Monthly Archives: June 2017

GDPR is coming – Three considerations to get your business ready

In his new book, Mapping Innovation, Greg Satell came up with some very clever insights regarding innovation. If you have not read it, here is his conclusion: ‘Many organizations get stuck because they end up locking themselves into a single strategy. Every strategy fails eventually because you have to match solutions to problems, not the other way around.’

The book is essentially about using technology to develop new products, solving problems that current products cannot fix. However, this attitude is true for most things in your organisation, marketing being one of them. The new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is coming into effect next May is one such problem that cannot be fixed using old techniques unless you want to be penalised and risk being fined.

As I wrote in my last Blog, GDPR will essentially force you to focus on the right target markets and communicate well with them which is not a bad thing. Still, this can seem like it’s easier said than done so here are a few things to consider if you are going to get your business ready for the new regulations:

  1. You will need to invest time and resources into inbound marketing. Yes, this old chestnut again I am afraid. Inbound marketing is about writing engaging content, sharing your knowledge and generally being seen as a helpful expert in your marketplace. This does not mean you stop selling but rather than constantly sending hard core sales messages, you create interest in your brand which in turn makes it more attractive to buyers. This strategy will be key to retaining more contacts on your marketing database, through generating a higher level of consent.
  2. You will need to consider your lead generation strategy and come up with alternative tactics to approaching new business. However good your content is, you will still need to approach new markets and let them know you exist. As e-mail marketing use for new business is going to be restricted, you need to review and choose other tactics available such as traditional and digital advertising, direct mail, telemarketing and so on. The best way to do this would be to go back to your lead generation strategy and go from there. If you don’t have an up to date strategy, it may well be time to consider drawing one up.
  3. Consider how you manage your databases and what data you keep. In short, you will need to consider what databases you keep and which you delete. GDPR is going to make keeping and collecting personal data for the sake of it unattainable so make sure you review it accordingly.

I agree that this is a challenge that will take some thinking to get over and create a new innovative solution but, with some 42% of B2B marketers saying that a lack of quality contact data is the single biggest barrier to lead generation, I think it will be worth it.

The good news is that we have come up with a GDPR Package designed to support the shift in your lead generation approach.  Click here for more details or get in touch for a chat.

GDPR: Why does it matter to you as a business owner?

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) legislation, which will be enforced in the UK from May 2018, has been described by many as the biggest shake-up of data procedures in 20 years and this applies to all areas in which you obtain and use data in your business. There are lots of reasons why you should know more about this, including some eye-watering fines making this new legislation non-negotiable indeed.

Yet, as it covers the complex subject of data protection, GDPR is cumbersome and full of fairly ambiguous statements which mean that reading it makes for a poor pastime. However, you will be pleased to know that there are masses of commentary and easier to read Blogs online, which can help improve your understanding of the new legislation.  As my business is affected hugely by this, I have spent a long time researching GDPR in order to understand the main changes and implications: so here are some Q&A’s to get you started:

Q: What is the point of this new legislation?

Since many technological advances have been made since the current Data Protection Act was written, it has become necessary to provide better protection to individuals in the light of the development of malpractice concerning big data. GDPR has therefore set out to ensure that the processing of data is done lawfully and fairly, and is collected for explicitly legitimate purposes, whilst making sure the data is adequate, accurate, and retained for only as long as necessary

 Q: What areas will it affect in my business?

Marketing is only one area of your business that needs to be aligned to the regulation.   The extent of work required to develop policy and processes as well as to ensure you have the right IT infrastructure in place to protect data flows throughout your organisation, needs careful consideration.

Q: How will it affect my marketing and lead generation activities?

It affects marketing in three critical areas:

  1. The consideration of opt-ins, opt-outs, and consent regarding communications. The GDPR mandates that consent must be ‘freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous’, and articulated by a ‘clear affirmative action’. That means you can’t assume consent based on ‘inactivity’, and that a pre-ticked box isn’t going to cut it. Prospects and customers must agree that their data can be used and that they can be contacted.
  2. Individuals will have the right to be forgotten. The GDPR is designed to offer more control to individuals over how their data is collected and used – and this means giving them some means of accessing and removing their data. They can do this when there’s no legitimate reason to process their information, when they withdraw consent for it to be used on the original terms, and when it’s been unlawfully processed.
  3. The legal basis for processing personal data. Practically speaking, this will necessitate better housekeeping of the data you hold and less collecting data for unnecessary, or frivolous reasons.

I know it sounds like a major headache but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Collecting data indiscriminately doesn’t benefit your marketing results: it hinders them. Some 42% of B2B marketers believe that a lack of quality contact data is the single biggest barrier to lead generation. Making sure you are focusing on the right target markets and communicating well with them, is therefore a good thing and if the GDPR provides some incentive for that, then we should embrace it and make the most of it.