Insight | Marketing

GDPR – Getting data protection right…finally!

It’s GDPR day and for some, the culmination of A LOT of hard work in cleaning up data and making sure they are compliable with the new ICO directive. For some, it was quite an easy process. For others, it was a case of accepting the lesser of two evils (fines!)

Whatever you think of Honda, Flybe and Weatherspoon’s actions, what it does show is that GDPR is here to stay. And unless you’ve been living under a rock, it will affect you in some way - whether you know it or not.

For me and the marketing industry in general, it’s not the end of a long process but simply the foreword to (hopefully) a new era in outbound marketing communication. I for one am happy to accept the challenge to be able to market better, smarter and more intuitively than ever before. I hope the days of email blasts (shudder) and unsolicited “Dear customer” comms is dead and buried, and we all have email lists not made up of vanity numbers like size and retention rate, but of engagement, opens and click-through-rates.

Something I’ve been saying to clients, friends and family (god, I’ve been a broken record) is what would you rather have: an email list made up of 10,000 people with an engagement rate of 1%, or one with 100 people with engagement of 100%? If the answer is anything other than the second one, then I would question who they are reporting to and what KPIs are important to them.

Despite having worked in marketing for a while now, I’m fully aware that I am still susceptible to a good email newsletter that looks like it was written specifically for me and no one else. That’s what keeps me engaged with a brand, even though I know in the back of my mind that they have neither the time or resource to write 10,000 personal emails. Go check out the emails you receive from Thread and their “personal stylists”. They give an excellent lesson in understanding data, interpreting it into meaningful value to me and presenting it in a way that is friendly and human!

More importantly, this directive should stop the extreme violation of data privacy and management. Your personal data is worth more than its weight in gold, platinum, diamonds, Antimatter. It is the single biggest reason why the most powerful companies in the world are predominantly ones that hold the most data, and this directive is a good thing for us all. Apart from this week, where everyone seems to be emailing me wanting me to sign up just because they want me to (as summarised excellently here), I fully expect that come next week I WILL receive emails that make me happier, healthier, richer or wiser, but most importantly, understand what’s valuable to me and just give me that in spades!

Don't be a shitty marketer - treat data like it's your own and just be better!

Now the serious part is out of the way, go and follow my favourite hashtag in the last few weeks - #GDPRjokes.