What is GDPR and Why Should I Care?
The General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) will go into effect May 25, 2018. The legislation will largely impact the way marketers approach their work and how companies obtain, store, manage or process the personal data of EU citizens. While the legislation governs entities within the EU, the reach of the GDPR is far wider as it will also apply to non-EU businesses if they:
- Market their products to people in the EU
- Monitor the behavior of people in the EU
If you’re company is based outside the EU but controls or processes data of EU citizens, the GDPR will apply to you.
According to Hubspot, just 36% of marketers have heard of GDPR. And, Econsultancy says only 54% of businesses expect to meet the May 25th deadline. This is quite alarming because this means many companies are not ready and will be scrambling. It’s important to understand the penalties if you are found in violation. Companies could incur financial consequences of €20 million or 4% of their global annual revenue (whichever is greater).
How Marketers Can Succeed
For lazy marketers, GDPR will be a hard pill to swallow. However, for smart marketers this will be an easy transition. The days of buying lists and cold emailing are coming to an end. Marketers will have to work harder and smarter to capture the attention of their potential consumers. This isn’t a bad thing for us. We should be embracing more creative, targeting strategies. Instead of just pushing people through the sales funnel, we will be engaging and getting to know our consumers.
To excel in the GDPR landscape companies will need to be transparent, accountable, data-secure and accurate. Consumers will have all the power. It will be necessary for marketers to earn the right to have a conversation with them. This means you must be laser-focused on who your audience is and what they value. We, as marketers, can use the five core digital branding strategies (access, engage, customize, connect, collaborate) to stay focused and provide better content to our audiences. Social media, SEO and content marketing will be the emphasis moving forward. Companies will have to dump the mass advertising of the past.
Are You Ready for GDPR?
Do your research. Read up on how this can affect you as a marketer. This quick list will help you get started:
- Does your company collect/store personal data? Was it collected with necessary consent? Is this data from EU or being transferred there?
- Are procedures and controls in place for data security? Is your staff trained on compliance?
Hubspot has developed an extensive checklist to help companies become prepared.
So, are you ready?