In May next year, the European Data Protection Regulation will come into force. It’s called The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and this might feel like a major change that involves a lot of extra work, but if you play your cards correctly, it also includes a lot of opportunities.
GDPR gives you an opportunity to gain trust from your customers by informing them about their rights and possibilities. The purpose of the GDPR is to strengthen the protection of individuals and the processing of personal data within the EU. Any company that in some way collects information about its customers is now forced to reflect on what kind of information they collect, and why they collect this information.
What does this mean?
Companies must be transparent and follow the regulation for handling personal data, and all collected data must be relevant for the company to process, as well as being updated and correct. The security around personal data is also becoming more important, and companies must take both organizational and technical security measures to ensure that the data is protected. Companies may not use the data for anything beyond what’s promised when collecting it, and you are always entitled as an individual to ask to have your own data deleted. A complaint function must be available that is easy to use, and which can be used free of cost. In order to store information about children (individuals under the age of 16), the company must have the custodians approvement.
But, the biggest change is that you need a so-called opt-in function. It is therefore no longer possible to only offer opt-out (for example, unsubscribe), this means that you must actively choose to share your personal information. This is interesting from a marketing perspective as it affects marketing automation and parts of it, like email marketing. Here you have to be creative and create campaigns where the recipient wants to engage and interact with the content.
We have put together a list that will help you maneuver the change before it comes into force.
Keep in mind to:
- store all personal information securely.
- document all storage as well as processes and purpose for storing the data.
- ask for consent. The user must choose to share their information.
You may have other legal reasons for collecting personal information (in addition to consent);
- You need the information to fulfill an agreement.
- There is a legitimate interest and this interest weighs heavier than the registrant’s interest in the non-processing of personal data.
GDPR’s purpose is to protect personal data and enable the user have more control over their own data. This makes inbound marketing an increasingly more important tool. By creating content that your users and customers are interested in, and want to engage with, you will get a much more qualitative marketing. This trend has been going on for a long time now, and sending e-mails to people who do not know your business already, will become more and more unusual.
How should we maximize this change:
- Inform your customers – Explain this change to your customers and visitors, and what you as a company can offer them. Don’t try to hide it, but use the information to build trust and interest.
- Engage them continuously – Produce qualitative content that engages, informs and maybe even educates your customers. If you contribute something that adds value, you will not only get a satisfied customer, you will receive ambassadors for your brand.
- Work with inbound marketing – Discard purchased mailing lists and update your CRM with customers and leads that are actually interested in your business. Work on creating content for them and get a following who are interested in your message and who shares it further.
- Review your processes – Save time and resources to establish robust processes and proper documentation for these, you can then simply refer and share more information with your customers.