The physical regulatory document of the GDPR is a comprehensive behemoth, consisting of 260 pages of regulations, principles and definitions. Our in-house data management specialist took it upon himself to read it in its entirety, a total of five times. He described the experience as somewhat harrowing.
Knowing the ins and outs of the entire GDPR document is undoubtedly useful to build a better understanding of the GDPR in general. But, we’ve decided to focus on which areas of the regulation affect marketing.
GDPR effectively eradicates the assumption that customers want to be contacted. Opt-in processes need to be overhauled to ensure that your audiences express their consent in a ‘freely given, informed and unambiguous’ manner. In basic terms, this means that customers have to provide consent deliberately before they can be contacted.
The responsibility of the marketer is to seek physical confirmation and permission from customers and audiences, to confirm that they want to be contacted. Obtaining ‘unambiguous’ consent is one stage, the second is to include, on all marketing communications, a clear and simple way to opt-out. This will allow audiences to easily and quickly change their communication preferences and opt-out altogether.
Regardless of whether you’re B2B or B2C, you’ll also need consent to be ‘provable’. Documentation that clearly proves your audience has given consent to be contacted will be required under GDPR.
The process of gaining consent can be an opportunity. While some of your audience will reject your attempts at gaining their consent, some will welcome the chance to tailor their experience. If you provide a means of not only confirming their consent but allowing them to choose communication preferences based on interests or purchasing habits, you can feed them the information they want to see. In doing so, your communication becomes targeted and relevant to your prospective customer, increasing the likelihood of them using your service or buying your product.
THE RIGHT TO BE FORGOTTEN:
The GDPR reinforces an individual’s ‘right to be forgotten’ and allows them to remove out of date or inaccurate data. In fact, the individual has the right to remove and access any data containing their personal information. Marketers must facilitate the easy access and removal of data relating to an individual so that they are able to change their preferences and remove their consent should they wish to.
In an effort to reduce the amount of unnecessary data that is collected by marketers, the GDPR requires the justification of the processing of personal data that is collected.
Essentially this means that if you can justify asking a website visitor what the colour of their eyes are, and prove that you need it for them to view a newsletter or white paper, then you can ask for it. However, it’s unlikely that information will have any relevance to the purpose of the data being collected and largely, unnecessary data won’t be justifiable.
Focusing on the data you need to collect and sticking to basic information will also help you to remain compliant when GDPR takes effect.
The most important thing to remember is to prepare for the GDPR taking effect and consider what position you are currently at in achieving compliance.
Mail and Print offer a data cleansing service and provide a report on your current data so that you can meet your GDPR requirement. Learn more about the service here or give us a call on 01747 820960.
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