The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, comes into effect in 2018. Regardless of the Brexit result and the UK’s departure from the EU, all marketers need to be compliant. Essentially, the focus of this regulation is to improve the protection of data for all EU citizens, residents, and businesses. This data includes:
- Phone number
- Email address
- Job title and place of work
- IP address
There is no differentiation between B2B or B2C data. GDPR affects all organisations that collect and process the data of EU citizen. This regulation affects 3 core areas within marketing.
Consent to communicate
There have been prior regulations concerning opt-ins and opt-outs, however, with GDPR these rules are changing. Consent for future communications must be ‘freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous’. Breaking this down, if you want to have future communication with a customer, you must be clear with the intentions, and allow these intentions to be known by a ‘clear affirmative action.’ Essentially, consent must be an ‘opt-in’, and cannot be assumed on inactivity i.e. a pre-ticked box.
Right to be forgotten
This marketing point of GDPR has been one of the most discussed. The purpose of the new regulations was to give more control to individuals concerning their personal data collection and usage. Therefore, individuals need to be able to access and remove their data. They also need the option to do this when there’s no legitimate reason to process their information, when they withdraw consent for it to be used on original terms, and when its been unlawfully processed.
Personal data collection
The final touchpoint of GDPR that is important for marketers is their reasoning for collecting data. This part of the new regulations ensures that there is less data collection for unnecessary reasons. The key here to be completely transparent with intentions.
Preparation for GDPR
There are some serious repercussions if you fail to comply with the new regulations, with fines potentially reaching 20 million euros. Although this is a top figure fine, you still need to ensure that you are prepared to be completely compliant with the new data protection act.
GDPR may seem to be a barrier to data collection – an invaluable resource to all marketers- it shouldn’t be considered a brick wall to innovative, targeted marketing. Essentially, GDPR is just forcing marketers to be more direct in gaining important, useful, and legal information. This should be the aim for marketers anyway as quality data is better than quantitative. In fact, 42% of B2B marketers believe that the biggest barrier to lead generation is a lack of quality data. Although GDPR is a legal imperative, it is a great incentive to aspire for the best data you can get.
There will be changes to the way we, as marketers, build databases, data management, and collect consumer data. If you have a website that collects this data but you’re not sure how to check your compliance, prepare, and implement changes; now is your opportunity, before you find yourself in a difficult situation.
Marketing trends are highlighting the importance of data, and the new regulations by no means, inhibits this. However, it ensures that your data is acquired lawfully, you’re honest with your customer, and that all data that is acquired is of good quality. If you want to learn more about GDPR and how it will affect your business, enquire at firstname.lastname@example.org.