GDPR: One Year Later, How Has It Changed How We Market?

Last week, ON24 ran its latest Insight50 session on how GDPR has made us better marketers – where we provide fellow Webinerds with 50 minutes of expert insight and answer the questions that are important to you.

Below is just a brief wrap up of insight from Hellen Beveridge at Data Oversight, Sean Donnelly at Econsultancy, James McLeod at Leadscale – and of course, you the viewers! If you didn’t manage to see it, watch it on-demand here.

Last year, at this time, GDPR was on everybody’s lips with companies wondering if their practices were compliant with these stricter regulations and marketers wondering what stricter data would mean to how they did their jobs.

It has now been a full year since GDPR came into force. What impact has it had on the way we do marketing? Below are a few insights from the webinar.

Have data regulations made us better marketers?

While more than half (58%) of webinar attendees said that GDPR has somewhat improved their organisation’s marketing performance and practices, another one-quarter (25%) say that there hasn’t been a change at all. Luckily, only 17% report that their marketing performance has suffered a decline since GDPR went into effect.

Although the jury is still out for James McLeod as to whether GDPR has made us better marketers, he does think it has made marketers more cautious. On the other hand, Hellen Beveridge, who consults on data protection practices, has a positive view of what stricter data has done for marketers.

“I actually think that data protection has made marketers clever and more thoughtful because they have to look at everything they do through the lens of lawfulness, fairness and transparency. So, I’m firmly on the side of yes, this has been a really good thing.”

Sean Donnelly has also seen indications that GDPR has had a positive effect on businesses in general:

“Of the companies that we surveyed (about 12,000), all those marketers that identify their companies as being mature with regards to customer centricity indicated that GDPR has been more of an opportunity for them than anything else.”

What Best Practices Can Marketers Put Into Place?

The majority (60%) of webinar attendees reported that one of the benefits to stricter data regulations has been a shift from quantity to quality. However, 43% also said that their lack of knowledge of how to market in a GDPR world has proven to be a challenge for them.

So, what practices can marketers put into place to ease this challenge? James shared several best practice tips:

“I think [when it comes to acquiring new data] number one is transparency. You need to know where your data is coming from and what it is. Number two is to maintain brand safety… Then be on the lookout for any of those fraudulent activities that unfortunately do mire the B2B landscape… Everyone is talking about compliance, but I think it’s also very important that we talk about accuracy when we’re talking about best practice.”

Hellen is in agreement with the importance of data accuracy and elaborates on the fact that part of what causes data inaccuracy is that marketers are asking for too much information at one time and the data is unstructured. To alleviate this problem, she strongly advises investing in a single customer view.

“If you have a single customer view, where all your marketing is going after one fact, as a living piece of data, and constantly adding more and more information to this single customer view, it’s accurate, and it’s alive, and it’s useful. Then, by default, it will become compliant.”

What Are Some Top Tips For Marketing With Stricter Data?

As a closing to the webinar, the panel was asked to give one top tip as a takeaway.

First off, Hellen advises that having a good relationship with your data protection officer (DPO) has its advantages:

“Do involve them at an early stage. A knowledgeable data protection officer will save you from the really boring bits. You don’t have to know about all the article compliance; we can do that. We can summarize it and make it look pretty. Remember that at the end of the day, what you want is fit data and not fat data and the DPO can make your data fit.”

While Sean agrees with Hellen’s advice, he also adds that knowing the language of data protection can be beneficial:

“Equip yourself with some of the vocabulary around the operational aspects of data. Because, if you can do that, then you can understand some of the different use cases and you will be better able to collaborate with your DPO.”

And lastly, James reiterated the importance of data accuracy:

“Make sure that all the data you’ve got coming into your business and your funnel through all of your different channels is accurate and usable.”

Hear more on our Insight50 session

The quotes above are just a small sample of what was discussed and answered on May’s Insight50 session. Make sure to register to watch on-demand and find out how stricter data can work in your favour.