Fearless marketing in the dawn of GDPR

GDPR. What started out as something that sounded years away and hopefully nothing to worry about, is now just around the corner. Every brand controlling or processing EU citizens’ data needs to have a plan in place – from Angry Birds to Zurich.

In a nutshell, GDPR is making changes to the way organisations collect, use and retain personal data, including B2B, B2C and staff information. Assuming you’re already satisfying the 1998 Data Protection Act (DPA) then you’re in a good place but there is still work to be done. The world of marketing, communications and technology has moved on rapidly. Consumers are more data savvy, skeptical – suspicious, even - so the data regulators have upped their game too. The penalties for breaching GDPR are eye-wateringly bigger than previous sanctions, plus you may face compensation claims from individual consumers. The law comes into force on 25th May 2018 with no grace period. And sorry, there’s no opt out either – it’s legally binding, regardless of Brexit.

GDPR isn’t here to make your life difficult, but it will take a collaborative strategic approach to avoid falling foul of the law. But marketers love a challenge, right? At Everything DM we have been data evangelists ever since our creation, and have the expertise to make your marketing impactful and compliant in light of the biggest shake up in recent years. Fearless, bold marketing can still be done!

Audit your position

Getting ready for GDPR is not the responsibility of just one person. Everyone in the organisation who handles, stores or processes data needs to be aware of the new rights that individuals will have. Do you have a process for honouring the right to be forgotten? When did you last review your privacy policy? (tip: you’ll need one). Unbury your head from the sand and use our clear online questionnaire to audit your position. We can help where you’re drawing a blank and give you the confidence that you've covered all the bases.

Gain opt-in before the deadline.

You’ll need evidence that every person on the receiving end of your digital marketing has opted-in. Consent should be given by a clear affirmative act establishing a freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication. That doesn’t mean pre-ticked boxes, taking ‘silence’ as consent, or forcing them to accept your marketing as part of a sales process. Beware you cannot email people who’ve already opted-out of your emails either, even if you consider it part of your data audit. Two well-known brands have done this and been penalised.

“But we’ll have no-one to email!”

It may seem disastrous, but GDPR is a good thing. Really. The prospects and customers who positively choose to hear from you are the ones that are worth most to you - the buyers and the advocators. Let us create compelling messaging to showcase the great content they’ll receive for their consent, whether you’re using a preference centre, solus email, letter or web pop-up. Remember, those who ignore your marketing time and time again are only wasting your budget and dragging down your response rates, so it’s a timely goodbye.

Clean up and continue prospecting

GDPR has inevitably prompted scaremongering and hyperbole, including rumours that third party data will die a death. This is not true, if you work with the right people. Our ICO-registered data partner Omnis is already streets ahead. Their sector-specific prospect data is high quality and qualified, as they have been working to GDPR standards for some time. If you need relevant third party data for your marketing campaigns, talk to us.

You may be a little concerned about the state of your CRM now and thinking of investing in data cleansing. Our free data health check service will give you an indication of how current your data is and whether it needs a detox or health kick.

Add direct mail to the mix

Mail is a reliable communication channel in light of the changes affecting email and other digital marketing and a great way to grab your prospect’s attention. 60% of people admit they like receiving mail and it’s a ‘sticky’ medium that’s shared, displayed around the home and re-read several times. What’s more, under GDPR you can still contact potential buyers via direct mail as long as they have an interest in the services you provide. Cost is a common concern but direct mail generates 10% more customers than email at a lower cost per acquisition. We can support you with creative through to fulfillment to get the best ROI.

Trust in a campaign manager

Putting your faith in marketing experts means you can spend more time converting sales and less time worrying about a call from the GDPR police. Our services can be combined into a single customer acquisition programme, generating a steady stream of new sales leads directly to you. These email/direct mail managed campaigns are highly targeted with guaranteed delivery, at a fixed monthly cost. We’ll report on the results to continually improve your campaigns and take care of GDPR implications. We handle the third party data (until they become your customers of course) and deal with unsubscribes, or even more tricky areas like subject access requests.

25th May is not far away and GDPR is coming soon to a screen near you. Ultimately, handling data lawfully, fairly and clearly means you’ll gain recognition as a brand that can be trusted. Embrace this law change with fearless and compliant data-driven marketing campaigns.

Please note… whilst we’re ready for GDPR, and are confident it’s a good thing for marketers and consumers alike, we’re not lawyers and this blog does not constitute legal advice. The ICO (the UK’s representative) continues to produce GDPR guidance so keep an eye on their webpage for updates. (https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/)