Five positive perspectives on the GDPR compliance | DMA

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Five positive perspectives on the GDPR compliance

The GDPR is a power shift. It means brands will need explicit permission to have and carry on marketing conversations; databases will need to comprise of individuals who have actively given their permission for brands to engage. This is overwhelmingly a good thing because the GDPR will ensure brands contact and connect with their customers as their customers want them to, or not at all.

Many organisations are focused on the potential negative consequences of the GDPR on their marketing and business activities. But looking at the key requirements for compliance from a different perspective, the GDPR can help marketers to enhance their activities, improve customer engagement and boost ROI.

A fresh take on the GDPR

It’s easy to see how GDPR-compliant data that is current, accurate and structured can also help brands to understand customers and build compelling, personalised offers for them. Likewise, customers who give permission for businesses to use their data in line with the GDPR are much more likely to engage, giving brands a base of ready-qualified, open targets for relevant communications.

As well as delivering more appropriate, compelling messages and offers to customers who have opted in to receive them, GDPR-readiness can also help to reduce time and resources spent on hit-and-miss, blanket-marketing approaches, meaning more resources can be allocated to engaging with those customers who are likely to respond, and less on inactive customers who would rather not hear from you.

The fast-track to effective data-driven marketing

Preparedness for the GDPR can help to rapidly shift from marketing based on gut feel and historical data, to a data-driven approach that can help deliver appropriate, personalised, timely communications to customers and prospects.

Jaywing research shows that most marketing teams have still been unable to implement data-driven marketing in their organisations – even though most want to. Despite the fact that 92% of marketers see better management of their data as a priority, only 8% currently personalise customer communications across all channels. What’s more, just 57% of teams said they had the right data skills and resources to support data-driven marketing and only 50% think they are using the right data management approach.*

Permission is everything

For forward-looking brands, GDPR compliance creates opportunities to improve data-driven marketing from more personalised, timelier communications, to more effective brand building. A key element of GDPR compliance is gaining customer permission to use data for specific use cases. But relationships aren’t built on compliance alone. Adopting best practice data, channel and brand management strategies to drive positive engagement is one of the biggest opportunities right now for brands. Permission becomes the single most important piece of data for brands in aspiring to build meaningful, long-term and rewarding relationships.

Brands can extract insight from data to develop channel and brand management strategies that focus, crucially, on opportunities to build meaningful relationships that work on terms appropriate to the customer and brand.

Better data equals better relationships

Not only that, compliance with the GDPR will also ensure a better start to the customer journey as individuals will be parting with their data with more awareness of exactly how it will be used. Those who don’t want to engage won’t provide their data. So, no wasted time chasing, and no resentment before you even begin communicating.

The GDPR as a catalyst for change

Regulatory change on the scale of the GDPR and moving to a permission-based marketing approach implies significant business, process and technology changes. It’s necessary, for example, that brands carry out a review of their entire data environment to assess whether customer and prospect databases are compliant.

Additionally, brands need to review their multi-channel communications strategy and define compliant ways to contact customers. And, they need to build trust and loyalty with compliant communications that retain existing customers and inspire new opt-ins.

With this in mind, it is not difficult to be overwhelmed by the GDPR. Its complexity can be daunting yet underneath the prescriptive text, there is vast opportunity to make business and marketing activity compatible with our digital future. Responsible brands should not fear the GDPR, but learn to work with it to unlock and future-proof data-driven marketing practices.

Seven ways you can benefit from GDPR compliance

1. Maximise conversion with personalised marketing

2. Increase campaign ROI by targeting engaged customers first

3. Improve customers’ cross-channel customer experience

4. Increase marketing success with the right customer communications at the right time

5. Build creative campaigns that are more compelling and effective

6. Build customer trust by becoming a data custodian

7. Deliver GDPR compliance and enhance your team’s reputation internally

>> For more information on the benefits of GDPR, you can download our guide on ‘7 golden GDPR opportunities for cross-channel marketers’. Or to start preparing for GDPR now, visit

* The 2017 data-driven marketing report, Jaywing research

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