Why embracing GDPR will give you a competitive edge

As marketers, we have a great deal on our plate. We are under pressure to generate new leads and build engagement with existing customers, we have an eye on new digital trends to ensure we keep ahead, we’re probably running multiple campaigns across all channels and we are forever squeezing as much as possible out of the last of the year’s budget…but to add to the mix, GDPR is hovering around the corner.

Any Google search will throw up a mass of articles demonising the regulation – or more specifically, the fines involved. But fear not, it’s not all bad! Despite all the negativity around GDPR, you ought to be looking at it as step change for your business, and potentially as a means to justify getting a shiny, new CRM system!

So, what are the benefits of being GDPR compliant?

Many of those talking negatively about GDPR seem to forget that it is actually a customer-orientated regulation. The benefits can be massive. As consumers change and as omnichannel commerce continues to grow, a new data privacy framework that puts privacy at the heart of design, deployment and compliance means trust can be nurtured with a much greater efficiency. Thanks to GDPR, you’ll end up with a leaner database, but all the individuals will have given consent and opted in to your marketing, and as a result you can expect higher levels of engagement. Music to a marketer’s ears!

The number one benefit of GDPR compliance is improved business reputation…and who doesn’t want that? Data breaches significantly damage brand reputation, so by strengthening your approach to privacy you can build better trust-related partnerships with your consumer groups. As such, being compliant and attaining such compliance is a strong and positive brand exercise; nothing to shy away from. Strengthening your digital security will be at the forefront of compliance. By understanding that your consumers value brands who protect personal data, ensuring your customer data is managed and protected in a positive way will lead to improved customer loyalty.

Another key benefit of GDPR compliance will be the accessible data streams that come from developing data audit trails in relation to new personal information definitions. This would mean that users would be able to change data relating to them which may be incorrect, which will lead to greater accuracy from the brands in question.

Even PwC argues that GDPR allows personal data to become a trust-based commercial experience, that can lead to a more concerted competitive advantage for digital and non-traditional platforms to succeed.

So, in essence, it is really good news for us marketers…we just need to get our heads around it!

Here are the key changes:

● A more structured definition of personal data which includes a broader array of personal data sources
● A global footprint; if you deal with EU citizens, you must comply regardless of where you or your business are based
● Necessitating the deployment of ‘Privacy by Design’ in technology development
● Launching mandatory ‘Data Protection Impact Assessments’
● Altering the guidelines on how ‘valid’ consent, including young children, is managed
● Organisation compliance will grow with the mandatory appointment of Data Protection Officers in large companies and organisations
● New rules on data breach notification processes
● More digital subject rights across the EU, allowing EU residents to access their data
● Safeguards and restrictions on international data transfers
● Demonstrable compliance is a prerequisite for all organisations.

Loot out for our next blog where we share our top 5 GDPR tips for marketers.