Most American Internet marketers are focused 100% on the United States market. It’s an easy decision, it’s the home market, there are few language issues (Spanish language websites are still rare, even for Sun Belt companies), there are 300 million Americans, and it’s a market they know. Those that branch out include some focus on Canada, and occasionally, the UK and Australia play a role. While the allocation of votes has left the Conservative Party with a near majority, it appears that the Tories are about to place their first Prime Minister since Tony Blair’s victory in 1997 — for fun, I went to the Wayback machine to pull a BBC link from before May 1st, 1997, the last time the Conservative Party held power, note the changes on today’s version of the BBC. Quirks of the electoral map are interesting to political junkies, since the Conservative victory was much larger than Labour’s in 2005 in raw votes, but Labour’s 3 point margin left them with a large seat advantage. Whether this minority government or coalition government lasts the five year term or not, it is a major change in government.
What makes this interesting is that Labour’s 13 year run included the entire Internet revolution. When the Conservative Party last held power, 1997, the Internet was in its infancy, and primarily in America. Now 70% of UK Households have broadband, an entire new industry has cropped up. In 1997, Windows 95 was still new at bundling Internet Explorer, Netscape was the dominant platform, and plenty of homes lacked a personal computer.
The Internet world is dominated by issues of privacy, security, and taxation. How will a center-right government approach issues of International trade for services and virtual products. A young Internet marketer was in middle school when the Tories last held power, making the UK a fixed entity for most of their life.
The International Media is focused on Foreign Policy and issues regarding EU integration, but nobody is talking about any of the areas that might affect our area of the economy. With the Conservatives pull back from the EU, resulting in less onerous privacy issues, will tax reform make doing business in the UK more interesting? When we were expanding Creditcards.com, we hosted a UK site (uk.creditcards.com) in the UK, and dealing with issues of payment and legalities were onerous, and issue that a new Conservative government make seek to change.
Labour’s base was “working class” men and women in the cities, the knowledge economy wasn’t a blip on their radar. Does a new legal environment open up exciting opportunities, or will this area of the economy be ignored. A hung parliament with a minority or coalition government usually doesn’t last long in the UK’s system, so minor changes and a “snap poll” within a year is possible, or will the Conservatives try to make major changes fast before their government falls and they return to the polls?