, there are other aspects of the PEST analysis you'll want to consider... such as the Economic, Social, and Technological parts of the PEST analysis.

Does your company have a PEST analysis within reach? If so, how often do you update it? Maybe you don't have one at all. Feel free to share your thoughts or questions in the comments below. Or message me... I'd love to help you fine-tune your PEST analysis.

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