- Posted by Alice Morgan
- On October 21, 2017
- 0 Comments
GDPR takes off
Interest in GDPR has reached fever pitch.
Search interest is rocketing, Twitter is alive with it. There are white papers, webinars wherever you look offering support and help with compliance. No wonder. A terrifying number of businesses – one in seven according to the UK’s Direct Marketing Association – haven’t even got started. And many completely miss the point.
But what exactly is GDPR?
Lets’ start with understanding what it is. Due to come into force on May 25th 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation replaces and unifies all other European data protection regulations.
GDPR will be applicable not only to all EU member states (including post-Brexit UK), it will also cover any company – regardless of physical location or registration – that collects, stores and uses data that belongs to any of the EU’s 500 million citizens. GDPR is global.
In our era of almost unimagined disruption, the sensational speed of change brought on by digital transformation has meant that data protection legislation has been unable to keep up. This is partly because it’s been so difficult to see where technology is going – just think about the personal data implications of the Internet of Things – and partly because of the borderless nature of global trade and e-commerce.
So why are businesses missing the point?
GDPR is wide-ranging and the penalties are tough. We’re not going to go into that sort of detail here – there are tons of articles that go into that. Except to say that preparing for GDPR is a big challenge for all businesses. There’s tons of work mainly around documentation and process. If businesses only see this – the burden and added workload – they’re missing the point. GDPR actually offers a lot of opportunities for brand development and better customer engagement.
So that’s what we want to focus on – the essence of the regulation. We think it’s this: put yourselves in the shoes of your customers and respect how you use and store their data.
Opt out? History. Huge customer databases? Gone. At the CIM Digital Summit last week, one of the speakers gave a brilliant example: a company he consults for decided to contact all 200,000 people on its customer database, asking them if they wanted to continue receiving their e-newsletter and other marketing messages. Just 10% opted in. After they got over the shock, they looked again at their performance data and saw something really important: engagement rates were identical. Effectively, they’d removed people who had no interest in them, allowing them to focus on a small, enthusiastic minority.
Put data protection at the heart of your brand
We’re not lawyers at ALTA Digital, but we really get the value of transparency and authenticity. It’s what drives success in SEO, website content and all the things we normally focus on. We see the new data protection legislation as the perfect opportunity for brands to get their marketing strategies in good shape and to start communicating with customers better and more effectively. While complying.
GDPR affects multiple company departments. It’s marketing’s job to stop brands thinking of it as a risk to the organisation and instead to see it as the opportunity that it truly is. This is because marketing people get customers. And – after all – GDPR is all about the customers.
We’re teaming up with Caroline Perriard – CEO and Co-Founder at BrandIt – to run a special GDPR workshop in Zurich. The event is now fully subscribed, but if you’d like to go on the waiting list, please register here.