Ever since GDPR was enforced in May 2018, content marketers have been in a state of uncertainty. The induction of GDPR brought with it several challenges, compelling marketers to rethink their entire content marketing strategies. However, despite the strain, GDPR has changed the way marketing teams work for the better. Marketing teams today have understood the need to handle customer data with care. This, in turn, is enabling them to glean better insights from data that can improve customer interactions.
This can apply to your marketing team as well. But, only if you are GDPR compliant. If you don’t know how to be GDPR compliant, then you are in the right place.
Are you GDPR complaint?
According to research conducted by Callcredit (now TransUnion), only 50% content marketers are confident of being GDPR compliant. What about the rest?
Here are other interesting findings that you should be aware of.
- GDPR can improve your marketing. 2/3rds of the GDPR-compliant marketers believe that their sales and marketing is now more effective.
So, what’s stopping everyone else from getting on board?
- Training your marketing team will be challenging. 43% marketers said that training their marketing team on data handling was the biggest hurdle.
- You need to get creative when working around restricted data access. 38% of marketers said that restricted data access caused them to struggle.
What it means for content marketers to be GDPR compliant
Without context, GDPR may seem intimidating. Many marketers suffer the consequences of not knowing what exactly the privacy regulations demands of them. That’s why we’ve put together a checklist of tips that you should follow to ensure that your marketing team is GDPR compliant.
- Data permission. Leads, customers, and partners are required to submit physical confirmation of their consent to receive emails/communication from you.
- Data access. Your contacts have the right to be forgotten from your database should they so choose. Ideally, they should be informed of the possibility to be forgotten. All of your communication should include an unsubscribe link.
- Data focus. As marketers, we’re all to some extent guilty of collecting more data than we actually need. Ensure that you can justify all the data that you are collecting from online targets.
How GDPR can benefit your marketing efforts
When GDPR came into effect, most marketers believed that it would have negative effects on their efforts. But this is far from the truth. On the surface, GDPR may make you feel the need to revisit your entire marketing strategy. But it’s actually an opportunity to improve your targeting and connect with exactly the right target audience.
1. Getting express consent. Instead of getting a simple yes or no from email subscribers, you can now provide them with a range of options to clearly understand their interest. You can gain insight into every individual’s interests and use that information to carefully segment your data sets. This will allow you to create content that’s more personalized instead of using one type of content for all email recipients.
2. Leveraging the right to be forgotten. Using segmented email lists, you can track each individual’s unique preferences. Give customers the right to be forgotten and track their interest in the different types of content that you create. As such, your subscribers could be interested in specific types of content such as case studies, sales content or product updates. Save all this information in one place using say a CRM to effectively track it.
3. Building trust with transparency. There are studies that prove customers will pay more to a brand they trust. You can use GDPR as an opportunity to renew trust with your target audience. Be upfront about who you are and what you are trying to accomplish. This will add a certain element of credibility to your brand and content.
As we’ve discussed on the ultimate list of content marketing trends for 2019, brand authenticity will deeply affect marketing activities.
GDPR-friendly marketing tips
As per research conducted by Osterman Inc, 73% of businesses aren’t enthusiastic about becoming GDPR compliant. This demeanor towards the change could be because of the challenges involved in rethinking marketing strategies to fit GDPR requirements. However, there are serious risks involved in ignoring the GDPR. Large companies such as Honda have been fined for violating these regulations.
Applying GDPR to your marketing can be effortless, especially if you follow certain tips. Here’s a quick list of the tips that you can follow.
- Audit your data collection process. If you’re buying email lists, it’s time to stop. Consider creating a focused email list based on express consent from scratch.
- Review and prune your email list. Inactive email contacts are only costing you. Identify people who aren’t interested in your content and remove them from your list.
- Collect contacts through freebies and giveaways. Ensure that you clearly state how the email addresses will be used when you ask for them on your website.
- Acquaint your sales team with social selling. Instead of relying only on email marketing to make sales, encourage your salespeople to engage prospects through social media.
- Strip down data collection to the bare minimum. Understand the data that you’re collecting. Is it serving a purpose? If it isn’t, take it off of your data collection forms.
- Update your privacy statement. Ensure that your privacy statement reflects all the changes that you have made post-GDPR.
GDPR isn’t to be feared. Faced the right way, GDPR can revive your relationship with customers and boost your online marketing results. Now it’s over to you for execution.