Tunde Awe MBA, MCIM, Chartered Marketer, Vice Chair on CIM South West Regional Board considers potential post Brexit funding outcomes and what it means for marketers and businesses in the South West.
I know there are so many opinions on Brexit and its potential outcome but, in this article, I want to take an unbiased look at potential post Brexit funding outcomes and what it means for marketers and businesses in the South West. To do this, rather than dive into the mechanics of public funding, I’ll focus on the material elements that affect marketing planning and the choices we will be making as professional marketers:
1) Time lapse between funding streams because this could affect when we might want to execute our marketing activities, and
2) Difference in value of public finance prior to and post Brexit because this also could affect how much marketing investment we recommend to our respective businesses.
Let’s look at the potential outcomes in turn.
This outcome assumes that the level of funding from central government after Brexit will match whatever EU funding is lost as a result of Brexit. As in, maintain status quo. The assumption is that this will have no more than a temporary dip and, therefore, has limited implications for marketing planning.
In this outcome, subsequent central government funding after Brexit exceeds prior funding from the EU. This will be a dream outcome. Should this be the post Brexit outcome, we can be more ambitious in our marketing planning because accelerating economy would be very receptive to our goods and services. Hence, we can progress our marketing initiatives at pace with a view to take advantage of the economic upturn.
The third outcome is one in which the level of central government funding after Brexit is lower than prior funding from the EU. Bureaucratic tendencies in government administration means the time lapse between funding streams is unlikely to be a short period unless local government – beginning from now - proactively explore alternative sources to central government funding prior to Brexit D-Day in 2020. Further, increased local competition for public finance after Brexit means cessation of EU funding might leave sizable hole in local government funding for the foreseeable future. Although, this might be concerning in local government circles, it presents process innovation and new product development opportunities for businesses and marketers. For example, necessity goods and services that were previously offered free on the back of EU funding might have to be provided by the private sector. The real marketing challenge for us would be how to better meet those needs and at modest pricing to local consumers. Furthermore, businesses may also look to international markets to compensate for any contraction in local consumption of goods and services.
Regardless of post-Brexit funding scenario we end up with, it is certain that some time will lapse before the new reality becomes clear. Further, the duration of any potential blip between funding streams is uneasy to predict. In conclusion, despite widespread assumption that Brexit might spell doom for the economy, compression in public finance could in fact offer opportunities for marketers and businesses while an unexpected upswing in public finance would mean even more opportunities for us all.
To learn more on how to capitalise on opportunities presented by Brexit, why not register for CIM's forthcoming free webinar: Practical Insights: Brexit and marketing: Re-balancing risk and opportunity. Or, you can share your thoughts with CIM's South West community via the LinkedIn Group regarding how you anticipate Brexit to impact upon Marketing Planning.