The GDPR: a brief guide for the Chief Marketing Officer

May 25th, 2018; the date the GDPR goes into effect. There is certainly plenty of information on the internet about what the GDPR is and what it requires from businesses. However, the impact the GDPR will have on your daily life might not be as apparent. In a series of blogs, we discuss the impact the GDPR will have on you and the changes you will have to make to continue working effectively under the new regulation. Today, the professional in a field that is highly impacted by the shift towards big data: The Chief Marketing officer.

Be unafraid & work together

As Chief Marketing Officer, you are probably familiar with how important data has become in the world of online marketing. Indeed, gathering data on customers is growing more and more important for developing 360-degree customer insight, adaptive real-time targeting, personalised content and improved customer experiences.

With the GDPR placing limitations on the collection and processing of personal data, you’d be forgiven for being hesitant in relying too much on data in your marketing. However, under the GDPR there is still plenty of room for data-driven marketing. While the GDPR certainly provides some challenges for marketers, it’s important to realise how valuable customer data continues to be. Work together with your Data Protection Officer to find ways to collect and process data in a GDPR-compliant way. The possibilities are greater than you might think!

Be transparent & honest

An important part of the GDPR is increased transparency. Customers need to be fully informed of where and why their data is collected, as well as being informed of their rights. This means you’ll likely need to rewrite your privacy statement and cookie-pop up to inform customers of your activities and their rights. This includes, but is not limited to, the right to be forgotten and the right to withdraw consent.

While being transparent is a central part of complying with the GDPR and avoiding fines, communicating honestly with customers is also crucial to forming a good relationship with customers. Customers are getting increasingly worried about their information and what happens with it. Unsurprisingly, they increasingly shy away from companies they feel they can’t trust. Your cookie pop-up and privacy policy could very well be one of the first things a customer encounters on your website, making them a great tool to communicate your dedication to keeping their data safe to your customers. Being honest and transparent, then, is not only a way to comply with the GDPR, but also a great move marketing-wise.

Be relevant & fun

The GDPR hands a lot of control over their data back to the customer. Under the GDPR, customers have more control over when and how they can be approached by companies. For instance, building an email list can no longer be done via opt-out measures or adding addresses collected for other purposes to your newsletter list. Instead, you have to collect fully informed, unambiguous consent before you can start sending newsletters.

The increasing control customers have over which company they interact with, means it’s important to be relevant and fun for customers. Produce valuable content and give your customers a reason to want to read your website or subscribe to your newsletter. Additionally, inform your customers that the data you collect will be used to provide them with personalised offers. Since customers like being approached in a personalised way, this will only cause your marketing efforts to be more focused and effective, but will also make customers more likely to give their consent. Summarising: don’t try to break down the door unannounced: work on being invited in.

Use the right tool for the job

The GDPR will certainly be a challenge for marketers, and an important part of tackling that challenge is using the right tools for the job. Consider implementing a data management platform to manage your tracking scripts and your customers’ content settings. Our Data Stream Manager is an easy and comprehensive way of managing the customer data you collect and process. Additionally, our consent management solution allows you to create modular consent pop-ups to collect informed consent for different processing purposes. Additionally, it allows you to manage the collected consent in a dynamic way. Interested in hearing more? Contact us!

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