Jun 30 2016 | by ALEX CASTLE
Since Brexit became a reality on Friday morning, everyone from intellectuals, to politicians (see what I did there!) to my mum have had their say on what they think this will mean for the future of the UK. The resounding response, however, seems to be “Well….Umm….We’re not really sure...” So in that vein, let’s have a look at some ways that Brexit could affect those of a digital marketing persuasion.
One of the first things to happen after the result was announced was the pound fell to a 31-year low against the dollar and nearly 3% against the Euro. Suddenly millions of people found themselves wishing they had bought their summer holiday Euros on Thursday instead of leaving it to the last minute. This means that digital marketers who sell their services to other countries are going to see those skills become cheaper for the buyers. Similarly, buying goods or services from other countries is going to become more expensive. This will include the cost of digital services bought in the UK but paid for in dollars. So those Amazon Web Services you pay for in dollars ($) will have already seen an increase in cost ($$$).
This move could also affect the American tech moguls like Google and Facebook over their perceived transgressions on data collection. The UK had long been viewed as an ally in Europe and had a pretty lax attitude when it came to tech regulation. Our French and German neighbours, on the other hand, have been less compromising and have led the effort to temper the amount and type of data these companies can collect on European citizens. In 2014, for example, Google was fined $113,000 for failing to comply with a French interpretation of the new "right to be forgotten" law. With the UK soon out of the picture this stance is likely to gain more influence. As digital marketers, data collection is hugely important to how we understand and interact with our customers and is a key component to shaping our strategies.
Speaking of tech giants, Microsoft have already announced that they would be less likely to invest in the UK in future if they leave the EU. Google and Amazon had also made plans to build data centers in the UK. The Brexit vote may mean these companies instead decide to house the data of its EU clients in other cities like Paris or Berlin. Without the stability and trade agreements that come with being part of the EU, the future is uncertain for many digital marketing businesses rooted in the UK.
This move could also have a serious effect on the tech startup industry here in Blighty. London has long held the title of tech startup capital of Europe but with potential changes to immigration laws and the uncertainty created by Brexit, Berlin is poised to steal our crown. However, there is an alternative train of thought which says that, actually, London’s tech startups will be fine. Whether or not we’re in the EU, the UK is still one of the largest economies in the world and London will remain a welcoming and diverse city. London’s universities will continue to rank among the best in the world, contributing an endless stream of graduates to the city’s talent pool. Visa complications aside, London will be able to attract skilled marketers from all over the world, and English will remain one of the world’s most widely-spoken languages.
Free from EU red tape, it’s possible that Brexit may actually make the UK a more attractive place to build and finance new technology companies.
There’s a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the future of the UK and the digital marketing world. But despite the confusion and panic, the digital marketing industry will continue to do what we’ve always done; adapt, innovate and expand.
How Brexit will affect the Digital Marketing industry