Brexit is only bad news for B2B marketers. Or is it? | DMA

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Brexit is only bad news for B2B marketers. Or is it?


Almost everyone has chosen to focus on the fact that Britain is coming out of the European Union, so I won’t add to the general gloom and despondency. Perhaps they feel that looking on the bright side is just playing into the hands of ‘leavers’, who talk meaninglessly about Britain becoming free again.

There’s no doubt that some sectors will be hit harder than others. As an agency that specialises in helping tech companies reach retailers and brands, we’re already seeing the scope of Brexit’s impact on retail – and there’s more to come.

That being said, this impact may not necessarily be negative; some retailers are expanding like nothing happened, while others are making acquisitions on the back of a weak pound. This creates an interesting climate for the technology vendors we work with, as those retailers forging ahead are in the market for innovative new solutions. Even businesses under pressure still appreciate that they have no choice but to invest in the solutions their competitors are exploring.

So interesting is the market dynamic right now that Fieldworks recently released a report - Post-Brexit Britain: The impact of the EU referendum on retailers’ technology buying decisions – and I think some of its guidance is pertinent to the B2B marketing sector as a whole.

How to do B2B marketing in a post-Brexit world

The first thing all companies must do is use market insight to define targeted opportunities, find the people to influence, and get acquainted with their buying priorities. However, given that multiple stakeholders will be involved in the purchasing process, segmentation is an essential part of the post-Brexit marketing mix; each decision maker needs to know how their lives will be improved with a new product or service.

By getting close this early in the sales cycle, it becomes possible to qualify out early. As the long-term impact of the EU referendum unfolds, it will have consequences for the entire business community – technology companies included. In order to weather potential storms, it’s important for vendors to be realistic about the prospects in their pipeline.

Of course, there are some prospects who will never convert, and Brexit is a perfect opportunity to stop marketing to these dead ends. Marketers and salespeople should be honest about how each prospect is moving through the lead cycle, qualify out non-engagers early on, and focus activity on personalisation around higher engagers to deliver greater ROI.

In terms of what is said to prospects, make sure you understand what is relevant and important to their business conversations right now. For example, the current hot trends in retail are global expansion, mobile, customer experience and employee costs, to name but four. Engaging on these topics is more likely to be a conversation starter.

So overall, the post-Brexit message for B2B marketers is not to panic. There will be inevitable aftershocks to come, but we’re used to little earthquakes shaking our industry, aren’t we? Brexit is no different to the challenges that have come before.

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