07 Nov G is for… GDPR and your business
Your A-Z of Marketing Essentials
G is for… GDPR and how it affects your business
How will GDPR affect my business and my ability to generate and nurture leads?
With just months until the new regulations become enforceable in the UK on 25th May 2018, it seems that despite a plethora of webinars, seminars and articles on the subject, people are still asking ‘how will GDPR affect my business and my ability to generate leads’. In this blog, we attempt to dispel the myths and set minds at ease.
What is GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)?
GDPR can be viewed simply as a set of security and best practices around the capture, storage and use of personal information. GDPR has come about partly because of the rise in customer behaviour tracking technology that has enabled businesses to build virtual customer profiles, and also a need to update the antiquated Data Protection Directive (DPD), first introduced by the EU more than 20 years ago.
Put short, GDPR is largely concerned with the ethical use of personal data and keeping that personal data secure.
Who does it affect?
If you are in business in the European Economic Area (or the firm processing your data is), then Brexit or no Brexit, GDPR affects you. No ifs, buts or maybes!
Moreover, the legislation will apply not only to recently collected data but also to data collected years ago that may be languishing, unused on servers.
What are the Penalties for non-compliance?
Let’s not go there, really, you don’t want to know! Whilst less serious breaches will result in less serious fines, these rule breakers could still face a maximum fine of £7.9 million or 2% of their global turnover. Which I’m sure isn’t a risk anyone is willing to take.
What should I do?
Act now because time is running out. Don’t jump on the ‘I’m going to wait and see’ bandwagon, there’s no point. When the time comes you’ll end up with a compliance mountain to climb and no time to climb it. Begin an audit of your data now. Data means everything from names and addresses, both physical and email, to religious or philosophical beliefs, political opinions, even sexual orientation.
Work out how data flows through your organisation and streamline the process so that you don’t risk some of it getting left behind, forgotten on someone’s hard drive: a sure-fire route to non-compliance. If you don’t need the data, delete it. If you don’t have consent to use the data, delete it.
Make sure you put new data collection processes in place that include obtaining explicit, individual, valid consent indicating that the subject accepts the proposed use of their data. For the avoidance of doubt, consent needs to be asked for using simple language, not buried deep in Terms and Conditions that no one has the time to read.
I operate in the B2B space, how will GDPR affect my business and my ability to find new customers?
Don’t panic, you will still be able to conduct targeted B2B marketing. Here at the Creative Marketing Agency we are always championing how important it is to say the right things, to the right people, at the right time. GDPR won’t prevent you from reaching out to your market with personalised, high quality and relevant content, emails and telephone calls. As long as, that is, your market targets haven’t opted out.
Mine is a B2C organisation, how will GDPR affect my business and my ability to sell more product?
The days of anonymous, mass marketing emails are over and GDPR will ensure they stay that way. Instead, build a content marketing strategy that will raise the visibility of your brand, create the idea that you are experts in your field and the go-to organisation for information and advice. Make sure you hang out where your customers hang out with high quality content that engages the reader and makes giving that all important consent easy.
If you want to find out more or have any specific questions about GDPR, get in touch with us. We’re already working with our clients to ensure that they prepare well for next May.
Note: This blog cannot be considered legal advice. Please seek out certified legal advice prior to GDPR becoming UK law.
Michelle Roberts (MCIM), is the managing director and founder of The Creative Marketing Agency. She is trained in both digital and traditional marketing through the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). She is also a member of the CIM and a Certified Practitioner in the Watertight Marketing Expert Community, both of which provide access to an additional wealth of knowledge and experience.