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Chris Combemale: it's not about minimum standards, but delivering value


Now the EU GDPR will arrive in 2018, DMA Group CEO Chris Combemale sets out what the DMA can do to help you and your business at DMA Data protection 2016

Now that the EU GDPR is a certainty, DMA Group CEO Chris Combemale says it's important to adhere to the new rules, but not to take your eye off what you should be doing - delivering useful products and services and growing your business.

Combemale says he is often asked, "'What is the minimum standard that I must adhere to', and I always gave the response: 'That’s the wrong question for a marketer to ask. You should ask how do I engage my customer in the best way and deliver the kind of products, value proposition, service and experience that persuades customers to do business with you and to keep on doing business with you for a long period of time'," he says.

"In short, if the information is stored and used to improve the efficiency of service then it provides the benefit of convenience and the value proposition works.

"If your privacy is breached you lose trust and choose a different option," he said.


According to the DMA's 2015 Consumer Attitudes to Privacy report, trust is the top consideration for consumers when considering sharing their data with brands. "Trust is the number one criteria in determining whether consumers share data, according to 58% of our report respondents.

"Brands must make their approach to privacy central to their brand proposition and build an organisational culture that embeds core principles into the behaviours of their teams," he said.

Now we live in a culture of data exchange, this brings opportunities and notes of caution. According to this research, 72% of consumers agreed that data sharing is part of the modern economy. But 90% say they want more control over their data. 81% of consumers believe the data is theirs to exchange for value.

"But, only 7% believe they get the most benefit from the exchange while 80% think the Brand gets the most benefit," he said.

Five things

For the coming year, the DMA plans a series of initiatives to help members stay on the right side of the GDPR and grow their businesses, all planned to supplement the DMA Code. "Our guidance and advice will be detailed and comprehensive," he said:

  1. New dedicated GDPR website
  2. Programme of webinars and events
  3. New IDM Certification courses in GDPR
  4. IDM 1 day course taught by Rosemary Smith
  5. New data Compliance Process

He said that, while this system will help all members grow their business, "Their focus should be on defining and embedding the culture of how your customer’s privacy should be treated and integrating that fully as a core component of the brand proposition," he said.

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