Like most businesses large or small you undoubtedly view your customer database as one of your major assets. It has probably taken a considerable amount of time and effort to compile and is rightly perceived as invaluable to the future prosperity of your company. On May 25 new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR regulations) are coming into force which will affect how we all compile, store and use personal data.

Far from imposing restrictions on communicating with your clients, GDPR regulations are intended as a real opportunity to improve your existing customer and prospect listings. A positive approach will deliver a greater understanding of your clients’ requirements; allowing a more dynamic and streamlined targeting of all future marketing campaigns.

The ability to demonstrate full GDPR compliance should also deliver a lead over your competitors. Especially as tardy compliance after the May deadline could have financial implications. Major offenders could even be levied up to 4% of annual turnover!

Why the change in legislation?

Digital marketing has progressed rapidly creating new marketing opportunities and techniques such as your own website, emails, texts and social media. Similarly, the increased levels of direct marketing and telemarketing meant that the 1998 UK Data Protection Act required a major overhaul to address these modern demands.

The new EU wide regulations are extensive and are designed to expand the rights of individuals to control how their personal information is collected and processed, whilst placing a range of new obligations on organisations to be more accountable for data protection.

The benefits of GDPR regulations

The core of the legislation is simply that customers will have the right to opt into your database compared to the more prevalent current opting out systems.

Rapidly compliant companies will enjoy increased targeting and the relevance of your future marketing. This can only enhance customer trust and engagement making your marketing activity more efficient and in turn increasingly profitable.

The required alterations in databases and future activity are easily addressed and very cost effective in the long run. So GDPR regulations should be seen as an opportunity to boost your marketing, rather than any form of challenge to the health of your business.

What do I need to do?

On a day to day basis the following areas have to comply:

  • Your CRM database has to record where and when the data came from and if consent was gained
  • For tracking tools such as Google Analytics, your cookies and privacy policies will require updating
  • The use of emails permissions have to be gained with easy opt-in methods and no complicated unsubscribing options such as tick boxes
  • Direct mailing must include how recipients can stop further communication
  • For telemarketing, you have to fully comply with TPS before all calls with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) taking over the enforcement and the more stringent issuing of fines
  • All data lists can only be purchased from companies who also fully comply with GDPR

Act now

GDPR is a timely upgrade to professional marketing and should be embraced – you will reap the rewards from your investment.

At the Little Marketing Company, we are happy to assist with the marketing implications of GDPR and to help point you in the right direction to access appropriate data programmes and systems for your business.

www.thelittlemarketingcompany.com

The full GDPR legislation is extensive and complete details can be read at:

www.eugdpr.org and www.ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/