Customer communications is one of the core pillars without which businesses will fail to thrive. While GDPR might come across as an extreme data regulation law, directly impacting customer communications, in actuality there are just 3 areas that marketers need to be concerned about. Once the right measures are put into place, optimizing marketing communications is a seamless process.
As most industry leaders suggest, GDPR implementation is rather an opportunity than a threat, it helps to streamline your contact database, based on customer consent, which in turn helps to maximize ROI, enhance customer engagement and refine customer communications basis their preferences.
Let’s look at the 3 main areas marketers need to focus on, to ensure smooth marketing operations during the Post GDPR phase.
1. Data Consent
Data consent is about managing opt-ins in a clear and unambiguous manner. You can’t presume that all the contacts in your data repository wish to seek email notifications from your end. It’s essential that you understand what truly interests them and roll out opt-in campaigns to confirm their interest and segregate your contact database repository accordingly. If you haven’t managed to seek consent from your clients and customers yet, this is the best time to get started.
2. Data Access
The GDPR regulation offers individuals more power over how their personal data is gathered and used. The right to be forgotten is one the most talked about rulings in the EU Justice Court history. It implies that people have complete control over their personal data and have the power to remove outdated and inaccurate information.
As a marketer it is your responsibility to ensure that this is implemented. The process can be quite straightforward and simple. Share an unsubscribe link in your email marketing template that is linked to their profile, which gives them easy access to manage their email preferences.
3. Data Focus
As the term implies, stick to the information you need. GDPR requires that you justify the processing of all the personal data you gather. Not as scary as it sounds, this simply means to stick to the information you need rather than all the nice-to-have information. As a marketer it is your responsibility to gather the information you need rather than collecting unnecessary information.
8 steps towards GDPR effectiveness – Marketers, we hope you’re listening
At this stage you’re probably thinking the way you run your business is never going to be the same again, but there’s no need to panic really. GDPR works as a marketing aid and not a threat; it facilitates what marketers do best – which is to create relevant and targeted communications with customers and prospects.
If you’re still not certain about your business being GDPR compliant, here’s a 8 point checklist to help you get started.
Audit your mailing list – A recent research study by W8 data suggests that up to 75% of marketing data has become outdated from GDPR and only a mere 25% of the existing customer data meets all the GDPR requirements. Segregate your mailing list based on the consent. Remove all the un-subscribers from your current list. For new subscribers, share an email communication about the intent with an automated email to confirm their subscription.
Understand the data context – Understand the ‘why’ and ‘what’ of your customer data. When it comes to sign up forms it is important to gather just the information you need and not all the good-to-have information. As a B2B marketer, full name, email address and company name is predominantly what you need.
Review how you gather data – If you are still buying mailing lists, this might be the right time to start afresh with a new mailing list. There are high chances that the mailing data you brought over in the past is not consent-based. Start by sharing opt-in campaigns and refine your data to create meaningful engagement.
Centralize data with CRM – Google docs and Excel spreadsheets don’t work anymore, considering the amount of data storage today. It’s the right time to start using a centralized CRM system to gather customer data, and also to ensure that your users can control, revise and easily access their personal data.
Invest in content marketing – Create meaningful content that is custom-built for your potential customers. Investing in a robust content marketing strategy can maximize customer engagement and boost your brand image incredibly as a thought leader. If you haven’t yet, start by creating white papers, case studies, guides and eBooks that visitors can easily access and download in exchange of their contact information.
Adapt social selling techniques – Emails are not the only way to connect. Train your sales representatives and lead generators to connect with prospects on social media platforms. It’s a great platform to share relevant content and build your brand credibility.
Remember, GDPR has not been implemented to hinder businesses from communicating with prospects and customers. It is one of the most robust and effective data regulations by far to ensure marketers move away from the one-size fits all approach and ensure to streamline communications and delve deeper into understanding what customers and prospects truly need.