The obvious answer – of course – relates to the way you will process data once the General Data Protection Regulation comes in on 25 May.
But there are other ways the new rules will impact your marketing activity. Here we round up all the ways your marketing is likely to change under GDPR.
You need to rethink data processing
The way you use your contact’s data will obviously be the area most affected by the upcoming regulation. The GDPR brings in strict rules about the lawful bases you can use for processing personal data.
If you rely on consent as the basis for contacting your clients and prospects, you’ll need to meet prescriptive requirements about opt-ins and data collection.
You need to get to grips with your data, auditing what you currently have. This may throw up some surprises. As John Mitchison, director of policy and compliance at the DMA, recently said in a Marketing Week article, an audit like this ‘is often a bit of an eye-opener to organisations because there are always third parties, legacy systems or bits of data whizzing around that not everybody knows about.’
You need to understand what the GDPR’s ‘lawful bases’ for processing data are, and which you will use as the basis of keeping in touch with your prospects.
A lot of the talk about the GDPR focuses on consent, but in fact there are five other ways of processing data that you may find more appropriate.
But if you do focus on consent, you need to meet the new regulation’s requirements around compliant opt-in processes.
Your content has to be spot-on
An inevitable consequence of your data audit and opt-in process is that the universe of contacts you market to will decrease.
Does this matter? Well – yes and no. Yes, because there’s always a chance that someone who has never interacted with you in the past will read a piece of your content, get in touch and become a customer.
There’s also a sort of comfort in mailing a newsletter or briefing to – say – 1000 people rather than 100.
But in reality, if only 100 of that 1000 ever read what you send – what point is there marketing to the rest? Most of the time, we cover all bases by mailing far more people than we need. In fact, a more targeted approach will deliver far better results in terms of percentage open rates and click-throughs.
You may see no difference if you cut your mailing list from 1000 largely unengaged people to 100 interested ones, as alien as it may feel.
And in future, we’ll need follow what has been best practice all along – creating consistently high-quality content that really engages people; that your clients and prospects actively seek out and look forward to receiving.
If you’re a regulated firm, you need to strike the sometimes-tricky balance between compelling and compliant, writing content that Compliance can approve to avoid regulatory breaches.
And you’ll need to ensure that this quest for quality doesn’t slow you down. Find out how to produce quality content in less time and why successful content isn’t just the Marketing team’s responsibility.
You need compliant record-keeping processes
Under GDPR, you don’t just need to manage data in a compliant way – you need to evidence that you’ve done it.
The new rules make it compulsory to report a personal data breach if it’s likely to result in a risk to people’s rights and freedoms. What’s more, it needs to be reported ‘without undue delay’.
What does this mean? Where feasible, breaches should be reported no later than 72 hours after the organisation becomes aware of it.
Being able to do this demands that you have water-tight processes for storing data and for documenting opt-ins (and opt-outs).
You'll be likely to up your social media presence
Any form of marketing that doesn’t involve personal data is likely to see a surge in popularity once the GDPR takes effect.
We’ve asked in a previous blog whether GDPR will increase your use of social media. Whether it’s free posts to your corporate following, or paid for posts that can target certain populations, there’s no doubting the appeal of social media after 25 May.
Writing a social media style guide will help to keep posts on-brand. And if you need more advice, read our tips on how to create a successful social media strategy and the 10 laws of social media marketing.
But its ramifications go far beyond data itself, extending to your content strategy, marketing tactics and supporting processes.
If you do plan to up your social media activity as a result, you’ll find it helpful to read our 10 best practices for compliant social media. They include advice and useful pointers on compliant and engaging social media posts. The 10 tips are free to download, and you can get a copy here.
Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.