What do top marketers think of Brexit one month on?

What do top marketers think of Brexit one month on?

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It’s now a month since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union and while there is still much uncertainty about the future, marketers are steeling themselves for the opportunities and challenges ahead.

The Drum caught up with senior marketers, sponsorship and agency executives to lift the lid on how the advertising industry has reacted in the immediate aftermath of the referendum and what it needs to do ensure it continues to thrive amid such sweeping changes.

One of our Managing Partners, Richard Robinson shared his thoughts;

Brexit – the big kahuna right now for marketers and agencies alike. Do you stick or twist, or do you just wait it out and see if anything actually happens?

Separating fact from faction has been hard for brands since the result was announced because everyone, including the IMF, are still making predictions based on hindsight and expectations of business outcomes vs foresight and a cast-iron knowledge of what’s to come.

And this gives Marketers and Marketing a huge advantage and opportunity. Why? Because Marketing is hardwired to make future-focused decisions based on imperfect levels of information.

The very best brands and Marketers perform at their strongest in times of real change & market flux, or they demonstrate that they can shape and completely dominate the market going forward just as Nintendo has done so brilliantly in the past fortnight. Everyone who said likes and shares weren’t as important as sales just needs to look at the explosive growth in Nintendo’s company value over the past three months to recognise that value comes in more ways than just a sale.

Brexit is heralding a time when Marketers need to do what they do best and listen to their customers. Hear their confusion, angst and in some cases fear – and deliver the calm, measured, strategically focused plans and campaigns for their brands that demonstrate true value and leadership. Customers need to feel confident that their brands have confidence in the face of Brexit, that they have a plan and they know where they’re going.

As a consequence of Brexit Marketers and their agencies need to proactively (and quickly) collaborate on a deeper, more connected level & identify the true purpose of their products at a time when the British public are questioning many of the norms that have taken for granted for decades. Regular people now know they have the power to topple their political leaders, change the future of government & directly influence the economy – the leaders without a plan, or a confused organisational design, or an inability to get their message across through the channels of communication are the ones who we’re seeing being removed on an almost daily basis.

To survive, perpetuate and prosper brands need to get confident, excel at the fundamentals of Marketing, and be clear on their reason & purpose to exist in the new post-Brexit era.

They need to demonstrate to future British and non-British Marketing talent that UK Marketing PLC is still a credible career choice, and that the £80bn that is spent on commercial creativity every year is not about to stop.

They need to convince chief financial officers with pithy commercial strategies that now is the time to invest to shape their success for the next decade. And most of all they need to recognise that nobody has the facts to know what’s coming in twelve months’ time – so it’s time to step up and take charge of their company’s future growth.

Read the full article from the Drum here to see opinions of Pete Markey (brand communications and marketing director, Aviva), Anthony Pert (European marketing and communications manager at Brother International Europe), Charlie Cooper (communications director, Rapha), Jenny Ashmore (president of the Chartered Institute of Marketers) and Tim Crow (chief executive, Synergy Sponsorship).

Sam Jones