Cameron Wells | General Data Protection Regulation is coming to get you…
GDPR, b2b, b2c, marketing, data
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General Data Protection Regulation is coming to get you…

General Data Protection Regulation is coming to get you…

Well if you haven’t clicked off yet given the rather, some would say dry, dull and daunting subject manner then that’s a good start. It probably means that like me you are probably confused. And concerned. We’ve only just got our heads round (and mastered) opt-in, opt-out then GDPR comes along to shake it all about.

The last major reform on this topic was in 1995, and due to the extensive developments in online communications, progressive legislation is long overdue. The current online climate doesn’t allow users to see what personal data companies retain nor what they do with that data.

Who knows what about me? From my marital status, where I eat, take holidays to my dress size. Good luck with tracking that, mine fluctuates more than a teenager’s taste in boy bands. However, retailers probably know more than my husband about how much I spend, how often and where. I use the ‘this old thing’ line on many occasions to throw him off the scent. Well don’t we all? Not so easy to fool the masters of data. Big brother data is watching you.

So the date of doom for us marketers is May 25th 2018.

The GDPR will enforce strict rules in requesting and handling consumer data. In summary, the new regulations state that organisations will need to offer explicit and ‘unambiguous’ opt-ins for consumers to give their consent for the use of ‘sensitive personal data’ (now extended to IP address, internet cookies and DNA).

Brands will have to be specific about how the data will be used and any relevant third-party companies will need to be named.

Pre-ticked boxes and default consent will be banned. You have been warned.

Opting out needs to be easy. Damn. Databases that we have built up over years of painstaking profiling and segmenting and de-duping will deplete.

Companies should also expect to face punishment for denying consumers access to their brand information or services who choose not to share their data. Non-compliance comes with a hefty fine. The current maximum is £500k, however the new regulations will see violating companies pay up to 4% of their global turnover.

It’s likely that there will be considerably less readily-available B2C and B2B data to purchase. However, a more streamlined and better managed database may well make for reduced wastage and unnecessary trawling. If our data is more focused and relevant we can gain stronger and more useful insights.

Research shows that over third of businesses are currently on track to violate the new regulations.  It’s therefore essential that agencies get forewarned and forearmed to best advise their clients. And get their creative caps on as how to best entice people to opt-in and stay-in. But easily opt-out.

I can hear the creative director’s and copywriter’s frustration already.

But by targeting people who actively want to hear from us we should reap the rewards of better conversion and ROI. Win Win.

Bring it on GDPR. We’re ready for you.




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Claire Wood