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Dear Uncle Mat - What should startup businesses do in the face of Brexit?

Meet Uncle Mat Braddy, the former CMO of startup-to-IPO brand Just Eat. Mat is now an entrepreneur building a new app, Rock Pamper Scissors, and is also a mentor to many London startups sharing his tips & experience.

Mat Braddy

In our new column Uncle Mat responds to readers’ startup marketing problems. If you have a dilemma send a brief email to mat.brady@thedrum.com. You can follow Mat on Twitter @matbraddy.

Dear Uncle Mat,

We are a startup in London which helps homeowners and buyers find the best mortgage and manage the process easily. How should we react to the Brexit and the uncertainty it has caused?

Oli West

Trussle.com

Mat says:

Hi Oli,

It’s been a interesting month for startup founders - especially as around 90 per cent of us were opposed to leaving the EU. But hey ho - we are where we are and what’s more this is a community of great innovators who love to rewrite the rules to win.

A good place to start to look for new opportunities is it build up a picture of your customers. Lets get back to marketing basics - our products need to fit a need the customers have. With Brexit clearly knocking confidence in the property space it’s worth pausing and thinking about how these needs may have just changed.

As a mortgage advisory site I’m going to assume you have two key client bases - first time buyers and people that already own a property looking to remortgage?

So in both cases, no one has a scooby what is going to happen. We need some solid facts to stand on before we move to buy a house or to sort out a new mortgage. Is this an opportunity for you to help? Hold our hands and give us some good new and we’ll thank you for it.

Interest rates at an all time low - great time to switch to a fixed rate mortgage for many years ahead - this gives me a fact to build on. I’ll know for many years ahead, despite what may happen in the EU fallout, exactly what my monthly mortgage is. That’s great to know and have in the plan.

For first timers, I presume this might be a good time to get in there and haggle with property owners who may be concerned that they are going to be sat on stock. They also can benefit from the historic low interest rates etc.

I’m also assuming the dropping of the pound’s value makes the UK potentially a good deal cheaper to foreign property investors. Not that we needed that trend to get any stronger, but still - opportunities are there.

Anyway - I am no property expert - that's your job - my point is to get inside the heads of the customer groups and map out how their needs have changed and then your responses.

Once you have a good content plan for these issues you then have to choose the channels for getting the messages out there. PR is going to be tricky at the moment - there is a tsunami of news crashing everyday. So again let's get inside the customer heads and think.

Start with your own blog - write a different post and think carefully about what questions the customers will be asking Google. E,g, “How will the brexit affect mortgage rates?”

Now to distribute we can have play with Facebook - the yoof maybe moving more to Instagram but the age of your customers is going to play perfectly there. From talking and running experiments with other startups I’ve found an effective method of cost effective distribution here is not necessarily to target by Facebook’s own demographics. Instead experiment by running ads targeting followers of brands and pages that homeowners may like. For example one company I talked to was trying to find car mechanics on Facebook. They hit upon the idea of advertising against pages like Snap On spanners. Genius idea and was excellent ROI. So for you I’d suggest trying against furniture manufactures, gardening, decorating etc.

I hope that was helpful - the key thing for us all is to rethink our messages and services through the perspective of our customers and see how we can help add stability and use that as an opportunity to help and thrive.

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