The countdown to the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has now begun. We are just over a month away from a new era for data protection and privacy right across the EU. So, when the GDPR comes into force on 25th May this year how is the digital marketing world likely to change?

Key changes for the marketing world


The way that you obtain consent

If you want to use an individual’s data then, post-GDPR implementation, you need a very different kind of consent to do it. The GDPR requires that consent is ‘freely given, specific, informed, and unambiguous’ and delivered via a ‘clear affirmative action.’ So, you can’t assume consent or use pre-ticked boxes anymore.

The control that individuals have over their data

The key change here is “the right to be forgotten.” Tied up in this is the requirement to ensure individuals have access to the data that you hold on them and also that you have processes in place to quickly comply if they request that all that data is deleted so that they can be “forgotten.” With the GDPR, delete really means delete – not leaving data in your CRM with a “do not contact” mark next to it.

The volume of data that is collected

The GDPR requires that there is a justifiable basis for collecting data. Marketers often collect as much data as possible, a lot of which isn’t really necessary but just nice to have. With the GDPR this is stripped back so that anything outside of what is justifiable could get a business into trouble.

Where will this impact in day-to-day marketing?

Any business with customers is going to be affected by the GDPR. However, there are three key – and frequently used – areas where change is going to be crucial.

Marketing automation

Emails that go out automatically could be problematic under the GDPR. It’s crucial that where this is in use any CRM database is set up to reflect changes, such as individuals opting out from receiving emails. The up-side to this is that, if you have a CRM in place, then the information you have will always be up to date. And, as your customers change their consent preferences, you’ll be able to get more data on what they’re genuinely interested in – or not – and feed this into your campaign strategy.

Email marketing

You need to have a proactive “opt-in” from someone to email them now, which puts email marketing on a very different footing, especially for any organisations that were previously buying their email lists. However, there is a silver lining. With the requirement for consent to be specific you can find out exactly what people are actually interested in and this provides opportunities to help further segment your customer base.

The PR angle

Any action of reaching out, even sending press releases to journalists, must comply with the new GDPR conditions on consent. However, there is also some positive PR here too. We are entering a new era of transparency and being wholly signed up to this is going to be beneficial to any business. Treating individual data with respect enables strong relationships to be built that could pave the way for closer future collaboration.

Iconic Digital can help you to find GDPR compliant ways to enable marketing to you’re your business thrive – contact us to find out more today on 020 7100 0726.