It's the biggest thing to happen in recent British political history and I'm sure everyone's heard enough about (I certainly have) to not go into too much detail about the dreaded b-word: Brexit.
On the more positive side, it's great to see Parliament getting a bit more creative and coming up with some other ideas other than trying to force one plan through. But with anything creative, the follow through is just as important - so interesting times coming up.
Every business owner has it on their minds, and if it does not affect them directly through export or import, it will disrupt their clients' businesses or even their key suppliers. And, of course, anything which affects the business will affect the marketing department. At the very least, its budget.
Initially, you might think of the supply or sales chains when thinking of Brexit, but for a company's marketing, it could be a make or break situation. Businesses around the country have started to put plans into place to deal with the various scenarios Brexit could bring, just in case they won't have time for implementation when the bell (finally) tolls.
And if you listen to the headlines, we probably need to prepare our businesses for the worst. Therefore, marketers need to brace for this, as it could (actually) happen. You now need to think of how to develop the marketing department into an indispensable part of the business, so your budgets aren't slashed in the wake of Brexit. Get yourself more involved (than you already are so) in the strategic side of the business. This is where we need marketing the most - now is your time!
So how may you ask?
You've got to take the lead in looking at the effects Brexit may have, if this has not been properly done yet. See how the top issues will affect your key clients, suppliers, partners and markets and think of strategies to mitigate issues such as skills shortages, export issues and currency fluctuations. It's also a great way to get top management and other departments (such as sales) bought into the process.
Rest of the world -
Are you clearly communicating and engaging your market in your value proposition? Being British definitely helps - you could call it an advantage. Our international clients are with us wanting British design, something which we excel at. Look at Jony Ive - chief design officer of Apple and British. There are markets other than Europe that you have potentially not tapped into - now more than ever it's probably time to hedge your bets and propose market research or campaigns into these markets.
Competition, clients and suppliers -
Have you reviewed what your competitors, clients and suppliers are doing lately? Keep them close in times like this, as things will move quickly and before you know it, the rug may be pulled from under your feet and you'll be left behind.
Run a brainstorm with your department on the opportunities that Brexit (you've got to think pretty positively) will bring or gaps this will create in your industry. All the doomsday stories are not looking into what this situation may bring. A bit of product and offering development may be key. After all, the best defence can be offence.
Online disruption -
Name a better channel than the internet to market your wares in other countries. Sure, trade missions are great, but nothing compared to the engagement you can create online if it's done right. You can successfully convey your offering, uncover new business opportunities, differentiate yourself and (most importantly) create the space for meaningful engagement on your website. We are past the age of the simple brochure website - it's more about getting a quick service and better experiences for clients when problem-solving. And if your site is multilingual, this adds value and lures those international clients in.
It's no use not preparing enough for a no deal situation. Like all things in politics, it will affect us all. It's by no means a foregone conclusion - but it's good to be ready for it. So, once you have this in place, fingers crossed that when the time comes, you'll be ready.
If you're keen for us to help you facilitate a workshop with this in mind, and want that outside opinion, give us a shout.
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