EMarketer reports that in a recent survey by B2B Marketing and Circle Research, 19% of the B2B agencies polled said that the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union had already negatively affected their business. And, 35% of respondents said they had felt less confident about their shop’s future since the controversial vote. Brexit is also making U.K. marketers more cautious about hiring new staff, according to the latest quarterly IPA Bellwether report.
Uncertainty can have a significant impact on business. As Gavin Finn wrote in a Chief Marketer article last summer, “When the status quo is being challenged, individuals and companies develop a heightened sense of awareness of how things are (or might be) changing, and they are less able to feel confident in their plans. This translates into hesitancy to embark upon long-term strategic initiatives, or even to change in small ways.”
This can be detrimental in a number of ways, from making businesses become overly risk adverse, and afraid of testing and trying something new, to consumers retreating from making purchases because of their dissatisfaction with the current world order.
What can you do in uncertain times? Don’t spread “alternative facts,” for one thing. Be authentic, says Finn, and build your brand around real customer experiences. And use data, but focus on the individual.
“It’s wise to remember that all purchase decisions are made by people,” he says. “Even in business purchases, the individual decision-makers are subject to the same strengths and weaknesses as consumers.”