Elections, uncertainty and how to take control

Martyn Leek looks at the uncertainty of elections and argues why now is not the time to panic when it comes to business and marketing strategy.

There can be no doubt that elections create business uncertainty.

There are thousands of studies which confirm this. Kristin Forbes, an external member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee gave a speech last November entitled “Uncertainty About Uncertainty” where she cited 17 studies that found uncertainty slows business investment/hiring, causes consumers retrenchment, makes companies less productive and raises the cost of capital by churning financial markets

But, what can be challenged is the notion is that businesses should adopt a wait and see, head-in-the-sand policy when it comes to business and marketing strategy because of social and political changes.

Let’s face it; we have been having a pretty crazy time of it since the referendum on Scotland, the death of David Bowie and the Brexit vote. This has been compounded by Trump, the Darth Vader of uncertainty, being voted in to power in the U.S. and the decision by Teresa May to announce a snap election on 8 June.


What’s more, early signs from the City are not good thanks to May’s decision, with Alan Bowen legal advisor to the Association of Atol Companies, saying, “it’s a disaster for the travel industry as we know historically that people stop spending money on holidays and other big purchases during an election campaign.”

With Michel Driessen, Senior Partner within the Transaction Advisory Services practice at international accounting firm EY, adding: “We are likely to see delays in transactions as companies digest the Prime Minister’s announcement. However, many of the imperatives to do deals, from slow growth to disruptive competition, go beyond currency moves and the economic cycle.”

Just because the world at large is facing a period of uncertainty does not mean that all businesses suffer the same consequences. For example, Warren Buffet made $10bn in the financial crisis of 2008 – when most others were consolidating and battening down the hatches.


Has some prime examples of businesses sticking to their own plan, ploughing their own furrow – even if it appears to be against the curve. For example Walgreen’s, the American pharmacy company, used to be a restaurant company until Charles R. Cork Walgreen decided to completely change the direction of the business when he took control. He executed a plan, and earlier this year the company, now part of Boots Alliance, made an impressive profit of $1.1bn.

Our experienced team at PRG can help your business navigate through these times of political uncertainty. Whether that is taking over an existing marketing strategy, freeing you up to look at other business needs, or helping you develop a completely new approach.

Despite the naysayers, now is definitely not the time to panic. Now is the time to review and then execute.

It’s also rewarding to know that despite these troubled times the hiring of marketers is on the up. Some 41% of senior marketers are predicting expanded marketing budgets in 2017, while only 15% foresee a decline, according to a recent study by Marketing Week.

Being a full service marketing and PR agency means we have a team of dedicated professionals that can help with any number of your needs from digital marketing, PR, graphic design, traditional marketing, social media and web design. What’s more we have a background in a wide variety of different sectors.

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