New privacy regulations are about to hit Europe and it’s a really big deal for advertisers, with implications spanning the entire business community. As outlined on the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) education website, this is the most important change to data privacy regulation in the last two decades. In one sense it only affects Europeans and the businesses that serve the European market; however, since data privacy impacts everyone, this is a discussion for the global community with broader changes taking shape.
From cryptocurrencies to alternative internets, there’s a lot to say when you start talking privacy in today’s terms. But global revolutions aside, as marketers and advertisers we need to know what all this means for us. Let’s start with understanding the GDPR and take it from there.
When Does GDPR Take Effect? What Type of Data is Personal?
GDPR regulation will take effect May 25th of this year, with the aim of protecting the personal data of European citizens from businesses that process and possess this type of data. Personal data is defined as any information that can directly or indirectly identify someone. “It can be anything from a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer IP address,” says the EU GDPR Organization. The new regulations strengthen data consent and aim to penalize any company misusing the personal data of European citizens, regardless of where they’re located. This has huge implications for marketers who rely on data to strengthen campaigns.
Marketers Migrating to GDPR Compliance
In order to become GDPR compliant, marketing teams may need to work on messaging and processes for user consent, following new rules and regulations. From startup to enterprise, if you’re migrating to become GDPR compliant and short on time, start with Article 9 that focuses on information use, says The Next Web. The same article notes that growth hacking strategies often recommended to startups, like emailing without consent, wouldn’t be acceptable under the GDPR. Oncoming privacy regulations may have marketers rethinking including “growth hacking” in their Twitter bios.
Aside from ditching shady and potentially spammy email campaigns, businesses taking on this migration should do so systematically. Begin with existing web properties that are customer facing and work your way through the compliance regulation from there. Businesses may also consider hiring specialists or using GDPR compliance tools available to help with the migration.
Marketers Should Celebrate GDPR
Come May, marketers who do business with Europeans have to get on the privacy bandwagon whether they like it or not. It may be a drudging task, but it’s worth it, in fact GDPR should be celebrated. Marketers should embrace the implications of the shift because ultimately it should mean higher quality leads as a result of the strengthened consent aspect. The Next Web explains:
“instead of taking a shotgun approach and trying to reel in as many people as possible, you need to turn them into qualified leads and make sure they’re actually interested in what you’re trying to sell.”
In this respect the GDPR is great for marketing. It will encourage marketing teams to work harder to qualify that lead, to please the customer, to improve the customer experience and gain their consent.
Marketers will be forced to better use data and better listen to their customer in order to get their attention. And then when as marketers we finally do have their attention, it will be because our product or service truly earned it, and the customer actually wants to listen.
For the first time, it’s possible that marketing messages may no longer saturate consumers because they’ll be able to fully pick and choose what they pay attention to. Then, with the consumer base you built in Europe – following proper regulations of course – you’ll be able to get conversions much easier with an engaged and fully consenting audience (who doesn’t resent you for spamming them!). Doesn’t that sound like something worth celebrating?
If you’d like more insights and discussions on what marketers can expect to change this year, download our Digital Predictions ebook (or at least check out the expert prediction videos on the landing page!).
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