On June 23rd 2016 the UK decided to leave the EU. So what does this mean for UK businesses and marketers? The consensus expect a period of uncertainty as everyone digests the facts, and devise strategies to manage the risks and plan a way forward. But with Brexit looming on Dec 31st, it’s now time to embrace the world.
Rather than think doom, gloom and despondency, think positive, and as global citizens, embrace the world
The trade barriers erected around the EU protect EU businesses from global competitive pressures. As a result they cause ‘flabby’ rather than ‘fit’ competitors. The UK has a proud history as a free trading nation and being ‘open for business’. Thus UK business should be materially ‘fit’ to compete in unfettered markets. Also to attract inward investment.
The world is a big market
According to the IMF (1) the world economy was worth $73.2 billion with the EU accounting for $16.2bn (22%) (Figure 1) in 2015. Thus the rest of the world accounts for the larger proportion (78%), with the USA, China and Japan, being the largest markets.
Many global opportunities
Moreover, emerging markets are forecast to grow faster than the developed markets, and China and India will both reach the top 3 by 2030 (Figure 2). There are many opportunities to grasp.
As marketers we know that the most successful businesses are those that understand and meet the needs of their customers. Thus investing in research and marketing to better understand and meet future customers’ needs, and build relationships and value makes sense.
1. To best manage the risks, and realise opportunities don’t leave Brexit planning until the 11th hour. Develop a clear business plan now. Also make clear that you are open for business as usual, and that you value your relationships. Take steps to strengthen relationships with overseas suppliers and customers too. There is reassurance and value in relationships.
2. Keep searching for win-win opportunities to sell, invest and buy. Also acquire knowledge to build competitive advantage. Use research to uncover insights and and realise short and long term opportunities.
3. Have no fear. The fittest or most able will be the most successful. So stay true to good business and marketing principles; understand customer needs, and demonstrate and deliver value in meeting needs.
4. For any business that considers themselves unfit, start Brexit planning to get fit wisely. In particular, to maximise the value of your offer.
- International Monetary Fund