Remember Y2K? Are you still dealing with GDPR? What about Brexit?


by gigCMO MD Mark F. Magnacca

Everyone has an opinion about Brexit, but whatever your personal views, the one thing we know for certain is that whenever a significant change is upon us – real like GPDR or imagined like Y2K, businesses need to approach it in a planned and structured approach.

With this in mind, some companies have been predicting that the Brexit agenda will take up a sufficient amount of time as to warrant the addition of a new role – that of Director of Brexit – amongst their leadership ranks. Is it too much, or is it an insightful strategic move?

What’s the plan if no Brexit deal is reached with the EU?

Not a day goes by where there isn’t something unsettling reported in the news about Brexit. Nonetheless, in August, reported that the Institute of Directors (IoD) called on the Government to speed up guidance on what companies should expect if no deal is reached on leaving the EU.

They also noted that “a survey of 800 business leaders showed that fewer than a third had made any Brexit contingency planning.” A head in the sand approach to Brexit is an abdication of responsibility to all of your stakeholders. Nearly every firm planned for Y2K which turned out to be a damp squib.

Taking control of your own strategy

Of course, no one can possibly predict what the real outcome of Brexit will be at this stage, let alone its short, medium and long term impact. The only thing one can really say with certainty is that there will be an outcome and a corresponding impact, and it is an issue that will dramatically affect customers.

Those of us who have been in business for long enough to see a few cycles of change in its various different guises however, will have enough grey hairs to know that the only thing one can do is plan and create the ability to react to a number of eventualities. Who knows, one might even plan beyond a case of simply battening down the hatches and preparing for a storm, and look for the potential opportunities change could bring as well.

Brexit or not

How a business prepares for Brexit is unique to their circumstances, but the good sense in having a strategy for dealing with it, and an experienced leader to plan that pathway, is hard to argue with. For many, the prospect of financing a whole new dedicated role within the organisation would be entirely unrealistic in terms of cashflow and/or ROI. For others, it is simply unlikely to be the most effective way to proceed.

What we’re really all talking about is dedicating meaningful time and resource to thinking and planning and this is where the guidance of those who have experienced change in its many guises is going to be invaluable. Looking outside your own company for sage advice could provide powerful perspective to help you and your team prepare, using a powerful combination of innovation and experience.

Whichever way you think about it, in one form or another, Brexit is coming. So Director of Brexit or not, getting your marketing strategy in place for March seems like a good idea. That way you can get back to focusing on the long-term future of your business.