How Will GDPR Affect Marketing? A Guide for Marketers

How Will GDPR Affect Marketing Blog

GDPR is coming into force very soon. The new regulation will have a profound effect on how we manage data. How will GDPR affect marketing?

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is very nearly upon us. From 25th May 2018, GDPR will replace the UK’s Data Protection Act 1998, bringing with it stricter rules around how we manage data. How will GDPR affect marketing and marketers? In this blog post we will provide a brief guide for marketers on the changes you’ll need to make to your marketing operations.

What is GDPR?

GDPR was created by the EU and signed off in May 2016, with affected businesses given two years to prepare for the new regulation. GDPR was created in acknowledgement of the changing ways in which personal data is handled by businesses.

Since the Data Protection Act 1998 was launched, the continued rise of the Internet and cloud computing have changed the ways in which data is handled by businesses. GDPR provides individuals with more control over their personal data. It aims to create a simpler legal structure in which businesses can operate.

Although the principles behind GDPR are similar to the Data Protection Act 1998, the new regulation features a number of enhancements. Fines for non-compliance will be much higher, reaching up to 20 million euros or 4% of global annual turnover, whichever is greater.

How Will GDPR Affect Marketing?

As marketers, we will be significantly impacted by GDPR. So how will GDPR affect marketing? At Impact Digital Marketing, we see three areas in which marketers will need to adapt: data permission, data access, and data focus. Let’s go through these one at a time: –

Data Permission

How did you obtain the data for your marketing lists? GDPR requires that individuals specifically opt in to your email marketing campaigns. This means that it is no longer good enough to assume permission when an individual engages with your service; you need to give them the choice to opt in to your email marketing, not opt out. No more pre-ticked boxes!

Data Access

GDPR gives individuals more control than ever before over their Personal Identifiable Data (PII). A significant element of this is the right to forget. Right to forget gives individuals the power to ask you to completely and definitively remove their data from your systems. Make sure that recipients can unsubscribe from your email marketing easily and quickly, and that when they ask to be forgotten they remain forgotten.

Data Focus

Marketers can be vampires for data. Good data helps us created targeted campaigns that increase click rates and conversions. But how relevant is all of the information you request on your data capture forms? GDPR requires that you only request relevant data, and that you can justify – if asked – all of the data you collect. When you’re creating a data capture form, just remember to ask yourself if you truly need each piece of data you’re collecting.

Prepare for GDPR

With GDPR right around the corner, it’s time to put the finishing touches to your business’s preparations. GDPR will affect marketing in a number of significant ways, but aligning your business to the new regulation needn’t be scary. Impact Digital Marketing can help your business align its marketing to GDPR requirements; contact us if you’d like to learn more.

Ryan Sedgwick
Managing Director & Marketing Consultant at Impact Digital Markeitng
A Chartered Marketer, Ryan has gained extensive B2B and B2C marketing experience working across a broad spectrum of industries. Having graduated with a Masters in Marketing Communications from the University of Huddersfield, Ryan successfully utilises his skills and knowledge to effectively support businesses in getting the most from their marketing investments.