Have Strict Data Privacy Regulations Made Marketing Better?

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.

GDPR, Marketing and the Shift to a Privacy-Centric World

It’s been a little over a month since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, became law. The statute, taking effect on May 25, 2018, launched a slew of privacy update emails and last-minute data wrangling efforts from various companies across the globe. It has since inspired similar regulations, most recently California’s California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (AB 375). Additional regulations, originating from different countries or states, could be on the way.

Why all the hubbub?

There are a few reasons why GDPR inspired so much scrambling and continues to do so after its implementation. First, it affects companies on a global scale. Second, it shifts an organization’s control over collected data from companies to individuals. Third, organizations can only collect data on an individual if they actively ask the individual for consent or if that individual has a legitimate interest in that company’s dealings.

Not only that, but organizations also need to clearly explain why they are collecting data and what for. Companies will need to demonstrate they can easily delete collected data if either A). an individual requests it or B). if the data is no longer relevant to the reasons it was initially collected in the first place. Data cannot be kept indefinitely for no particular reason.

The central issue, and why this regulation impacts companies across the globe, is that it regulates any data belonging to any E.U. citizen, regardless of where that data, or the company using that data, resides. If, for example, a company hosts an E.U. citizen’s data in Canada, that company still needs to comply with GDPR or risk up to 4 percent of its global revenue.

So, yeah — GDPR is a big deal. And both companies and governments are still trying to wrestle with both its implications and its enforcement.

Ultimately, though, GDPR is good, even if it’s still unclear to many. It empowers individuals to control their data and gives companies the scaffolding they need to shift their marketing and data retention policies to focus on individuals who are actively interested in what a company has to offer. Think of GDPR — and similar legislation — as an opportunity to both better organize your data and shorten your marketing funnel by engaging with folks who are genuinely interested in your business. It’s an invitation to stop interrupting and start engaging by putting your audience’s interests first.

To help you on your journey, we’re putting together a GDPR webinar. We’ll give you the low-down on the new law and how webinars can act as a powerful tool to help you stay in compliance and generate better pipeline. If you’re in the European market, join us on July 12 at 11 a.m. BST. If you’re in the United States, join us on July 17, at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) to get a better understanding of what GDPR means for you and how you can use webinars to get ahead of privacy regulations.

ON24: GDPR Ready

I hate rules. And, I think the best marketers are those who break them.

Which is why I’m surprisingly ok with the larger mission of the EU’s forthcoming, and discussed-to-death General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Yes, it’s a pain in the ass, but I fundamentally believe the challenge is one all marketers should embrace, inside or outside the EU. Let’s use the deadline of May 25th to ask ourselves some big, uncomfortable questions about the way we’re engaging with prospects. Is the interaction human? Are you getting any more besides an unsubscribe notice from your very generic email?

It’s time to take a step back and examine whether all this marketing technology is adding or taking away from the relationship we’re all relentlessly trying to build with our customers and prospects. And, of course, make sure your technology is GDPR-ready.

The good news is that ON24 has you covered on both aspects. We’ve built our platform to make engagement more human through live, on-demand and personalized experiences. And, our privacy and product experts have worked very hard to ensure the data you collect along the way is kosher with the EU’s new policy.

So, we’ve got your back, webinerds… Keep on breaking (most) rules, stop spamming, and start engaging!