Beware of losing your biggest asset because of GDPR non-compliance

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Marketers, beware of losing your biggest asset because of GDPR non-compliance


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force in May has completely overhauled business process around data handling. At its core, the regulation has introduced the key principles of data privacy by design and default, handing power back to the consumer. It marks a seismic shift in consent management, and also marks the first time that legislation has attempted to keep up with technological advancements. These regulatory obligations will be felt across all departments, including customer service, IT and security, but perhaps most importantly, marketing. Data is the lifeline of marketers, and no longer being able to communicate with consumers could cause damage to growth. A solution is required that empowers the organisation to still capture data and has the transparency that enables the customer to take control of their personal information.

It is fair to say that the dust has by no means settled, and companies can expect revisions, refinements and updates on a regular basis, making the difficult task of consent management even harder.

For data privacy to still exist in the age of data capitalism, GDPR was necessary to give the consumer back control of how their data is used and monetised. Thanks to the regulation, consumers can now access all of the information companies hold about them and understand how it is being used. They can also be sure that companies misusing their data will face very substantial fines and reputation damage.

GDPR also sets a higher standard for data consent in the first place – giving consent must be an affirmative, unambiguous action and granular for specific processing operations. There is no ‘grandfathering’ under GDPR which means that businesses will no longer be able to use their existing customer data. Silence, pre-ticked boxes or inactivity will not constitute consent for digital marketers.

Companies that get it wrong will not only be front page news for all the wrong reasons, but will suffer an irreversible lack of consumer trust. Trust which marketers have worked hard to build up over years can disappear in the short space of one transgression which falls foul of GDPR compliance.

Access to data has long formed the backbone of all marketing strategy. Data, the most valuable marketing resource available, has allowed marketers to create scalable, repeatable processes that mean campaigns can become ever more automated and targeted, delivering direct and measurable value to the business. Email marketing campaigns, for example, have allowed marketers to get a better insight of their audience at a granular level and promote their products and services accordingly through interpretation of this data.

To truly unlock the invaluable power of data, marketers must have confidence in the consent and data management platform their company is using. Safe in the knowledge they are compliant with GDPR, marketers will be able to focus on strategies which foster the best customer relationships possible and directly impact the business bottom line.

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