Built for Marketing in the EU,

a bold move or a step too far?

A year ago, Built for Marketing set its sights on building its presence in the European Union.

The reason is simple; almost all market analysis and reports pointed to the fact that the UK were heading into turbulent, dare I say; post Brexit waters. Coupled with the Covid pandemic we definitely changed how the Built for Marketing team worked and who we are.

Some called us crazy, thinking that the world would fall back as it was, but as a company we took the path of declaring our status as a “Remote First” company. This opened the opportunity to build the business with skilled individuals and associates with both aligned construction market knowledge and with the benefit of multi-language capabilities. Built for Marketing is now supporting projects in Portugal, Germany, France and Spain.

So was this a bold move, a step too far, “a daring bid to go multinational” as quoted by the judges when Built for Marketing won Small Agency of the year in December 2022, or a strategy built on an understanding of what was to come for the UK and EU construction markets.

Only last week Construction News published an article based on the UK and post Brexit materials and wage costs. With new research indicating that the cost of construction materials has risen faster in the UK than in the EU since the Brexit referendum in June 2016.

Between 2015 to 2022 the cost of materials in the UK increased by about 60 per cent compared with 35 per cent in the EU over the same period. In addition, in the same article

Noble Francis, economics director at the Construction Products Association, said “that the volume of construction product exports to the EU was 34.2 per cent lower in the third quarter of 2022 than the average volume between 2016-2018.”

The UKTBC has now launched an economy-wide consultation to gather evidence on issues facing UK industries post-Brexit.

It goes without saying that both UK and European construction markets have both been impacted by Brexit in a number of ways. In terms of workflow, the UK market has experienced a slowdown due to increased bureaucracy and regulations associated with Brexit, leading to longer lead times for materials and components. This, in turn, has resulted in projects taking longer to complete and increased costs for contractors.

On the other hand, the European construction market has seen increased investment and growth in the wake of Brexit, as businesses and investors look to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the removal of trade barriers. The European construction industry has benefited from increased exports, leading to higher demand for construction services and an increase in construction activity. With research sources such as Eurostat – the statistical office of the European Union – a leading provider of market intelligence for the construction industry in Europe, all publishing information and reports on construction market trends and forecasts in the EU.

The UK has also recently seen a reduction in GDP growth, which has had a knock-on effect on the construction industry. The uncertainty caused by Brexit has made investors and businesses cautious, leading to reduced investment in new projects. Studies have shown that the UK construction industry has been impacted by the uncertainty and increased bureaucracy caused almost completely by Brexit. According to a report by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the UK construction industry experienced a slowdown in growth following the Brexit vote, with a decline in both new work and repair and maintenance activity. In fact, there are several research sources that demonstrate the changes in growth between the UK and European construction markets post-Brexit. These include reports and studies by organisations such as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), and the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Of course, it’s important to note that these trends are subject to change, and that the impact of Brexit on the construction industry will likely continue to evolve as the UK and EU negotiate their future relationship.

So in conclusion our strategic decisions to adapt our business model to fluidly work, in both the UK and EU markets with product and market knowledge, supported by native speakers was a timely decision and one we will continue to invest in.

If you are looking to understand more about, bringing products to the EU market or vice versa from the EU to the UK, Built for Marketing could not be better positioned to guide you every step of the way.

Contact Jules Quested-Williams here.