What Brexit means for Digital Marketing and Online Businesses in the UK

The UK has officially voted to leave the European Union – and while much of the country is still in a state of shock, business owners are considering what the next steps should be.

While it will still be a couple of years before the UK officially exits the EU, this still leaves a period of economic uncertainty for businesses to deal with.

The short term problems arise from the impact on the value of the pound, and the next couple of years seems uncertain until we actually exit from the EU. But where does all this uncertainty leave online businesses and digital marketers?

Brexit impact on marketing

Were Marketers Prepared for Brexit?

Before the vote, there was the general census that we would be sticking with the EU. Simply put, most marketers were not prepared for this exit.

Even those in charge of running the leave campaign seemed surprise that it won, and so for the majority of the public, it has come as a huge surprise. Marketers were not prepared for this outcome, but now that all needs to change.

As for marketing budgets, there will be some businesses looking to cut back on their expenses, where marketing will be brought up. But this could be a short-sighted move, as your competitors won’t necessarily pare back their marketing, and could be hijacking your customers.

The Changes

The EU General Data Protection Regulation comes into force in 2018 – so businesses will still need to be prepared for this, as we are likely to still be in the EU at this point.

Even after we leave the EU, we will still likely be bound by EU laws in order to trade with European countries, but we can’t be sure how the law will be implemented in the UK. But it’s likely the UK will implement a similar law in its place.

The Positives

As we now live in a digital world with a global economy, Brexit may not have that big an impact after all. And as for looking at the positives in the short term, a weak pound is actually good for selling products overseas.

In the long-run ecommerce stores based in the UK have an advantage due to the fact we are English speaking, can sell across multiple currencies and in different languages.

We still have one of the largest economies across the globe, and there are many partners out there to trade with.

Digital companies will continue to seek growth, and carry on business as usual. As things stand, there’s no need to panic until we know what will come out of the finalised negotiations with the EU. At the moment, it is pure speculation, and we have no clear idea what will be involved in our exit plan.

Challenges are ahead, but being out of the European Union will not have an impact on our ability as a nation to work with the rest of the world. It will be a while to find solutions, but we need to carry on. There is surely a better future ahead after this uncertain period is dealt with.

The Future

Marketing needs to keep a focus on the needs of consumers, and to continue delivering a great experience to our customers.

Cutting back on marketing could have a detrimental impact in times of uncertainty – as it’s essential that you acquire new customers, and entice current customers to do business with you.

When the UK opted to not join the Euro, there were similar difficulties predicted ahead, but instead the UK economy prospered. For now there’s no need to be concerned, but there is a need to be prepared for any changes which may arise over the next few years.

During the recent recession, businesses which invested in marketing efforts tended to perform better than those that didn’t, and came out of the recession in a much better place.

If you have any questions about EU data rules, or how Brexit may impact your marketing goals, get in touch and we will be happy to discuss.