With a dramatic build-up both in the national news and throughout the corridors of offices across the country, GDPR was the topic of conversation amongst marketers for quite some time. Now, having been in place since May 25th of 2018, GDPR has had quite the effect on data protection.
For consumers, GDPR has given greater control over how our data is being used for marketing purposes. For businesses that have become heavily reliant on their data to drum-up business, the thought of saying goodbye to hundreds of potential leads was a cause for concern. Aside from this the work needed to be completed to become fully GDPR compliant left many marketing departments exhausted at the prospect of putting all the processes in place.
Hefty fines were touted as a pre-warning to businesses to take GDPR seriously, however, the benefits to businesses are just as useful as they have been to consumers.
The Benefits of GDPR
Allowing data subjects the “right of erasure”, GDPR struck fear in the hearts of data-reliant organisations. Flipping the coin, the advantages of a post-GDPR world has given greater clarity to marketers about how they should be using data.
- Consumer Confidence – GDPR-compliance has become a trusted stamp of approval to customers. With customers increasingly protective of their own data – and rightly so – companies can build greater trust and better relationships with new and existing customers who recognise that their data is being stored and used in compliance with GDPR.
- Data Security – Increasingly we hear about devastating cybersecurity breaches that ring alarm bells and can cause massive consequences to the business in question. With a GDPR compliant framework in place, businesses benefit from greater cybersecurity thanks to the regulations regarding the storage and encryption of data.
- Cost cutting – Surprisingly for businesses who feared GDPR the most, it has proven to reduce costs associated with now outdated data inventory tools whilst easing the pressure from marketing departments to constantly rely on years-old data.
Ultimately, GDPR forced businesses to organise lists of data they had been building for decades in some cases. Though the thought of erasing these names from their lists was seen as a negative, GDPR simply gave marketing departments the chance to reach out to their new and old customers and ask the simple question – “Do you want to hear from us?”
For those businesses who asked their customers to choose to receive communication from them the two responses, a simple yes or no, were both extremely positive to their organisation. A ‘yes’ gave you permission to continue contacting that consumer. A ‘no’ on the other hand did not. Why waste time and money contacting people that do not want to hear from you?
It is the job of marketing professionals to present your company to those interested in your product or services. It is not the job of marketing professionals to simply rely on old data and hope for the best.
Marketing to customers after GDPR
With the above taken into consideration, GDPR presented businesses the opportunity to consider other avenues of communications. GDPR outlines six lawful grounds for data processing:
- Consent of the data subject.
- Contractual obligations with the data subject, or to take steps to enter into a contract.
- Data processing is required under the official authority or public interest.
- In protection of the vital interests of a data subject
- Under legal obligations
- Under legitimate interests by the controller.
It is a legitimate interest that has presented an opportunity for direct mail as the ‘consent’ is different here than for other communication methods. Though statistics are showing that direct mail spending has fallen since GDPR’s implementation, it is widely expected that these figures will grow again as GDPR further settles.
Direct mail is an effective tool for reaching new clients. Marketing departments are starting to realise the power of the personal touch and the effectiveness of direct mail. In a digital world, a personal touch goes a long way towards building a strong business to consumer relationships.
Organisations are beginning to understand that GDPR is better, and more than just an obligation. With GDPR, businesses can streamline their marketing activities, ensure they are communicating with only those that wish to be communicated to and concentrate their resources on utilising the most effective marketing communication methods to develop their business interests.
Mailing Expert help businesses target a chosen demographic with personalised direct marketing campaigns. Our team can provide guidance on your data and assist in targeting those under legitimate interest.