What does political and economic uncertainty mean for us and our clients?
There’s no doubting that recent events have resulted in uncertainty both from a political and economic perspective. If I were a betting woman, I would have lost a lot of money over the past year on safe bets… Brexit? No way. President Trump? Surely not. Theresa May winning a landslide victory? You bet.
Although I decided not to take the traditional career route – having done an economics degree at university – I do have a curiosity about the current economic and political climate. And don’t worry, this is neither an economics lecture nor a political broadcast.
While the economy is still strong, there’s no doubt that Brexit negotiations, political uncertainty and recent devastating events in London and Manchester have left people feeling a bit uneasy. But focusing our attention on our industry, what does this mean for Mobas and our clients? Although it’s unlikely to impact us immediately, it’s likely that marketing activity will be carried out with more caution, particularly when it comes to assessing budgets and ROI.
One of the great things about being in the client services team at Mobas is the variety. Personally, I work on a really varied portfolio of clients, from animal health to hospitality, and so how the current political and economic climate will impact on my clients varies hugely. However, it will most likely impact on each of them in one way or another.
The larger multi-national companies of the world are likely to be well equipped to weather the potential Brexit storm. If they have offices both within and outside of the EU, we may see a change in terms of where they decide to operate their business. There are already mutterings in the news of companies looking to move their head offices out of the UK and into other large cities within the EU, however the hope is that the UK has a strong comparative advantage over these other locations – for example in the banking sector.
For the UK-based companies, we may see a change in the type of business they do. We may also see them trying to grow into different markets – for example, other overseas territories such as the US and Canada. In terms of the type of work they do, we could see one of two things: either a movement towards more specialist-type business models, or the other extreme of broadening their business portfolio to offer a range of products and services to cater for their new audience.
What about us? At Mobas, we see ourselves as an extension of our clients’ teams, so as an agency we naturally we feel what our clients feel, from both a marketing and a business perspective. We therefore need to continue to work with our clients to maximise the impact of marketing, by utilising the tools we have at our disposal. While there may be uncertainty politically, we will continue to deliver high standards of work for our clients, as well as for our own reputation and ambitions – cream will always rise to the top.
There are also opportunities that Mobas and our partners can benefit from if we are to grasp the nettle. Integrated agencies are able to provide their clients with a full service offering, which means that they can cater for clients’ changing needs as we see the economy and businesses change and adapt over the coming months and years.
Also, as an agency we naturally like to get under the skin of our clients’ worlds and understand their audiences. With this knowledge, we can tap into their decision-making behaviours and build brand trust and loyalty during a time where people have a lower propensity to take risks – whether it be buying a Japanese rather than German car, or minor lifestyle changes like changing your brand of toothpaste.
So while these are uncertain times, ever the optimist, I think that we can utilise our industry experience and support our clients and their wider teams to spot opportunities where others may bury their heads in the sand.