Why GDPR is a great opportunity for marketers

Why GDPR is a great opportunity for marketers

Great marketing is about building a relationship with your customers and finding endless ways to make them feel closer to your brand. With this in mind, the new rules on storage of personal data, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) should be seen as an opportunity, not a burden.

What is changing?

GDPR is a new EU law which comes into force on 25 May 2018, replacing the Data Protection Act. It’s the biggest change to data protection law in two decades and provides a wide range of rules on how personal information should be collected, stored and processed.

The new rules apply to anyone doing business with organisations or individuals anywhere in the EU; this means just about all international businesses. Non-compliance comes at a severe cost; fines of up to 4% of annual turnover or €20m are applicable for breaches.

The EU was prompted to review its data laws following major data leaks such as Ashley Madison and TalkTalk. The existing rules were drafted in the 1990s; today’s globalised digital world is a radically different one with very different data protection needs.

The customer data trust issue

According to the Special Eurobarometer report, “70% of Europeans are concerned that their personal data held by companies may be used for a purpose other than that for which it was collected.” The same survey found that just 26% of social networkers and 18% of online shoppers feel in complete control of their data.

Consumers respond to this insecurity over how their data will be handled by trying to avoid giving it; a report from the Pew Research Center found that 86% of US consumers had falsified or misrepresented their personal information online.

Then there are those online privacy statements; only one in four bother to read them when buying products or services online and 59% of people simply skim through the fine print. No wonder that consumers are uncertain how their data is handled.

Why improved trust is good news for marketers

Falsified information is certainly unhelpful for marketers, especially where personalised offers are concerned. A recent study from the Thurgau Institute of Economics found that “transparency leads to an increase in the individual’s willingness to share personal information as the individual is able to see and assess the collected information and possible use of it.”

Put simply, when the privacy statements we don’t read are replaced by a robust set of rules such as the GDPR, consumers feel more secure and the relationship with brands is enhanced.

The opportunities of GDPR

It will certainly take some time to adjust to GDPR but there are many opportunities offered by the new rules. Data should become more accurate as people falsify their details less; this will allow for greater personalisation and efficiency in advertising. Better data means better services too, as the information will allow companies to tailor their offerings more accurately.

Hopefully, GDPR will see greater transparency and help marketers create more honed, targeted campaigns based on enhanced trust. Who could argue against that?

If you need help creating targeted campaigns for your 2018 digital marketing strategy, why not give Fireworx a call today?