The GDPR is coming and it’s a wake-up call for the marketing industry. But it’s not the impending apocalypse that many are making it out to be. The new approach to customer data that the General Data Protection Regulation brings will actually pave the way for better marketing. Here’s how.
The GDPR’s stipulation that companies must have a lawful basis for contacting customers – or failing that explicit consent – will take the focus away from who has the biggest database, to who’s is the most engaged.
Post-GDPR, every single person in your marketing database will have a legitimate reason for your company to contact them, and as a result, is likely to be a lot more interested in what you have to say.
The potential increase in return on investment is clear; less wastage from contacting cold or dead leads, and a much more responsive audience that is already warm to your brand.
Communicating with an engaged audience will enable marketers to build up a more accurate picture of who their customers actually are.
By removing people with little interest in your company from your records, the insight gained from your campaigns becomes much more valuable, as it comes from people who have a genuine interest in, or have taken the time to interact with, your brand.
As a result, much more reliable pictures of customer behaviour and purchasing trends can be compiled (providing the necessary controls are in place for how that data is collected and used). Paradoxically, the GDPR presents a golden opportunity for data.
Some of the spam tactics employed by marketers, particularly in the arena of email marketing, has led to an erosion of customer trust. We all know that when a shop assistant asks for our email address to send out our receipt, that before we know it we’ll be inundated with offer emails from a brand we have minimal loyalty to.
The GDPR is designed as a response to this – to give customers control over where and when their data is used, and to stop them falling into the traps of unwittingly giving away their data.
The upshot is increased trust in brands. Knowing that their data won’t be taken advantage of, it’s likely that customers will be more willing to share information with brands where they have a genuine interest. It will also help to combat some of the fatigue around email marketing, meaning that we can expect engagement rates with campaigns to improve.
Preparing for the GDPR is a complex and arduous task for most marketing departments. For many, it’s a complete shift in mentality, from hoarding details of people with the loosest connection to a brand, to sophisticatedly selecting the most valuable leads to the business. But while it should be taken seriously, the GDPR should not strike fear into the hearts of marketers; it’s an opportunity to improve our marketing activity, build trust and ultimately deliver better returns.
Our GDPR specialists can support your organisation with preparing for the GDPR. Contact us on email@example.com or call us on 01527 573 770 for an informal chat about how we could help.