How GDPR has Shaped Marketing

One of the key influences on business in the past few years has been GDPR, or formally known as  General Data Protection Regulation. This far-reaching piece of law empowers individuals to control how their data is stored and used, whilst protecting their privacy online. Subsequently, it’s shaped the way that businesses and government bodies approach a whole swathe of activities, including marketing.

What’s GDPR?

GDPR came into being more than two years ago, on the 25th May, 2018. Companies across the continent were collecting masses of data, virtually unimpeded by any legal concern. This represented a threat to an individual’s right to privacy – especially in an age where it’s virtually impossible to get on in life without submitting data to at least one organisation.

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As well as the law itself, the conversation surrounding it has fostered greater awareness of what data rights are, and the value of personal information. When consumers know that their personal information is of value to businesses, they’re far less inclined to give it away for free. A survey by Delliotte across 11 countries found that 58% of consumers are more cautious about sharing their information online than they were before GPDR came into being.

Fewer Prospects

Of course, when rules are imposed on how data is collected, fewer prospects can be generated. Databases have become leaner, sometimes by more than half. But only a small portion of those vast mailing lists actually converted into paying customers. Marketers took a scattergun approach, not bothering to establish whether users were engaged or not. It simply wasn’t worth the time.

More Conversions

This shift in climate has forced marketers to be more surgical. There’s no way to get a genuine return on the investment other than identifying the customers who are actually likely to convert, and then engaging with them. Since GDPR came into force, marketing practices have gotten more sophisticated. The GDPR requires that contacts on a mailing list consent explicitly to being contacted. This means a two-fold opt-in process, making it almost impossible to sign up accidentally. 

Consequences of Failure

It’s down to individuals to hold businesses to account for violations. This decentralised approach makes corrective action rapid and accessible. Businesses are encouraged to regularly review their procedures and practices, with the help of specialist solicitors. Data protection breach compensation payouts can be expensive, but with the right preventative measures they can be avoided.

Greater Transparency

GDPR has encouraged businesses to be more transparent about what they’re doing with the data. After all, this is an approach that’s more likely to persuade individuals to actually volunteer that data. Consequently, email notifications are sent out whenever a privacy policy is updated, providing contacts with the opportunity to disengage.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.