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Whilst Brexit squeezes UK growth, Adlantic’s most determined clients are focused on striking new international deals of their own.

Our response at Adlantic to the political jostling at Westminster is “Buck Brexit”. Well, we might have said something slightly stronger… But we’re flipping it around to turn economic lemons into lemonade.

We’re helping clients with the ambition, stamina and foresight to build their sales pipeline to do just that, both at home and abroad. There’s a whole world of customers out there and Adlantic PPC’s expertise in digital lead generation can help fill your sales pipeline with leads locally, nationally and internationally.

Economic Impact of Brexit on UK

According to Goldman Sachs, Britain’s exit from the European Union has already cost the economy around £600 million per week since the 2016 referendum. Yes, you read that right: per week.

The Goldman Sachs report also found our economy had lost nearly 2.5% of GDP at the end of last year, compared to its growth path prior to the mid-2016 vote on exiting the bloc.

Mark Carney, the Bank of England governor says the ‘Brexit effect’ has hampered the UK economy and our economy is now 1% smaller than predicted before the EU vote.

We could go on, but maybe it’s time for some blue sky thinking. Wherever you sit on the Brexit argument, it’s clear that business owners can’t and won’t sit on their hands. It’s time to buck the trend and look internationally for growth.

Where will global growth come from?

According to the IMF, the global economy is projected to grow at 3.5 percent in 2019 and 3.6 percent in 2020.

Let’s look at countries providing the greatest contribution to this growth.

The chart below shows that the emerging and developing countries of Asia (including China and India) are good regions to focus on for business growth.

Global Economic Growth
Source: IMF 2019

The data from the IMF shows where economic growth is happening using purchasing power parity and compares the share of global GDP taken by these regions over time.

In terms of share of Global GDP growth (PPP) the forecasts for 2019 show China having 33% of global growth, Other Asia (inc India and Indonesia) 29%, United States 11%, the Euro Area 4% and the United Kingdom 1% in 2019.

Should you look beyond the EU to fill your sales pipeline?

In a word. Yes. The numbers above speak for themselves.

Let’s examine the international opportunities outwith the EU, towards Asia. In particular, we think that the ASEAN region (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam – is ripe for UK business.

Why? Two simple reasons. The economies in the region are growing rapidly and the working language is English. If the ASEAN region were a country it would be the world’s fifth-largest economy.

According to the latest IMF’s World Economic Outlook figures, ASEAN countries’ gross domestic products combined to $2.73 trillion in 2017, putting the group ahead of the UK’s 2.63 trillion and India’s $2.61 trillion.

Singapore is listed as an advanced economy according to the IMF and Indonesia and Malaysia are not far behind. Bloomberg forecast that Indonesia’s economy will be the 4th largest in the world by 2030, while Malaysia is predicted to gain High-Income Nation status in the next five years according to the World Bank.

English is the primary language used for business in the ASEAN region. Compare that to the 24 official working languages recognised by the EU and the region becomes pretty attractive in terms of ease of doing business.

Before you start marketing or selling your services overseas it’s really important to research which markets make most sense for you. Which markets have the most demand for your particular service or product?

Adlantic works with clients in many different sectors who could benefit from international expansion. The UK tech industry, for example, is perfectly poised to make the leap abroad, as our research below demonstrates.

Opportunity for digital technology businesses to expand internationally

Banking on technology as a future growth sector is a no brainer. According to CompTIA, the global tech industry is projected to grow 4% this year alone to $5 trillion.

Britain has a global reputation for innovation and best practice. A turnover of £184 billion, makes our digital technology sector the third largest in the world.

Furthermore, it’s a lot easier to export digital services, software and technology than perishables. Reaching new customer segments, international markets and launching new products in emerging technology areas will help business leaders drive growth.

We’ve examined the tech industry to discover which sub sectors are gaining the most interest and growth online. Below you can see how interest in Vertical Farming, Fintech, IoT Devices and Software as a Service (SaaS) has grown steadily since 2004, with a dramatic upturn in the last three years.

Global Tech Sectors
Source: Google Trends

Which markets have high demand for technology?

Looking at the international data from Google we can see that after the UK, USA and India (the countries with the highest user search requests) the online demand for our selected sub sectors is high in the ASEAN+3 region.

Using Google Ads keyword planner tool we can see the searches or estimated impressions for the sub categories for the next quarter, July to September 2019. This is a strong online indicator for market demand and overall opportunity size.

Demand For Tech
Source: Google Trends

Next, let’s see how competitive the markets are by reviewing the pricing, average cost per click for one of the sub sectors, SaaS.

CPC For SaaS Technology
Source: Google Ads

How does Adlantic PPC help you find customers overseas?

Adlantic use Google data and our International Predictor IP to sniff out the international demand for your products and services. By comparing that to the competitiveness of supply, we can determine how cost effective ads in those regions will be.

Looking at click through rate and conversion metrics, we can predict for you how many customers your budget will convert, and calculate your market share. Before you’ve spent a penny on marketing, you’ll have a detailed picture of the attractiveness of any new market.

We then put the digital advertising plan into action with advanced Pay Per Click and Conversion Rate Optimisation campaigns to help you advertise effectively in a new country. Adlantic is also able to nurture leads on your behalf or help you build a boots on the ground sales team.

If all goes to plan, then hey presto! You’ll be enjoying the boost in customers and revenue that comes with successfully penetrating a new international market.

What are you waiting for?

As we speak, the UK’s political leaders are all shrugging their shoulders over the Brexit conundrum. Meanwhile, we are striving to put our clients head and shoulders above the competition.

Our entire agency ethos is to help ambitious businesses grow in new and exciting regions. Using powerful data insights and internal forecasting tools, we can tell you where your customers are, how many there are, and what it takes to get in front of them.

Get in touch with Adlantic today, and we can #BuckBrexit together.

buck the trend – definition
to be obviously different from the way that a situation is developing generally, especially in connection with financial matters:
Adlantic PPC clients buck the trend of slow sales growth during Brexit negotiations

Reuters, Brexit Uncertainty Has Cost Britain £600 Million A Week – Goldman Sachs
IMF, World Economic Outlook Database
Post Magazine, Speaking In Tongues: Why ASEAN Members Stick To English
Bloomberg, These Could Be The World’s Biggest Economies By 2030
New Straits Times, Malaysia To Reach High-Income Status Between 2020 and 2024: World Bank
Singapore Business Review, Thailand Leads IoT Learning In The ASEAN
CompTia, IT Industry Outlook 2019
KPMG, ASEAN Business Guide
Gov. Technology

South Korea Haeundae District - Image for Brexit Deal With UK

If you export cars, fuel or Scotch whisky it’s a positive step towards continuity of trade. For those with creative technologies such as FinTech, AI solutions, cloud computing, IoT and software there are new opportunities in South Korea and the wider ASEAN+3 region.

Undoubtedly, Liam Fox, International Trade Secretary, will be glad to have signed Britain’s first major trade deal in Asia since the vote to leave the EU.

One down… forty or so to go!

In 2018, Britain exported around £8.2bn worth of goods to South Korea, putting them at 15th in our list of top trading partners in terms of export sales.

Signing the deal with the South Korean trade minister, Yoo Myung-hee, in Seoul this week is clearly an important milestone for continuity of trade in a post Brexit world.

Just take a look at the bump in the graph below. It shows the value of trade between the UK and South Korea has more than doubled since 2011.

UK Trade With South Korea (ONS 2019)
UK Trade With South Korea (ONS 2019)

The deal with South Korea

The agreement pretty much replicates the preferential terms Britain gets with South Korea through the European Union, including keeping zero-tariffs on South Korean exports such as car parts.

That’s good news for British car manufacturers who have seen significant demand for British cars in South Korea. In fact car exports were up by a third to £943m in 2018.

Britain is Korea’s second-largest trade partner in the EU, with trade between the two countries totaling 14-point-five trillion won last year.

It’s positive for whisky producers in Scotland too. Karen Betts, CEO of the Scotch Whisky Association says that South Korea was worth £70m in shipments last year. That’s some 1.2bn bottles of Scotch whisky powering their way across the ocean to South Korea.

Of course, this is just the start. You’d expect the Department of International Trade must be super busy right now given the EU accounts for 30 percent of global whisky exports and 52 percent of UK-built vehicle exports.

This chart displays Percentage of United Kingdom Exports By Country (US Dollars), according to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade.

Technology opportunities in South Korea

Currently the 12th largest economy in the world, South Korea leads the world in terms of broadband internet penetration and is home to huge conglomerates including Samsung, Hyundai, LG and SK.

When it comes to ease of doing business, South Korea ranks 4th in the world and has a highly educated population, ranking 1st amongst OECD countries for the proportion of 25 to 35 year olds with tertiary education.

The explosion in data from converged wireless and wired networks, emergence of IoT, cloud computing, big data and AI has created opportunities in next generation networks, security, devices and IoT equipment.

According to the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, South Korea is actively driving the creation of new markets and jobs by applying new software services and technologies to diverse industries.


  • AI Solutions
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Cloud Computing
  • Fintech services and software
  • Smart Healthcare
  • Regulatory technology solutions in the finance sector
  • Biohealth
  • Online to offline (O2O) such as omni-channels, payment and settlement systems and beacon businesses
  • Lifecycle management
  • Collection of complex data

Demand volumes for tech in ASEAN+3

The following tables gives you an indication of reach for various technologies in the ASEAN+3 region.

The data is sourced from Google Ads and provides monthly online search demand for opportunities across the ASEAN+3 trading region which includes South Korea, Japan and China as well as the ASEAN countries.

Monthly Search Impressions Forecast for ASEAN+3 (1 Jul to 30 Sep 2019)

Technology TypeEstimated Impressions
Data analytics721,195
Internet of Things (IoT)159,879
Cloud computing153,432
HR Software118,405
Project Management Software92,247
Infrastructure as a service 8,615
AI Solutions1,816
Basic English Grammar1,445

South Korea

Focusing on the Republic of Korea (South Korea), the technologies with higher demand metrics target in terms of demand on the Google search engine include; FinTech, cloud computing, project management software, HR software and payroll software.

In terms of Korean regions to target; Seol, Gyeonggi-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do are where most of the demand is, although 18% comes from outwith the top 5 city regions.

Top Regions For Creative Technologies By PPC Cost

Google is not the only player in South Korea. Naver and Daum are also popular although Google is increasingly being used and now has approximately 76% search engine market share in the Republic of Korea.

Search Engine Market Share – Republic of Korea May 2019
Source: Statcounter

While the UK is trying to get post-Brexit trade deals over the line, why not sign a few international deals of your own? If you are looking to reach customers in the ASEAN+3 region Adlantic can help.

Adlantic can provide insights on online market demand, average cost per click and your average cost per lead acquisition in the ASEAN+3 region.

We specialise in analysing international market attractiveness for clients, and managing the PPC / CRO campaigns that turn forecasts into sales results.


KBS World Radio, S. Korea, Britain Reach Agreement on Post-Brexit FTA
World’s Top Exports, United Kingdom’s Top Trading Partners
ONS, Who does the UK trade with?
Scotch Whisky Association, Scotch Whisky Exports on the up in 2018
The Guardian, UK and South Korea agree to sign post-Brexit trade deal
CIA, The World Factbook
Trading Economics, United Kingdom Exports By Country
The World Bank Group, Doing Business 2018 Report
IMF, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Country Rank by GDP