Like it or not, Brexit is set to happen by April 2019. Its ultimate outcome will significantly change the UK’s relationship with the European Union (EU). Whatever the final deal, whether a “Brexit–lite” or a “Hard Brexit,” businesses must prepare now.
The economic challenges of Brexit are very real‚ but there is still plenty of opportunity. For the first time since the UK joined the European Economic Community in 1973, it will be forced to forge a new identity, one that defines it as a truly global trading nation.
With British agencies already recognised the world over for their unique skills, they are uniquely poised to make the best of this situation. Let’s look at some ways UK digital agencies can prepare to thrive post-Brexit.
The UK has changed a lot since it first joined the European Economic Community in 1973. The global economy has changed a lot, as well. The world as a whole is more competitive now, but in many ways this can be an advantage for Britons in the Brexit era.
The UK has a robust tradition of providing leading business services. It also boasts a highly skilled workforce that has always been able to engage globally, whether “across the pond,” in Europe, or beyond. While Brexit will bring some new challenges, a UK digital agency can thrive in a post-Brexit era with the right mindset and planning.
UK digital agencies will still be able to rely on “Brand Britain” in the post-Brexit era. Digital agencies from the UK have some special advantages, due to both the style of their business and their location. Let’s look at each one in-depth.
The English Language
English is the default language of business around the world, and of the internet. That is a huge home field advantage for all UK digital agencies. It’s true that many other European agencies are also bilingual, but few offer native (and fully fluent) English speakers. This can be vital. especially when it comes to the creative industries, as marketing campaigns can succeed or fail on the nuance of a language and understanding of its culture.
A smart way for agencies to take advantage of this strength is to focus on their blog content. It is one thing for an agency to say they work in English, but it is quite another to be able to create content that appeals to native speakers and readers of the language.This strategy displays your agency’s expertise and ability to connect with the widest audience possible.
A Central Location
The central location of the United Kingdom is also very valuable in the global economy. Paris, Cairo, and New York can all be reached from London in eight hours or less, for example. As the digital age transforms international business, close proximity to multiple regions is more and more important.
A UK digital agency can more easily navigate a campaign across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland than a European agency could across multiple countries with different practices, regulations, and languages. It’s true that Brexit could alter this dynamic a little, especially as it concerns the Irish border and the potential for Scottish independence, but close ties will remain regardless.
An agency seeking to take advantage of this proximity should actively focus on building up strong links not only in its local city, but in satellite destinations too. It is great for a UK digital agency in London to be just an hour’s flight away from Paris. If the agency has no local contacts or partnerships with Parisian businesses, however, then the advantage can easily be nullified by competitors from further afield. Fostering business outside your borders is essential, even if the bulk of your revenue still comes from close to home.
A Culture of Innovation
British agencies have a rich history of innovation. This will not change, no matter what the final Brexit deal ultimately looks like. The UK also has a history of global engagement and leadership, which won’t disappear at the drop of a hat. What will be important is for UK digital agencies to continue to focus on these strengths.
While Brexit may be a turbulent period, digital agencies in the UK are robust and thriving on the whole. This is not only good news for the health of the industry, but means hearty competition for business. It offers global clients a buyer’s market, where they can seek out truly enviable results.
Every agency has a role to play in this field, by promoting its strengths and the strength of Brand Britain as a whole in the digital sphere. Doing so consistently will ensure that clients overseas know they can continue to depend on your agency, and on doing business with British companies.
Strong Ties to the Tech Industry
Its nation’s position in the field of online technology will be a strong advantage for any digital agency in the years ahead. Fortunately, Britain has carved out a thriving brand in this area. Whether in the EU or not, London’s status as a global city of business will likely remain the same.
Brexit may bring a close to Britons’ access to the EU, but it won’t mean an end to global tech professionals working in the UK. In fact, the government recently announced a doubling of the present number of UK visas for tech professionals, to bolster the local industry post-Brexit.
To really take advantage of Britain’s tech strengths, it is important to actively build strong links with your local tech scene. To some agencies this will come naturally, as you may already have machine learning developers, web designers, and other programmers on staff. If you don’t have these close links, blogging about your local tech scene is a great way to show your audience that your agency is attuned to all things digital in the UK.
The Brexit period is one of turbulence for the UK economy, but it also offers UK agencies the chance to write a new page as one chapter closes. In this new era, agencies can promote their services and grow their businesses by leaning heavily into their primary strengths. Thanks to the importance of the English language, an ideal global location, and an innovation-based culture underpinned by a healthy tech scene, Britain has much to offer the world.
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