Everything you wanted to know about GDPR but were afraid to ask...
For many years, the use of customer data by businesses and creative agencies like SHARP has been the cornerstone of brand marketing, especially direct mail and email. However, in just a few weeks, the digital data landscape will change forever with the arrival of the GDPR.
There are many questions and confusions – hopefully this blog can answer many of them and get your business GDPR ready.
I’ve been living under a rock. What’s GDPR?
GDPR is the General Data Protection Regulation that is coming into force on 25th May 2018 for all EU countries. It’s replacing the 1995 Data Protection Directive.
So why the update?
The world looked very different back in 1995. The Spice Girls were in the charts, Hollyoaks had just started, and no one had heard of the harvesting of personal data.
And why would they? The greatest difference between 1995 and 2018 is that today we are pretty much connected 24/7 – smart phones, smart watches, smart TVs, smart homes, smart cars, smart everything. This means we generate huge amounts of digital data that can be collected and used to identify us.
It’s smart regulation for the smart era.
Is there much difference between the new and old regulation?
Key changes can be found here, but in summary, GDPR gives:
What are the greater protections and rights for individuals?
One word – consent.
Consent will change everything. Pre-GDPR, businesses could collect, store and use your personal information or sensitive personal data how they saw fit. With GDPR, everything regarding your information and data will need your permission.
Key bits to know:
Sounds good for me. But for my business marketing… I’m freaking out!
Don’t panic. Keep calm and carry on – not blindly collecting data that is, but wisely, efficiently, and legally.
GDPR isn’t as scary from a marketing point of view as it sounds. Yes, direct marketers need data – they use it all the time to get the right brand messaging to the right audience. Some of this data will no longer be useable. But what remains will be better.
In fact, GDPR may very well be a blessing – businesses will now use the data they have to market smarter, target with greater accuracy, and waste less money on dead leads increasing ROI. Think of it as separating the wheat from the chaff.
Take the following stats as an example: 42% of B2B marketers believe that a lack of quality contact data is the single biggest barrier to lead generation, as do 51% of email marketers. If GDPR forces businesses to improve the quality of their contact data, then acquisition ratios are likely improve. That’s a good thing, no?
OK, I’m seeing the positives. But what are these new obligations for businesses?
In a nutshell, it’s a lot more bookkeeping and transparency.
You mentioned hefty fines?
Yes – if you don’t comply with the principles of GDPR then you better be ready to cough-up. Here are the figures:
GDPR is an EU regulation. Will Brexit change this law in the UK?
Short answer – no.
In the event of Brexit, the UK’s own new Data Protection Bill will come into force. This includes all the provisions of the GDPR, with a few small changes.
You should consider GDPR as the new norm for all UK marketers, whether we are in Europe or out of it.
Crikey. Should I get moving on this whole GDPR thing then?
Did you not read any of the above? Yes, get on it! You have until 25th May.
Hopefully, this has helped you understand GDPR and its significant impact on marketing. But it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s a change for the better.
It’s a chance to make stronger connections with your customers through interaction that’s consented, with a relationship through choice, one that is welcomed and (with the right planning and execution) could transform your marketing ROI.
TL;DR? Simply watch the below vid to get a brief summary of what the GDPR means...