Taking GDPR Seriously?

In recent years marketing budgets have been squeezed tighter than ever before. Email and marketing automation platforms were the key to maintaining contact, growing nurture lists and reporting big numbers to the board.

When you needed names you could easily buy them from list providers who had an industry all of their own. I have painful experience of both selecting and using lists, purchased from most of the local and global providers, similar to buying a second hand car.

However, all this has now changed, GDPR has not only closed down a number of industries (or at least made them worthless), it has started to change the way we take our businesses to market. The challenge now is how to get new contacts, how to engage the market if you don’t know who to contact…..

I see businesses of all sizes taking different approaches, some after deleting their prospect contact bases have to start from scratch, others are still using applications that don’t meet the regulations and their success is reducing, some are just paying lip service and hoping not to get caught out. But it is not just marketing that is at risk, anybody applied for a job recently? So many data collecting apps…

I take a pragmatic approach to at the situation for marketing. We need to treat others like we wish to be treated.

So here are my top 5 as a start.

  1. Use a good CRM platform (SFDC, Sugar, Dynamics, spreadsheet, rotodex, card file) that is secure. 1st rule of GDPR – don’t lose the data. The biggest fines are for those organisations who have had their data stolen, los or left on a bus. If your data gets into the wrong hands, it is soon available on the dark web. Not really relevant to you? It maybe one day, when one of your clients is a celebrity or you upgrade to an integrated e-commerce system that is hacked.
  2. Only record the data you need. No identifying info, personal info of any kind , shape or form. Some CRM systems can hold family birthday information, preference for gifts or hospitality, even meal preferences [which can identify religion]) just don’t risk it. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
  3. ALWAYS record how and when you made the contact, if possible saving an email acceptance of communication preference. You may not be contacting this person for some time, they may need assurance that you are legitimately contacting them when you do. A polite reminder of this in your communication goes a long way.
  4. Design campaigns to facilitate data capture, without insisting on sending them marketing information. A good example of what not to do is on a well known car buying website, if you click to contact the dealer, you not only need to enter all you information but agree to receiving marketing from them just to get to the next stage. In reality, your campaigns should be informative, engaging and relevant.
  5. If or rather WHEN requested, it will happen, to remove data from systems quoting GDPR as the reason, always respond instantly. You can advise the enquirer of how and when you obtained their information, but you must remove and confirm removal their data in the politest manner. Oh…. and do remove the data from all records.

There are many many more tips to growing your business in the age of GDPR, and I am happy to help you through the minefield, as well as help you create programs to boost your business.

There is also a lot more to discuss on this subject alone, please let me know what you want to hear about next:

  • Like 70’s jeans, direct mail is fashionable again, but you need to build in digital.
  • Time to clean up – what’s in your customer database that should not be?
  • How to go from zero to hero with your contact data.
  • Why you should embrace digital marketing as a small business and it should not cost you £££££.
  • Account Based Marketing – the myths exposed, it is no mystery.
  • 5 things sales and marketing should do together… (not that!)

I am just a plain speaking, clear thinking marketer, looking to share a lifetime of experience to help you smash your targets.