Here’s wishing all my readers and clients a Happy New Year!
Happy New Year 2017 To All Digital Marketers!
I hope 2016 was a good year for you in digital marketing.
For me, 2016 for the most part was a great year. New projects, new clients. Learning new marketing and technical skills and know-how and putting it all into practice.
So how will things turn out for the digital economy in 2017? Of course we can’t foresee the future with certainty. But we can discern the broad shape of the events and forces that will influence the online economy in the coming year.
We have a new President moving into the White House committed to restructuring US relations with the rest of the world and especially on the trade front. In particular trade relations with China.
As a result, we may see some eventual reordering of trade terms with China, but the US can’t afford to damage its export markets and with that lose more jobs and tax revenue at home.
The US federal debt is also a big problem – and a lot of that is now held by China (along with Japan). This will have an impact on what Trump can reasonably expect to achieve.
And all out trade wars benefit no-one and hit your prosperity. My view is that what President Trump manages to achieve will in practice be limited.
As for Europe, the Eurozone continues to have major unresolved structural problems, in particular with Greece, Spain and Portugal. The response from Germany and France especially still seems to be just to try and stagger from one crisis to another and keep the Euro going as it is.
There’s no willingness among Europeans to pay any kind of solidarity tax to transfer money long-term from Germany and other wealthier northern EU countries to the southern ones to help resolve the impact of the Euro on the south.
Apart from the agricultural subsidies and protectionism for farmers and the minor “structural funds” which finances the odd bridge, school or highway extension in the weaker EU regions, it’s still each country for itself. And this looks unlikely to change.
The refugee crisis and Angela Merkel’s call to refugees to come to Germany has little or no support from other EU countries and has led to rifts within the EU, and especially with Eastern Europe.
And of course, the UK intends, or so they say, to leave the EU. How exactly that will proceed and what will be put in its place for the future still remains to be seen. The UK government simply says “Brexit means Brexit” – without themselves even knowing what that means.
Plus the potential impact of further terrorist attacks especially on France and Germany. How this will affect the upcoming 2017 French and German elections and with that the EU remains to be seen.
So what does all this mean for the e-commerce sector in 2017?
If you’re a UK citizen or EU citizen based in UK and running an e-commerce business, then you’re in an uncertain place right now, both with regard to residence as well as business strategy for the future. No one knows for sure what will happen.
The next few years at least will see little or no real change in the immediate situation for digital marketers. We can only hope there will be some clarification in 2017.
While countries seem to be retreating into their shells and borders with a so-called “re-nationalization” mentality, e-commerce operates largely without regard for national borders.
We digital marketers can trade with practically anywhere in the world. Our clients are international and our markets can be global. It’s the very opposite of the old pre-Internet world.
So paradoxically right at the time that populist politicians are appealing to voters with old world style “national state and borders” and anti-immigrant platforms, the digital world continues to forge ahead and expand.
My view is that the digital economy will continue to advance and expand in 2017.
The e-commerce sector continues to grow. More and more people are buying online, including via mobile and tablet devices.
As long as the UK’s anti-EU and US’s Trump trade tariff rhetoric does not lead to a trade war and contraction of trade and a recession – and provided consumer demand can be maintained at present levels – then online business should continue to grow and prosper in 2017.
However things turn out, here’s wishing you all the best with your online business in 2017!
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