Posted by Richard ● 29-Jun-2016 11:30:00

What should B2B marketers do post Brexit?

photo-1464021025634-49b81a77a858.jpgWith all hell breaking loose in the post Brexit referendum, the news agenda in the UK and further afield has been dominated by questions of 'Why?', 'How the heck?' and 'What next?'

From a B2B marketing perspective, the need for leads doesn’t stop because Nigel Farage doesn’t like Angela Merkel. Sales teams still have targets and businesses need to find opportunity in chaos.

So where are the opportunities for B2B brands and what can inbound marketing and PR teams do to ensure their business thrives?

Currently the pound is still weak. Estate agents reported that property prices in London jumped again yesterday with international investors taking advantage of the sudden drop in the cost of investing in London. Logic would therefore suggest that this is a good time to close deals with prospects in the US and Middle East. A demand-generating campaign targeting these markets might make a lot of sense for many businesses at this point.

The public sector, on the other hand, is paralysed. The civil service is putting all of its resources into the biggest divorce in history and the political direction hangs in the balance. This is a good time for those selling into the public sector to invest in training, IT upgrades, new infrastructure and systems. When a new Prime Minister is in place, and things start to unlock, there will be an inevitable catch-up which will mean that those selling into the public sector should expect to be very busy in the near future. Helping this sector, and those that sell to it, batton down the hatches and prepare for the incoming tsumani will be top of the agenda for many B2B brands in the UK right now.

Business decision makers across the country are glued to the news. With so many moving parts, so many experts and points of view to monitor and respond to, there is perhaps something very compelling about being fed news from trusted sources. Print and broadcast audience numbers will have increased dramatically as will levels of engagement across digital platforms, as audiences react to the ongoing saga.

This story has long legs. Old leaders, new leaders, a new PM and all the negotiations will raise furious, passionate debate. The brands that can respond with insightful thought leadership which adds value will succeed. Those that decide to pretend nothing has happened may find that the world is louder and distracted. A great example of brands coming together and offering constructive responses can be seen in the Keep Calm and Code On initiative. On the other hand, brands that are seen to launch demand generating activities that exploit the confusion and disruption may find that they suffer a backlash if they overstep the mark. Hazardous, because the mark is moving. 

Given the uncertainty, B2B marketers may find themselves pulled from one strategy to another as boards evaluate the impact of different events. Plans will be drawn up and changed at the last minute. This can throw paid for media into turmoil. Planning an event? I bet finding a date is hell. Versatile channels which can be changed, such as earned and shared media will be particularly useful in this context.

As The Guardian puts it:

“Brexit is bad for technology, yes, but the technology sector is an inherently uncertain sector at the best of times. At its core, its about generating ideas and building products that will grow to hundreds of times their initial size, and so even the negative hit from leaving the EU will be small in comparison to the biggest successes.”

So really, its business as usual. What are you waiting for? Time to get planning:

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Topics: PR, Inbound Marketing, b2b pr