On 23rd June 2016 the UK voted to leave the EU. Remain or Leave both had ramifications for UK businesses. This outcome has thrown up a series of risks but it has also opened up opportunities, especially for marketers and therefore is not a time for UK businesses to ‘wallow in the uncertainty’.
Currently the UK is a market leader in a number of industries. Chris Combermale, the CEO of DMA said “One thing is certain: the UK’s creative, data and digital industries will remain strong. The UK is a world leader in digital innovation and data driven marketing, creating jobs and driving growth”. For the next two years we will still be able to operate within the European Single Market, with many prominent Leave campaigners now saying we are likely to stay within the ESM. Foxtel’s former marketing boss emphasized the UK’s position in the global economy as “there might be a period of economic uncertainty, the UK is still I think the fifth largest economy in the world…there are a lot of partners you can trade with. Asia and China are massive powerhouses.”
What does Brexit mean in terms of compliance and data legislation? The DMA has helpfully provided a number of questions and answers (found here). In short, if a business is to continue trading within the EU it will have to adhere to the legislation set out in the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) (which comes into force of May 25th 2018). According to Nick Stringer, Digital Media Consultant specialising in Regulatory Affairs & Public Policy: “it is more than likely that the UK will apply the GDPR anyway, or bring in its own similar law”.
The exit did come as a surprise for many, with Mozilla’s global marketing director John Bernard saying that marketers were not “prepared for this eventuality”. Marketingweek.com interviewed marketers with varied backgrounds in different industries, resulting in the general view that marketers are unsure about the impact of Brexit as it is currently early in the process. The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) further emphasized this, as they found that 62% of marketing professionals in the UK feel they do not know enough about how the result of the EU referendum will impact the business they work for and 80% want more information on the impact of new EU laws on issues such as data protection, employment law and competition regulations”. (Source: bizreport.com)
The relationship between consumer and brand is not under threat because of the leave vote, Elephant Digital’s Phil Birss likened the situation to the fact it “won’t be like a light going out where the rest of Europe can no longer see us.”. The IPA took this outcome as a challenge for their industry, announcing that UK marketers now have to be more creative and that it gave the opportunity to prove their worth globally, with their Director General, Paul Bainsfair saying in regards to marketing and advertising, “We have always been known and admired for our inventiveness and ideas. It will now be more important than ever that we continue to demonstrate these valuable traits.”
Unsure about the GDPR and the step you need to take? Find out more here