How Your Data Can Help You Navigate Brexit
Whether you voted ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’, we appreciate you are probably sick of the B word by now. But, as you read this, we should technically be only a month away from leaving the European Union. Granted, it seems like the possibility of a decision being made is getting further and further away, as we collectively sit back and watch the slowest metaphorical car crash of all time reach its miserable crescendo. However, this time next month we could be on the other side of deliberations, so it felt remiss of us not to address it.
In amongst the sea of backstops, hard borders and no confidences votes, businesses have been trying to grasp an understanding of what Brexit might mean for them. In a recent survey, 76% of UK businesses said the are aware that Brexit will have an impact on their business and 57% said they will need to adapt their business processes – making it clear people are bracing themselves for the inevitable backlash from Brussels. Whilst an air of uncertainty rumbles over Westminster like a dense fog, many businesses will already have undertaken some level of impact analysis for different scenarios – some are making sure their coffers are full in-case the economy plummets, others are already investigating office space in Luxembourg. As always, we believe the insights gleaned from your data can help you make decisions with a little bit of conviction – which is more than can be said for our government at the moment.
Right now is a great time to start analysing the global segmentation of your customer base. It has never been more important for you to understand what proportion of your customers comes from within the EU and exactly what kind of value they are to your business – how frequently and how regularly they purchase from you, how much they spend and how active they are. For all of this you can turn to your customer database, where you will be able to assess how much impact Brexit will have on your pipeline. If you were to find that the majority of your customer base is EU focused, you may want to use this data to make an estimate of potential losses and begin strategising accordingly.This is a useful exercise to do on a global scale as well, as there may be other parts of the world that turn out to have a higher proportion of high value customers. In the event of a hard Brexit that may make trade within the EU difficult, this information could offer growth opportunities in existing geos without having to invest the time and resources into a completely new territory.
However, your customer database can only take you so far, as it simply tells you about your existing customers, rather than prospective ones. To truly maximise on potential growth opportunities, you will want to analyse the behaviours of users of your site using your web analytics tools. Here you will be able to see not only the traffic headed to the site but also the interest indicating behaviours, such as downloading a brochure or requesting a quote. Once you drill down in to where in the world these specific users are based, you could unlock the key to post-Brexit sustainability.
For example, if after assessing your customer database you realise that the majority of your current customers are based in France and Spain, you may be concerned that in a post-Brexit world these customers could decrease, dramatically affecting your bottom line. However, if you notice that you have had lots of web activity from North America – click throughs, spending time checking out your products, reading white papers – but you are failing to convert these visitors in to customer, this could give you the impetus to reassess your marketing strategy or to tailor your onsite messaging to an American audience. Tying these indicators of interest back to what content they’ve looked at how they have consumed it will also help you hone your content strategy, focusing on topics that this specific geography seem to engage with.
It’s also useful to do this at a more localised level and assess which cities are driving the most traffic. In a large territory, different marketing strategies will resonate best with certain areas of the country – if 90% of your traffic is coming from New York there is no point targeting your approach to potential customers in Ohio.
Whilst this may not totally eradicate the impact of Brexit, identifying low hanging fruit in this way and reacting accordingly could help soften the blow. Even if it doesn’t affect trade between the UK and the continent as much as some have predicted it will, it is good business sense to diversify your customer base and expand into different territories. Not only will scaling your business in this way increase your opportunities for profit, but it will also give you the security of knowing your eggs are not all in one purely European basket.
Data can do many things, but unfortunately it can’t offer a guaranteed solution in uncertain times. However, using analytics to fully understand everything possible about your existing and potential customers and how they are interacting with your brand, should help you better navigate the potentially choppy waters ahead.
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We’ve developed a great partnership with Per4mance Insight while working together on a number of A/B tests and site changes. Emma’s become integral to the process, helping with tracking, monitoring tests while they’re ongoing and producing post deployment impact reports. She’s now very much one of the team.