The GDPR and the chances for direct marketing

Whereas the GDPR is perceived as the sword of Damocles by many companies, for others it is a catalyst to a different way of thinking about data privacy and data management.  (TWO LINKS TO PREVIOUS BLOGS).  Yet other companies know how to translate the new mindset to better service and new business models.  

The GDPR comprises new regulatory rules, but if companies are compliant, it also offers new tools for deploying more personalized and targeted marketing activities –  that will not be perceived as undesired or irritating by the recipient. You can deal with it far more effectively by wording your privacy statement in clear and distinct terms so as to tailor it specifically to your company.  A company must clarify which data it collects, for what purpose, how the data are streamed and how they are processed and applied in its marketing messages.  

Data optimization  

Another advantage that raises out of the GDPR is that companies will deal differently with the data that they collected in the past. Many companies went literally for big data and collected all possible data of their customers, potential customers and other relations only to consider subsequently whether they would use those data and what they would do with them. With the more stringent regulation concerning the collection and processing of data, companies will take another critical look at what kind of data they have collected, because everything you collect and manage must also be compliant. Many of the collected data will not be of direct utility, but were collected  more for the sake of collecting.  And certain data will moreover be already outdated or double collected.  With the anticipated regulation, companies will want to manage only data that they actually use, so as not to run any unnecessary risks of sanctions  for data privacy violations.  

International uniformity  

An important advantage of the GDPR is that the same rules will apply throughout Europe as a result. All differences between countries will soon be a thing of the past. It will therefore become far easier for international companies to conduct marketing activities beyond national borders. Furthermore, companies can cooperate more easily with other parties because they are bound by the same rules.  

Irrespective of the chances that companies see and whether they capitalize on them, the fact remains that the GDPR must not be seen as a restrictive set of rules, but as  an excellent opportunity to provide new and better services. If they manage to interpret the GDPR in a practical manner, they can obtain an enormous competitive advantage. This means that they can approach their current and future customers even better.  

This is the last of three blogs that Michiel Alkemade, general manager of Smart Profilewrote on direct marketing and GDPR.