The UK decided to vote in favor of Brexit in July, yet people are still busy discussing the after effects of this decision. A number of people agree that they would like to change their vote if given a second chance, but it seems like it’s a little too late in the day to make such wishes.

While many argue that Brexit isn’t worrisome, the truth is that there’s a need to worry. It is going to impact different industries, including online marketing. A number of experts argue that since digital marketing is without boundaries, Brexit will have no effect on it. However, latest reports seem to indicate a different direction.

How it Will Impact the Hiring Market

According to a new survey, employers expect a shortage of skilled employees in this niche, and the gap is only going to widen due to Brexit. The Robert Walters survey showed that human resource managers are concerned about the availability of skilled talent in the digital space. With Brexit in effect, the pool of talented online marketers will begin to dry up, putting hiring managers in a tough space.

Due to this, 41% employers are planning to increase pay scale to attract new and better talent as they plan to hire aggressively in the last quarter of 2016. Most employers are planning to hire at the top level with 25% companies looking at new directors and 49% companies looking at filling management level positions.

With businesses giving more importance to data driven approach, marketers with experience in handling and interpreting data are going to be hugely in demand. Additionally, those with experience in handling social media marketing can also expect to be rewarded with high salaries as they are going to be hugely in demand.

While this survey mainly looked at the job market in the UK, the truth is that Brexit may impact international job markets too since the UK is one of the biggest exporters of talent.

How it Will Impact the Transfer of Data

Businesses in the US will also be highly affected by Brexit. Until late last year, local online marketing agencies were protected by the Safe Harbor agreement, which regulated the transfer of personal data between the US and the EU.

Under the agreement, personal data could not be transferred outside the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA) unless the other country met the data protection standards set by the EU. The agreement applied to all countries outside the EEA, but mainly targeted American companies. It allowed American agencies to receive EU citizens’ data and self-certify that they adhered to the Safe Harbor agreement. This attested that their agency adhered to the European privacy standards.

However, the agreement was already being under the scanner ever since the leaks by Edward Snowden. The EU considers the US privacy laws to be inadequate, and announced new rules last year in December that will be implemented in 2018. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is designed to patch the gap and protect data. A number of US companies have already started to adapt to this framework so that they can meet the required standards when the GDPR comes into effect in mid 2018.

The Safe Harbor agreement was completely overwritten in February 2016, and replaced with a new agreement called the Privacy Shield agreement. The new agreement was to control the data transfer between the EU and the US. However, now with Brexit, things seem to be a little tipsy.

One of the major questions is if the new Privacy Shield agreement would have to be negotiated, or if the EU would negotiate a new agreement with the UK since the English land is most probably going to have its own privacy laws. Some also argue that the EU might flag the UK privacy laws as inadequate. Things are not clear yet, but there may be a need to renegotiate terms between the EU, the UK and the US for the transfer of personal data.

Does Data Protection Really Affect The Industry?

Yes, it does. Businesses will have to think about a new internet marketing strategy. The current situation creates uncertainty for US businesses and online marketers who collect personal information from customers in the European Union.

Many US companies have incorporated “binding corporate agreements” and “model contract clauses” into their agreements, due to uncertainty in the current scenario. Both these instruments have approval from EU courts and allow EU citizens’ data to be transferred to other countries. Until a new plan is made, businesses can continue to gather data under these agreements.

Since businesses are global, marketers cannot stick to one country only. Not only big corporations but even small businesses are offering services and products all around the globe, and Europe is one of the biggest markets for American companies. Any changes in law will highly impact how business is done.

There are murmurs that the UK might adopt the EU privacy laws, but nothing has been made official yet.

How Brexit Will Impact the Economy

There are some small changes that can make a big difference. The slight change in currency may require some contracts to be renegotiated. Businesses may even have to change their marketing budgets, especially if they are under contract with a US agency.

Conclusion

Brexit is going to impact the world of online marketing, but not in a major way. At the end of the day, things are going to be fine. Some questioned if the UK might turn into a second China with stringent policies and banning of certain websites, especially with the EU’s announcement that Google is not a search engine. There were rumors of the UK changing how one uses Google in the country, but they all proved to be just rumours. Most agree that eventually time will take its toll and things will continue to be okay once this initial shock has washed away.