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Have Strict Data Privacy Regulations Made Marketing Better?

May 25th, 2019 Andrew Warren-Payne

One year after GDPR came into effect, our upcoming Insight50 session will be exploring the issue of stricter data regulations – and how that has made us all better marketers. Sign up to the session to get your questions answered, with expert speakers including Sean Donnelly of Econsultancy, James McLeod of Leadscale and Hellen Beveridge at Data Oversight. 

On May 25, 2018, one of the most significant privacy developments came in to force. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) put significant requirements on businesses processing personal data on individuals within the European Union and the European Economic Area. And even if a company was based outside of Europe, if it had any dealings with people in European countries, the law still applied.

With fines of up to €20 million or up to 4 percent of annual worldwide turnover (which is the greater), there are significant risks if it is not complied with.

In the run-up to the deadline, many businesses scrambled to check their practices. But while there were many grumbles at the time, we feel that GDPR has improved marketing for everyone. Ahead of the session, we have put together a few thoughts.

Bad data practices make for ineffective marketing

Digital technology has done great things for marketers. They can reach prospects anywhere in the world and operate a scale that would have been unthinkable in previous years. A single marketer can contact potentially millions of people with remarkably little effort, while tracking provides the ability to measure the behaviour of an individual buyer.

But data privacy aside, this has also led to very bad marketing practices. Where volume is an easy game to play, it makes it too easy to send “spray and pray” campaigns. The mass collection and inappropriate use of data has created a level of noise that means only the best marketing stands out.

Buyers engage on their own terms

Buyers have switched off after being deluged with approaches – so much so, many are avoiding providing their information.

In a previous ON24 webinar on account-based marketing, 86 percent of attendees admitted that they had lied about their contact details on a lead gen form to avoid sales calls and spam.

Instead, buyers choose when they want information and search it out for themselves. In order to gain consent – along with accurate contact details – marketers need to provide useful content and engage in a respectful way with their audience.

Regulations mean better marketing

The regulations now mean marketers have to think more carefully about their approaches. Despite the challenges of winning engagement, it appears that the penalties involved have sharpened everyone’s focus.

Instead of marketing to large and ineffective lists, marketers now need to focus their efforts on both winning permission and contacting those who have already granted it. Despite smaller numbers, the focus on quality means that the marketing that does go out has an impact. Buyers receive less spam and marketing teams can concentrate on only the contacts that matter.

To find out more and ask your questions, make sure to sign up to our Insight50 webinar on How Stricter Data Made Us Better Marketers.