By now, we’ve all heard of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – which is taking effect on May 25, 2018 – and we’ve all witnessed or personally experienced some amount of panic in relation to the new law.
But…have you ever stopped to consider that GDPR might actually be a good move that will have some really positive impacts on marketing, and business in general?
Sure, that’s not the popular opinion right now as executives are having NSFW responses to estimates of how much their marketing databases are going to shrink; but it is an opinion worth talking about. If you really think about it, a year or two from now you’ll look back at this process and see that it wasn’t the Armageddon that everyone feared.
GDPR is not – repeat: not – the end of marketing. Not in the targeted form; not in the email form; not in any form. Marketing has survived up to now, and it will continue to survive (and thrive), even in the age of stricter data protection.
GDPR is going to force what a lot of marketers want anyway: clean, engaged databases. Yes, there will be some initial and ongoing challenges – especially for smaller businesses – but in the end, the entire marketing world will be on the same page and working to provide a value-driven strategy that focuses on driving results from an engaged audience.
Since GDPR is focused on giving the customers power over how their data is collected and used, there will be less frustration associated with marketing communications. Databases are finally going to get a much-needed spring cleaning, and the result will be better quality contacts. It is better to have engaged leads and contacts that trust you than to have a large database of unresponsive, uninterested records.
Instead of panicking about the new regulation, start planning all the exciting marketing initiatives you’re going to launch post-GDPR with your highest quality database ever. Your database won’t be filled with people that got added because they forgot to opt out; it will be filled with people that got added because they took the positive action to consent to receive your communications. That is a significant difference.
GDPR should also be music to a marketer’s ears for the simple reason that following its protocols will provide more accurate statistics. Having a database of truly engaged records is going to help email open and click-through rates, and give marketers a deeper understanding of how, when, and why to send communications. Numbers speak – from reporting to revenue – and the best numbers are those that are accurate and reflective of performance.
Another reason to embrace GDPR is that it is going to help marketers reign in their content (designers should rejoice, too). More accurate statistics on engagement are going to provide the guidance needed for focused content that will help marketers not only meet their goals, but also to define those goals in the first place.
If you or your staff are currently in panic mode, stop and think about clean databases, accurate statistics, and targeted content. That is the post- GDPR future, and it’s time to give in.
DISCLAIMER: This website is neither a magnum opus on EU data privacy nor legal advice for your company to use in complying with EU data privacy laws like the GDPR. Instead, it provides background information to help you better understand how Digital Style has addressed some important legal points. This legal information is not the same as legal advice, where an attorney applies the law to your specific circumstances, so we insist that you consult an attorney if you’d like advice on your interpretation of this information or its accuracy. In a nutshell, you may not rely on this paper as legal advice, nor as a recommendation of any particular legal understanding.