• Many companies have founded their go-to-market strategies on a single European market
  • Uncertainty continues to exist today about how and when the U.K. will leave the European market
  • This uncertainty creates an opportunity for portfolio marketing leaders to prepare for a post-Brexit go-to-market strategy

Over the last few months, we’ve seen heightened activity and discussion concerning how and when the U.K. will leave the European market. Although uncertainty continues to surround how the transition will occur, it’s clear that much will change for businesses operating in the EU and the U.K.

brexit diplomats hands

Since the establishment of the European Economic Area in 1992, many global companies chose to set up operations in the U.K. before expanding into the EU. Along with one of the largest domestic markets in Europe, the great advantage the U.K. offered is that it opened up the entire European market, increasing economic reach from nearly $3 trillion to as high as $18 trillion in 2018, according to the International Monetary Fund. Companies based their decisions about which markets to go after and what buyer personas to target on the concept of an integrated market for the entire EU.

After Brexit, this will all change. However the U.K. and the EU separate, being prepared is the best way for organizations to mitigate business impact. Portfolio marketing leaders have a window of opportunity to lead these conversations and get their teams ready with as little disruption as possible. To prepare properly, portfolio marketing leaders should be mindful of the following four considerations:

  • Changing market segments. Although the full impact of Brexit won’t be clear for some time, portfolio marketing should now begin reevaluating the market segmentation that is the basis for the organization’s current go-to-market plans. The relative attractiveness of certain markets and buyer personas will almost certainly be affected by Brexit. Consider a flower exporter in the Netherlands catering to the events and conference businesses across the world. This exporter must now contend with customs procedures that will take longer when exporting to the U.K. Additionally, Brexit may have an impact on the number of events and conferences hosted. These impacts will reduce the attractiveness of the U.K. market and open an opportunity for another market to take its place.
  • New buyer personas and buyer needs. Changing market circumstances, which should be expected after Brexit, can also bring new buyer personas and buyer needs to the forefront. For example, the flower exporter may now need cold storage facilities conveniently located between the Netherlands and the U.K. to keep flowers fresh. For some providers, the exporter’s head of shipping is now a new buyer persona with defined buyer needs that can be targeted (i.e. responsibility for the fresh delivery of flowers despite new import regulations).
  • Opportunity for innovation. Looking at changing buyer needs, organizations can identify new opportunities for their products and services. Can solutions be built to address specific post-Brexit needs that will create new pathways to market and potential new revenue streams? For example, a legal services firm can offer contract review and amendment services so that their customers don’t have to worry about legal exposure in their current contracts after Brexit.
  • Organizational structure. This is the time for smart portfolio marketing leaders to consider whether Brexit will have an impact on the current setup of the portfolio marketing team itself. As the break in the market will lead to more variation rather than less, organizations may want to invest now in a regional portfolio marketing team that is more closely connected to the home markets they serve and thus can help the organization adjust for those local differences between geographies. Organizations that choose this path must determine where to find talent in the region and what capabilities and skills the new team members must have.

Portfolio marketing leaders are uniquely positioned to adapt their organization’s go-to-market strategies in the post-Brexit world. These considerations are a good starting point for preparing portfolio marketing leaders to ensure a positive outcome in uncertain times.