Post GDPR: How to Get Over the Breakup | DMA

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Post GDPR: How to Get Over the Breakup


The early reports are in, and the figures ricochet wildly, telling tales of brands that retained their entire subscriber base, and of those that may need to dump up to 75% of their data. Our guess is that most companies are somewhere in between the two, leaving marketeers all a flutter. Questions being asked include:

“What was the value of the data we’ve had to dump?”

"Why didn’t we ask for compliance earlier, before customers got so utterly bored of GDPR emails?"

“What should we do with the people who have re-consented? Can we get away with carrying on as before?”

It’s time for a bit of tough love, it’s far too late to be wondering what went wrong on the way to the May deadline. It’s over, your ex has taken back the jumpers, and even the last of the CDs. Now you have to delete their number. Our advice is to channel your inner Elsa and Let. It. Go.

Critically, the customers who haven’t responded to your “please, give us one more chance!” email, because they were too busy, apathetic or had forgotten you even had their data in the first place, are not interested in your brand. It’s tough to accept, but the sooner you get over the loss, and realise that the customers who did opt in are the ones that truly love you, the sooner you can begin to deliver the value your tribe really want.

The word ‘tribe’ is crucial if cliched. The people who opted in have made your brand part of their life. They want to hear from you, they want to communicate with you, and they want to buy from you. Every brands focus should be on building and solidifying this segment of the audience, because it’s these people who will stick with you, whatever the weather.

The dos and don’ts of getting over it.

1) Don’t send a follow up consent email.

We know it’s tempting. We know you want to truly understand why they dumped you, and possibly tempt them back in, but it isn’t good for anyone in the long term. Not only do you risk upsetting your customers and getting a surge of complaints for holding non-consented data beyond the May 25th deadline, you’re also risking becoming one of the brands to be laid out on the ICO’s chopping block. 4% of your annual turnover is a hell of a hit for trying to ‘stay friends’.

2) Do be thankful for the people who opted in.

These people deserve your love. Be grateful that your CRM database is unclogged, pure again after years of dragon-like data hoarding. The people who opted in are like gold dust, and have actually chosen to continue to receive content from you because you deliver value in their lives. We recommend asking them why. Why have they stayed, what is it that they like, is there anything they would like to see changed?

Crucially, don’t make assumptions going in. You might have an idea, but you don’t actually know what it is your customers love until you ask. Create space for dialogue, make the experience frictionless and delightful, and you might surprise yourself. Give the people more of what they want, and tailor your offer to them, to make sure they stay with you in the long term.

3) Do build your acquisition drive using what you learn.

You’ve invested in your armoury, and now your arsenal is complete. You know what makes your customers tick, and you know exactly how to give them what they want. You can now build smart campaigns based on what you’ve learned, nurturing a list of contacts who genuinely want to have a dialogue with you. Utilising channels like PPC, SEO and programmatic will enable you to put value exchange at the heart of your online acquisition strategy.

If you’re a beauty magazine this might mean discovering that your readers want more satire, so you can design a beautifully simple campaign that draws people to your site through social. Alternatively, a food and drink FMCG brand faces the challenge of exclusively third party sales, but customers might love the unusual recipe content you generate, so programmatic advertising on your partners websites could help build your relationship with the end user.

One night stand campaigns won’t be enough though. You’re going to need to work at it continually, testing, optimising and collaborating. The closer you can get to every customer, giving them more of the good stuff, even when what they want changes, the longer they will stay in a valuable relationship with your brand. Keep evolving, keep delivering, and keep the dialogue flowing.

If you’d like to know more, come speak to us at Adeptiv UK. We are a data-driven dialogue agency in London which specialises in helping clients get, keep and grow customers at scale. We have simple and effective solutions to help brands build relationships with their customers and prospects.

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