1) A key reminder when marketing to businesses: emotions rule
Emotions were flying high, not least on 24th June 2016 when Britain woke up to the referendum result. Joel Harrison, Editor in chief, B2B Marketing makes the point that voting to leave the EU seems to have been driven by emotions more than rational considerations.
Your Allies’s Sabine Popp: “With regards to the motivations of voters in the EU referendum no research has been done to confirm how much emotion has driven decisions here. However, the Leave Campaign slogan around taking back control addressed the human need for a feeling of safety, of being in control of one’s environment. What has been proven is that all our decisions including buying decisions are driven by emotions. The well known theory of the hierarchy of needs formed by Maslow underpins this notion. B2B marketing needs to incorporate the knowledge about these drivers of human decision making, and the Brexit vote has become a prominent reminder for that. ”
Harrison goes on to talk about how the uncertainty created by the vote has impacted general confidence, a consequence of change that was to be expected.
Your Allies’s Linsay Duncan: “Keep calm and carry on is the order of the day until the political process following the vote creates more clarity around Brexit. While this is true for marketers too, in times of change the power of marketing to make the most of new opportunities and to strengthen one’s competitive position becomes more important than ever. Marketers know how to adapt to customers’ evolving needs, how to target new customers and enter new markets. Change is scary because it tests resilience and inventiveness. Now is the time to look out for what this change brings for marketing, both in terms of risks and opportunities.”
2) Onwards and upwards: how your business could benefit from Brexit
The Startups Team suggested 5 ways Brexit could benefit your business, published on the day the result was announced. We find 3 of these should benefit the majority of businesses in the UK:
New talent: workers from outside the EU (e.g. India, China, America) bringing with them new skills to support UK businesses
Less red tape: for small and micro-businesses in the UK the opportunity to cut out some of the onerous regulations
Exports: the significant opportunities which lie ahead for exporters to seize as new markets open up.
3) Is your business ready for international markets?
Minister for employment Priti Patel calls for businesses to make good use of government programmes for retraining and upskilling. She emphasizes the need for excellent trade negotiation capabilities and the current benefit of a weaker pound in boosting global sales.
Linsay: “It holds true before and after the vote to leave: businesses need to make every effort to stay competitive. Whether that’s through training their staff, getting experts in or finding and expanding into new markets to name a few examples. When businesses trade internationally, naturally their marketing needs to support those efforts for the best possible result. If there’s room for improvement in this area, business leaders have to address this through expert help, training and making sure they’ve got sufficient resource to succeed in international marketing.”
Sabine: “Business leaders obviously need to weigh up the value and impact of investments into internationalising their operations. One thing is clear: Brexit is one challenge of many facing UK businesses. Keeping your business competitive is a constant challenge demanding consistent investment in research, analysis, planning and acting. No doubt Brexit puts a spotlight on international competitiveness and investments in this area. If budgets are tight, finding more effective and creative ways of getting a better return on investment can often help pay for additional needs.”
4) Brexit: what business leaders should do next
The Corporate Finance Network’s Kirsty McGregor shares some useful advice what business leaders should focus on now to bolster their business during this potentially tumultuous time:
- Plan rigorously and review regularly whilst change is afoot
- Carefully assess short-term investments
- Verify supplier and customer credit ratings
- Be brave! Find new markets and products to ensure the UK continued to be an entrepreneurial force to be reckoned with.
The Your Allies team would like to add this as a 5th piece of advice:
Learn from others’ failures rather than making your own mistakes, and reduce risk further by considering contractors when you expand into new areas. This is the time to be nimble. And finally, don’t lose sight of your long-term growth objectives.