23 May 2017 Category: Blog
With just one year until the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) come into force, Gartner reports that more than half of companies affected will not be in full compliance before the end of 2018. Much has been written on this subject highlighting potential fines of up to €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover, but it seems businesses – particularly smaller organisations – are still not taking action.
There is no doubt that there is a lot to do to ensure that you are in compliance and it may be that smaller organisations are unsure of where to start - recent research suggests that up to 84% of UK small business owners are unaware of the forthcoming legislation. In the long run, however, as we’ve discussed before, good data management processes bring business benefits that extend beyond compliance, including better relationships with your customers, more efficient communications and increased brand reputation.
So, with twelve months to go, now is the perfect time for a thorough spring clean of your data.
If your current database doesn’t comply with the rules, your marketing communications will be severely hindered under the GDPR, so it’s vital to take action as soon as possible. This needn’t be overwhelming, if you follow some basic recommended steps.
What to do
- Review existing data
- Does it comply with the current regulations?
- If not, which customers do you need to contact in order to gain the relevant permissions?
- Make contact with your lists
- Explain why you’re contacting them and how these changes benefit them
- Obtain all of the relevant permissions
- Keep accurate records of consent
- Who has signed in?
- What communications have they consented to?
- When did they consent?
- Review your policies and procedures
- How do people currently opt in to your lists, and how can you make this process compliant?
- What content are they consenting to?
- How do you use the data you obtain?
- Review how your data is being stored
- Is it secure?
- How long do you keep data for?
What it’s worth?
Ultimately, data that has been thoroughly cleansed and better maintained is going to reap rewards for your business. Your leads will be of higher quality, meaning you’re not wasting time and resources in chasing the wrong prospects. Your communications will be more efficient, as you will only be talking to people who genuinely want to hear from you. You can be more targeted with your messaging and build stronger relationships with prospects who value your communications, increasing your ROI and the lifetime value of your customers. Marketing to lower volumes of contacts will also mean cost savings for your business.
There are also less quantifiable benefits. Targeted marketing messages to people with a real need and a genuine interest in what you have to say, mean the perception of your brand will be improved. Customers and prospects will enjoy their experience with you more and be more likely to become advocates for your business.