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How Does GDPR Impact Marketing?


In this day and age, data is being collected at an incredible rate. The calls you make, websites you use, the places you visit and whatnot leave a digital footprint, whether you like to believe it or not.

Considering how personal data is the most valuable resource, as referred to by The Economist, it reflects how businesses and organizations operate these days, most notably to improve customer experience. But since personal data can be stolen or misused, many are convince companies are not doing enough to protect said data. This is where GDPR comes into play. But the real question here is determining GDPR impact on marketing, a topic that has been ignored entirely throughout the debate regarding data privacy and security.

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To learn more about GDPR implications for marketing, read on.

What does GDPR Mean for Marketers?

As a marketer, it is imperative to make sure all your marketing practices meet GDPR. It does not matter whether you are a B2C or a B2B marketer, what is important is to realize you will need to adapt, since your marketing activities will be affected in one way or another. This becomes even more of a necessity if you are processing data of EU citizens.

You will need to introduce opt-ins across the board for all lists, which can serve as recorded and provable databases confirming what user agreed to what in the first place.

Consider all channels used to collect customer data i.e. emails, website, etc. Now focus on repositories used to store the collected data i.e. MAPs, CRMs, etc. They will all be impacted with the upcoming regulation, for which reason you will need to do whatever it takes to stay ahead of the curve in terms of compliance.

GDPR and your CRM

GDPR marketing consent is a big deal, and it can’t be ignored for any longer. Seeing how GDPR is all about how you collect, process and handle personal data, it will affect all your customer data-management tools and CRM. Here are a couple of considerations to take into account:

    • The kind of data needed – you are obligated to ensure only necessary data is being collected. You will have to refine your data collection process, and also be able to justify what data you actually can’t do without.
    • How data is stored – to prevent the risk of personal data from being processed without proper authorization, you will need to encrypt stored data.
    • How data is processed – personal data should be processed in such a way that it can’t be attributed a specific person without additional information.
    • How data is transferred – make sure you are compliant via encryption.
    • How data is accessed – look closely at how you business works, and outline who has access to what data.
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GDPR and Email Marketing

Everyone is expecting GDPR to trump email marketing, for good even. As plausible as it may seem, marketers do have a way to overcome this problem. In fact, the best of marketers have been dealing with this problem, well before GDPR came into the picture. How so, you ask? By offering an ‘opt-in’ and ‘opt-out’ option. In this case, here is what you need to do:

  • Offer clear documentation regarding consent provided by the recipient to continue receiving marketing emails.
  • Similar documentation also needs to be present in case you are buying email lists from third parties.

Why GDPR is an Opportunity for Marketers?

GDPR impact on marketing so far may seem as though it will hurt a majority of businesses. But there is actually no need to be worried at all.

The GDPR marketing checklist does seem intimidating, so much so, you may want to come up with a new marketing strategy, but that does not necessarily have to be the case. If you take a closer look at this new legislation, you will realize it isn’t a setback at all. In fact, there are numerous opportunities for marketers to do what they do best – create targeted campaigns for people to engage with your brand.

If you are still not sure how GDPR is an opportunity, here are a couple of reasons for you to consider:

  1. Consent Offers Greater Segmentation 
    As already mentioned earlier, you need consent to use an individual’s data in any way. Basically, your customers are free to ask you for information about what you have on them, the purpose it has been used and who it has been shared with.The opportunity lies in how you can get a simple yes or no when collecting data from customers. If you want, you can provide a large range of data to find out what they are actually interested in. With explicit consent, you will find it easier to gain valuable insight into the interests of each individual, and how they want to receive information from your end.Apart from being GDPR complaint, this methodology will be most effective at segmenting your customers. Additionally, you will strictly focus on specific interests, rather than sending mass emails with no clear message.
  2. Singular Platform for Increased Productivity
    With the new regulation set in place, individuals have the right to opt to be forgotten for good!If requested by a customer, you will need to remove all data you may own on him/her across the board. If you store data in different places, then this can be a problem.The solution to this problem, however, is to have a singular platform to store information about each and every user. With such a platform, you will find it easier to track permissions.On the other hand, with an option to enable/disable consent on a single platform, you will learn lot more about your customers. Thus, you will be far more effective at creating relevant and specific campaigns.
  3. Greater Transparency
    People only like to do business with those they know, like and trust. To build trust, you must be transparent. To do so, you have to be upfront about who you are and how you operate.If you choose to be transparent about how users’ data is being dealt with. If you show them how said data is being treated respectfully, and with their consent, they will engage and trust your brand above all others.
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In conclusion, GDPR is a big change for companies handling personal data. GDPR impact on marketing is not as bad as it seems, as seen above, but failing to comply with the legislation can result in fines up to €20 million.

Remember, the legislation is not here to prevent people from doing business, but it is set in place for data quality. It is by far the best opportunity for marketers to learn more about their prospects, rather than relying on the traditional hit-and-miss approach.

That being said, GDPR or not, it is imperative you use a VPN to remain secure and anonymous online. This applies to marketers too, as it gives them the ability to switch between different regions to learn a lot more about different audiences.

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