The dawn of data privacy is here. As customers are increasingly wary of how their data is being used, Sales & Marketing teams need to figure newer ways to connect and manage prospect engagement without breaking the law.
The GDPR Deadline is Looming
On 25th May, 2018, the European Union will usher in a new era of data governance with the launch of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR aims to standardize a wide range of privacy laws across the EU’s member states into one unified edict.
Much has been written and spoken since it was announced.
To ensure you are well aware of the contours of the law, we will host Ravi Pal, Data Protection & Privacy Advisor in an expert series on 5th May. If your Sales & Marketing teams reach out to customers in the EU, then this series will be the one to watch out for. Click here to register for this expert talk series.
What does GDPR mean for Sales & Marketing Teams?
Are you wondering “Okay, now tell me how I am impacted as a marketer?” We’ll get to that and more in the below sections.
Simply put, the impact of GDPR on Sales & Marketing teams can be bucketed across 4 different pillars:
Data Consent, Right to Forget Data, Data Accuracy and Data Usage.
The GDPR mandates marketers to actively seek specific consent from customers to be contacted. As marketers, you can no longer assume that your customers who requested to receive your emails want to be contacted.
For example, think about email opt-ins where customers give their email ids in exchange for using your product. Or, they downloaded a white paper from your website. Are you asking them specifically if you can send them promotional offers, product updates etc.? If not, making sure you have a check-box where they explicitly agree to it is part of GDPR.
And what about marketing automation tools? Marketing automation is a powerful tool to generate leads. But, if the tool sends an email to a prospect who has opted out of receiving mails from your organization, you could be in some hot water!
Right to Forget Data
This is perhaps one of the most significant changes. The GDPR gives customers control over how their data is being stored and if it is being deleted once it is inactive for a specified duration or not needed.
Practically this means, do you have processes in place to safely store data or have provisions to delete customer data once a customer asks for it. You don’t have to go to the extreme extent of deleting your entire email list like how Wetherspoon did in June last year following the data breach in December 2015.
This pillar explains how the data collected on customers ought to be accurate at all times. This means customers can reach out to businesses asking them to update their details. Companies must also be able to provide a copy of their customers’ data if they are asked for it.
Companies need to legally justify the business purpose when soliciting unrelated data. For example, do you really need customers to tell you their income bracket or favorite holiday spots. These can be tricky and land you in trouble unless you have a business reason to ask for such information. If it has got nothing to do with your business, then you have no business knowing it.
Bottom Line: Don’t ask for data that you don’t need or foresee a need for.
Make the GDPR Work for You
Okay, after all that heavy stuff – take a deep breath, it’s going to be fine!
Let us now figure out how it works in real life.
Take the example of Jennifer who lives in Spain and likes to travel. Let us also assume that she recently downloaded an eBook on trekking in Slovenia from the Amazing Tours & Travel Inc.’s website.
The Sales & Marketing team at Amazing Tours & Travel Inc. should obtain her specific consent to be able to send emails to her. They should explain to Jennifer how they plan to leverage her data – for promotions, travel discounts et al.
It also means if Amazing Tours & Travel Inc. has obtained Jennifer’s email id from an email selling firm, her specific consent is needed to mail her.
If Jennifer decides not to receive any promotional offers, the Sales & Marketing teams ought to take note of that.
In case Jennifer changes her mobile number and reaches out to Amazing Tours & Travel Inc. to update it, the company must make the necessary changes in their database.
Amazing Tours & Travel Inc. should also not needlessly collect data about Jennifer that is not needed – for example details on Jennifer’s family, which is unrelated to their business needs.
Also, if they are looking to use that data for anything other than what it was originally purported for, they should seek consent from Jennifer.
This is just the beginning of the implications that GDPR could possibly have on Sales & Marketing teams. There’s so much more to it that a single blog isn’t justified.
Rounding it All Up
Honestly, it is not the proverbial deer staring at the headlights syndrome yet.
It just authenticates The Economist’s view that data is a more valuable resource than oil.
Clearly, it signals the end of anything fishy and fuzzy with customer data.
Join us on May 5th for what promises to be an informative session on the implications of GDPR. Here are the three things that we will cover:
· The implications of GDPR for Sales & Marketing teams
· The changes in prospect management processes that it entails
· Practical insights on how to become compliant
See you there!
If you are not in Chennai but you’d like to be a part of this session, leave your email as a comment below and we’ll send you a recording.