What Does Brexit Mean for Digital Marketing?


James Murray Content and Outreach Executive at Affinity

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The world of marketing can be difficult to predict. Industry heavyweights have spent years trying to guess how the chips will fall, particularly when it comes to Google Search reforms or the next big thing. But so far, no one’s come anywhere close to successfully predicting how the winds of change will affect the industry.

Article 3 Minutes
What Does Brexit Mean for Digital Marketing?

Brexit is equally as unpredictable and has made the future of digital marketing even more uncertain. To explore how digital marketers can navigate the next few months and help their clients weather the potential storm, here’s how to prepare for Brexit.

Why is preparing important?

UK marketing budgets are growing at the slowest rate since 2015 and just like any other industry, digital marketers are having to prepare for Brexit and the increasingly likely prospect of a no-deal outcome.

The CBI (Confederation for British Industry) published a detailed report recently expressing grave concerns over the impact of a no-deal exit from the European Union, hinting the fallout could have dire consequences for both the economy and UK businesses.

With businesses having to consider how they will get through the coming months, and advertising spend being a crucial part of any business strategy, it’s important that digital marketers are prepared and have considered how they will resolve any issues that arise.

How will you prepare for Brexit?

Before you consider your clients, you need to think about how the next few months will affect you. A recent study by Econsultancy suggests there’s still a lack of groundwork on Brexit, with just 10% of survey respondents saying they’ve implemented a marketing strategy for October 31st.

Having planned ahead for multiple outcomes, whether it’s a general election, a no-deal Brexit or, by some miracle, a deal with the EU, knowing how your business is going to react ahead of time will mean you can react quickly to whatever lies ahead and give you an edge over your competition.

One area worth considering is how Brexit will affect international exchanges. For example, if you use MailChimp (which bills in US dollars), you could face a hefty invoice in the event of a drop in the pound. Likewise, any other platforms you use that don’t bill in sterling could increase your outgoings if Brexit uncertainty causes the pound to fall, like when Article 50 was invoked in March 2017.

How will Brexit affect your clients?

Before the deadline, it’s crucial that you take the time to consider how the next quarter will affect your clients and their respective industries. Put yourself in their shoes. The government’s Yellowhammer report recently outlined several areas that may face disruption, including transport, fuel, medicine and food. So if one of your clients works in a related industry or you foresee issues regarding their supply chain, it’s important to consider how you’ll mitigate these issues now.

One example is to prepare customers for delays in service. Consider the tone you use and try to avoid polarization. Putting too much emphasis on Brexit or not enough could give your customers the wrong impression. Instead, warn customers of possible complications and try to remain impartial.

Data-heavy clients who buy their data from agents based in the EU will also need to consider how the lack of any deal pertaining to data transfers between the EU and the UK could affect their business. Seeing as 75% of the UK’s cross-border data flows are with the EU, this could be indispensable for data brokers and marketers who use B2B marketing data sourced from the EU.

Still unsure?

If you’re still unsure about how to prepare for Brexit, there are tools and information online that you can use to formulate a plan. HMRC is running Get Ready for Brexit webinars during October, which provide an overview of everything UK businesses involved in the movement of goods between the EU and the UK need to know.

James Murray

James Murray is the content and outreach executive at Affinity, a Norwich-based marketing agency with over 30 years’ experience in the industry. James’ work involves writing for international brands across a wide range of sectors. For more advice, you can follow us @affinity_agency.


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