Julian Saunders, founder of data management and GDPR compliance solution PORT.im, discusses how GDPR is great news for marketers
The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to be a crucial moment for UK marketers. A large proportion of the legislation covers the protection, storage, use and retention of personal data. It is a mechanism for empowering people to take control of their data, hold those that misuse data to account, and a game-changer when it comes to transparency and security.
Viewing GDPR as a mechanism for restoring trust and promoting innovation in marketing is the first step to getting to grips with its implications.
GDPR will give a consumer the right to modify, delete and receive a copy of the data any organisation holds on them. Businesses will also have to earn explicit consent from people to use their data for marketing purposes and also receive marketing messages. This consent can also be revoked as easily as it was given, at any time.
For talented marketers GDPR will create an environment in which they will flourish.
First, it’ll necessitate businesses purchasing or building data management infrastructure, creating data governance procedures and investing more money in marketing technology.
Proper data management enables a staggering number of marketing innovations such as the better targeting of customers, the deployment of more timely, relevant and personalised content, and also the uncovering of deeper insights into the impact of the campaigns they run.
However, having the tools to run more efficient and effective marketing campaigns is very different from having the buy in from customers or clients to be able to use them. This is where GDPR again makes a difference; it will be a driver of trust and security.
Organisations will have to priorities the security of the data they hold, clearly communicate privacy terms and inform customers if there are any breaches. People will be empowered to make clear decisions on the messages they receive and what happens with their data. This will provide knowledge and control to customers. Companies that have a cavalier attitude to data privacy and security will find themselves having to self-certify their GDPR compliance and agree to accept onerous financial liabilities when they want to provide services to other enterprises.
Consequently, the ‘creepiness factor’ of personalised communications will be vastly reduced. Those that do not want or need highly personalized or targeted communications will quickly modify their consent. Finally, the scales will fully tilt to innovative marketers, as businesses who continue to send simplistic, high volume and non-personalised content to their entire marketing database will soon find their customer base shrinking.
In short, with consumers rightly wielding so much power over their own data and able to revoke their consent at any time, marketing propositions will need to improve drastically. This competition will result in marketers gaining the freedom to explore more cutting-edge targeting, personalisation and reporting methods.
Naturally, with lower volume campaigns targeting a more engaged customer base, marketing should generally have a higher ROI. Cost savings from lower frequency and lower volume campaigns can also be channeled into innovation. With clicks and conversions rising alongside the standards of marketing, marketers should find it easier to win more budget.
This quick run through of the probably implications of GDPR is likely to be just the start. Higher standards, improved marketing effectiveness, the necessity of innovation, and the imperative of implementing data management solutions will undoubtedly have many more unforeseen positive consequences. The responsibility is now on good marketers to go beyond the negative noise surrounding GDPR fines and ‘onerous’ regulations, and focus on how their approach to marketing should change to take advantage of this opportunity. Intelligent marketing professionals will revamp their strategy far in advance of May 2018 and begin up-skilling themselves on innovative marketing techniques.
By Julian Saunders