- Posted by Alice Morgan
- On November 17, 2017
- 0 Comments
ALTA Digital celebrated its first birthday a few days ago and we marked the occasion on Tuesday by holding our first knowledge-sharing workshop at the Central Hotel in Zurich.
Why a workshop? With everything in digital marketing moving at – what sometimes feels like – a terrifying pace, it’s a real challenge to stay educated. It’s easy to get sucked into the vortex of a large organisation where finding the time stay up to date, to think or share ideas with others is difficult. We know this. It’s happened to us.
But why GDPR? The honest answer is that it started off with our own marketing plans – understanding the regulation’s implications for us, launching a new business in Europe. As we dug into the topic, researching and reading to educate ourselves, we came across legal expert, Caroline Perriard from BrandIT. And we clicked immediately, because – unlike many other lawyers advising companies on GDPR implementation – she understands the marketing perspective. And, like us, she was also keen to share her knowledge.
The essence of GDPR
At first, we assumed GDPR a massive compliance burden – big and scary, with fines to match. But we soon realised we were looking at it the wrong way around – GDPR is good for EU citizens because it’s fundamentally about respect for personal privacy. If brands can live up to this and show their customers this respect, this in itself is an opportunity…
GDPR is a marketing opportunity
You’re probably thinking, “Hang on a second. Typical marketing. Turning regulation that’s supposed to protect consumers from spam and data theft into an opportunity? So cynical, so manipulative!” We hear you, but you also have to believe us when we say it’s neither. If organisations can place respect for personal privacy at the core of their brand proposition*, compliance with GDPR becomes less of a burden, and more of an opportunity for competitive advantage. If marketing is given a voice. This was the angle we chose for our workshop.
No such thing as a temporary loss of trust
Discussions at the end of the workshop revealed how many of the marketers in the room feel they don’t have a voice. GDPR compliance is being driven by organisations’ legal departments and implemented by IT. Understandable and – of course – absolutely necessary. But, by not involving marketing, organisations are missing out on the people who understand customers, who can put themselves in their shoes.
As marketers, it’s our responsibility to be the customer advocate. That means considering personal data privacy at the start of marketing strategy and campaign development. That way we can not only ensure compliance, we can also define the narrative in a way that both sounds and is genuine. It requires a good deal of creative pragmatism, too.
Ask us a question or contribute your views in the comments section below. Or download the ALTA Digital guide:
Future ALTA Digital workshops
* Paraphrasing Chris Combemale, CEO of the UK’s DMA Group. Here’s the full quote: “GDPR is a watershed moment for organisations to make data protection a core brand value, placing respect for privacy at the heart of their brand proposition. We should use the new laws as a catalyst to transform the way we speak to customers, making every engagement human-centric. This will enable organisations to build trusted, authentic and transparent relationships with their customers.”