Immigration

Immigration

How to deal with a changing post-Brexit client base

Brexit will bring many challenges to law firms as the UK adjusts to some very different circumstances - and none will be affected more than those dealing in immigration law.

Much uncertainty followed the vote by the British electorate to leave the EU in 2016. This major decision also resulted in many political actions that have so far failed to shed light on the future trajectory of the economy. The following impact on the digital marketing industry is expected:

Weak Pound Drives Demand for Local Services: Globalisation within the digital marketing industry is high which means that digital marketers can easily provide cross-border services. For example, a legal enterprise based in the UK might use services of a digital marketing agency based in the US. In the aftermath of Brexit, the pound continued to remain low against the major currencies across the globe. For example, the pound/USD exchange rate a day before Brexit peaked at $1.5 which is presently trading at around $1.3, a devaluation of over 13%. The low value of pound against the major currencies will encourage potential prospects to engage local service providers as compared to their international counterparts.

Rethink Marketing Strategies Post Brexit:According to a new survey conducted from business leaders, marketers and HR professionals, nearly a one-fifth businesses (18%) confirmed that they would have to re-strategise their marketing plans to cope with post-Brexit business environment. Brexit is the new factor which is fuelling the demand for specialised marketing services in the UK.

Repositioning and Rebranding of Law Firms: Majority of large legal enterprises based in London and the rest of the UK are modern and international. Approximately 20% of the legal industry revenue is generated through exports. However, The Economist reported that Brexit could deprive British law firms from international business due to uncertainty around the Britain’s future relationship with the EU and how international clients respond to Brexit. Nevertheless, UK law firms will seek branding and digital marketing services to reshape and reposition their enterprises to increase domestic sales in order to offset a potential decline in exports.

While the politicians and public alike have argued long and loud about Brexit, legal firms have been weighing up the implications. Given that immigration was one of the issues in the referendum, it is sure to follow that the way the UK’s policy in this area changes once EU laws no longer apply will be a topic of fierce debate.

EU citizens may find their legal futures as residents of the UK becomes more precarious, although those currently living in Britain can apply for permanent residency until the end of 2020. However, there may be uncertainty over the rights of their dependents and in the event of a no-deal Brexit their situation could be even more unclear.

As a result, immigration lawyers unused to dealing with EU nationals because of the freedom of movement they have previously enjoyed are likely to find Europeans make up a growing proportion of their client base.

Another element of change will be the creation of a new immigration regime. Prime minister Boris Johnson’s preference is the Australian points system, which is used to cherry-pick successful immigration applications.

Exact details of how this would work remain to be seen, but it is possible borderline cases could be the subject of legal appeals, providing a new area of demand for legal services. This will make necessary a change in marketing strategy.

As with any form of marketing, a primary requirement is to understand the client base through what is known as a buyer persona. This is an archetype based on the characteristics of the people to whom marketing will be aimed.

Sometimes, a marketing strategy needs to be radically revised in the event of changing circumstances. A post-Brexit shift in immigration policy is an obvious case in point as new buyer personas will be needed as law firms seek to meet their needs.  

At BeUniqueness, we can help you draft a strategy that will help you target the people you want to market to, from building buyer personas to developing SEO for law firms.

In the case of immigration, this may mean accounting for a wide array of cultural and linguistic factors as well as varied circumstances. But within that diversity, there will be opportunities to target specific groups with marketing for services designed to deal with various post-Brexit immigration issues.