The 25th May 2018 has been pencilled into most marketers’ diaries for a while now. And if you don’t already know why, it’s when the new General Data Protection Regulations come into force.
But what kind of effect will these regulations actually have on marketing? Simply put: a lot. It’s forecasted that the new GDPR will more than likely cause a significant amount of disruption that will result in new processes, more specifically how marketers manage their databases and carry out their marketing activities.
A TRUSTe/NCSA survey conducted in 2016 discovered that an immense 92% of internet users worry about their privacy online. The same report also stated that 89% of customers actively avoid companies that don’t protect their privacy. Statistics such as these demonstrate the importance of the GDPR and its focus on protecting personal data.
What is GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation is a new set of privacy terms that will help to protect consumer data. The requirement is that companies now need to build in or amend their current privacy settings in their products and websites, and change the way in which they seek to use consumer data.
What do marketers need to be aware of?
There are going to be some important changes to how data is collected and used. Marketers need to ensure that they’re aware of:
Opt-in and opt-out
As one of the most significant changes, soft opt-ins will no longer be enough. You will no longer be able to automatically opt in your customers at the point of sign up or via an email. A double opt-in process will be necessary for all your consumers and they will have to actively tick a box to subscribe to your marketing communications.
This means that all of your customers, leads and prospects – no matter what stage in the customer lifecycle they are in – will need to physically confirm that they want to be contacted or followed up with your marketing communications. As a result, marketers will need to review their current sign-up forms and processes or any other marketing communications that automatically enrol consumers, to correctly adhere to these changes as stated by the new GDPR.
GDPR will also allow consumer the ‘right to be forgotten’ which gives them the right to remove their information from your data. This provides individuals with more control over how their data is being used and collected. In order to comply with these guidelines, marketers will need to ensure your customers have easy access to their data, and that it’s clear how and where they can remove it.
Essentially, clear unsubscribe links within email campaigns and an easy way to manage email preferences will be a necessity.
Data is a vital part of any and every marketing campaign, but do you need every single minor detail about your customer? The answer: no. The new GDPR will require you to justify the processing of the information that you collect. This means that marketers need to only request information that they need to further their marketing effort, and this in term will add to your customer’s experience.
For example, as a retailer with customers who need a specific size of a garment in order to make a purchase, then this information can be justifiably obtained. However, you don’t necessarily need this piece of information in order to subscribe your customer to your newsletter.
Although these regulations may seem far off at the moment, companies and marketing teams need to adjust their processes now before they get caught out. It may require a change in how you work and market but this new method will be more beneficial for both you and your customers – thus improving your campaigns!
And if that doesn’t spur you on to get prepared, then you could be at risk of being fined up to €20 million for not complying…
Our Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation course helps marketers to become fully prepared to face the challenges the GDPR may bring to their campaigns. Take a look at the GDPR course outline to see how it can help you get up to speed.
Author: Marketing Knowledge Training, a company set up to provide you; confidence, knowledge and inspiration to help you in your role. Through providing hands on training, showing you step-by-step on how to conquer digital marketing.