The recent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation set forth by the European Union has changed the data protection and privacy landscape as we know it for global brands and their marketers. While this new regulation establishes a consistent benchmark of data privacy requirements, it also introduces challenges for marketing teams communicating to customers in the EU. How can you modify your marketing strategy to ensure you’re adhering to GDPR?
A Little Background
Essentially, this new legislation is meant to strategically limit how much data marketers can collect and store on European consumers. It was created to protect consumers’ data privacy rights and hold institutions accountable in regard to how they handle data. The EU already had the Data Protection Directive of 1995 in place, but it failed to account for the abundance of smartphones, social media, and advanced technologies like artificial intelligence we have today. The GDPR builds on the directive with additional rights for customers and more severe penalties for infractions.
Who Does GDPR Apply to?
GDPR covers all organizations that handle the data of EU citizens – even if they have just one customer there. Your company may be based outside the European Union, but as long as you are marketing to EU residents or monitoring their behavior, the GDPR applies and a violation could result in fines of up to €20 million, or four percent of a company’s global annual revenue – whichever is greater.
How to Modify Your Marketing Plan:
There are three areas of data handling that are primarily impacted. Here’s how you’ll need to revamp your marketing plan:
- Permission: consumers have the right to be informed. This means that marketers need to acquire explicit consent from individuals before collecting their data by implementing simplified language and prompts, such as a checkbox. Websites and digital products will need to incorporate privacy settings that are automatically switched on. Lead generation and inbound marketing campaigns are still feasible – GDPR’s new procedures are simply intended to establish informed consent about what data is being collected from subjects and what it will be used for.
- Access: consumers have the right to see their personal data. If it’s verified that a firm is controlling the data of an individual, they must provide a detailed report upon the data subject’s request. The report may need to include what data is being processed, how long it will be held, any third-party recipients, security measures in place, and the purpose of processing.
- Documentation: consumers have the right to be forgotten. While the GDPR makes it illegal for marketers to contact subjects without their consent, it also grants consumers the right to retract their consent and have their personal data erased. Database managers must record how data is used, routinely conduct privacy evaluations, prove data is accurate and consensual, and make sure any data subjects without documented consent are removed. Companies also need to dial back consumer profiles under GDPR – data that’s deemed unnecessary, sensitive, or related to minors cannot be collected.
The GDPR provides an opportunity for companies to ditch out-of-date marketing tactics by implementing more transparency and security. The content consumers see will add value rather than annoy them, which in turn develops trust and bolsters performance. The time to rethink your marketing approach is now, and Creative Media Alliance is here to help. To learn more about adapting your marketing approach for GDPR, contact our marketing agency in Seattle. We specialize in branding services, Seattle video production, and more.