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GDPR - How it’ll Affect Your Marketing Efforts

March 2017

GDPR: How it’ll Affect Your Marketing Efforts

Last April, a new regulation was announced across the European Union: the GDPR (or General Data Protection Regulation. It’s a nifty – and much welcomed – idea which will see the protection of individuals’ personal data increased, as well as introducing more up-to-date definitions for what constitutes ‘personal data’ in our increasingly online world.

The challenge with the GDPR – due to be officially implemented on 25th May 2017 – is the effect it has on businesses. Of particular note are the implications the GDPR has for your sales and marketing efforts, with many changes coming to how businesses are able to operate with personal data. To help prepare you for next year’s introduction, Team Lunar have brought together information on the GDPR and its effect on marketing and sales, with a few helpful nuggets of information around what the new regulation actually involves. Good luck!

 

GDPR: The Basics

The GDPR is a regulation that covers all EU member states, without the need for individual states to change any legislation of their own. In the UK’s case, it will supersede the Data Protection Act. The regulation will apply to any business – in and outside of the European Union – who handles the data of any EU citizens. The regulation widens the concept of personal data and enforces what businesses can do with that data – including marketing to individuals without their express permission. The GDPR stresses the importance of having data handling procedures and specified data protection officers in place in order to avoid fines.

 

How does this change what your marketers can do?

Once the GDPR comes into effect, marketers will be under pressure to ensure that they have the individual’s express consent before contacting them for marketing purposes. Fortunately, if you already deal exclusively in double opt-in lists, then very little will change for your marketing team in that respect, though the wider business still needs to ensure proper data protection measures. The real challenge faces marketing teams who don’t already use double opt-in procedures; as many marketing professionals will know, double opt-in lists naturally hold fewer prospects, making each contact that much more valuable.

 

What You Need to Do

If your business handles personal data – including IP addresses and any email addresses – then you need to start putting together procedures and reviewing your existing handling efforts now. It also helps to ensure your current customers already double opt-in well ahead of the deadline, and that you have this system in place before May 2018.

For advice on these initial steps, we recommend heading to the ICO website here.

 

Why it’s Important to Get Started Now

Businesses across the EU were given two years from the initial date of the GDPR’s announcement to prepare – and they were given that long for a very good reason. The work that needs to go into preparing for the changes to data protection is immense and will require procedures to be overhauled, the introduction of better encryption and a total change in direction for some companies. What’s more, the penalty for not abiding by the guidelines is a hefty 4% of global annual turnover (up to €20 million) – so there really is a point to being prepared early!

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