In the final stretch before the GDPR comes into effect, there is an overwhelming sense of dread amongst many data collectors. And it’s not without foundation – there are substantial costs to ensuring readiness, and the fines for non-compliance are potentially hefty. But fear not, as the GDPR is good news for everyone whose businesses are reliant on the collection of personal data and for marketers looking to improve their communications.
Currently, personal data is not treated as the valuable commodity that it is; instead, businesses are collecting in bulk, often through non-transparent means, and using it for undisclosed purposes. In this sense, the GDPR is a huge step towards building a more transparent, efficient data economy which benefits both consumers and data collectors.
GDPR WILL IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF DATA YOU COLLECT
In the context of digital marketing, the new data collection rules may potentially do wonders for improving the effectiveness of your campaigns and helping you to collect quality data. You can then use this data for creating more targeted communications to more engaged audiences without having to battle the negative attitudes many customers currently have towards these communications.
ONLINE ADVERTISING IS ALL ABOUT MUTUAL (DIS)TRUST
At the moment the prevalent feeling amongst those on the receiving end of targeted ads is that of distrust, often to the extent of finding advertisers’ knowledge creepy. What should in theory be a mutually beneficial relationship between businesses and consumers often leads to lack of trust instead.
Many social network users and online shoppers now feel that their data won’t be kept completely safe and are doubting the purpose it may be used for. It’s not surprising that many digital consumers either choose to withhold it, or resort to falsification. This, in turn, harms the work of digital marketers who rely heavily on accurate information about their customers to tailor communications and product offers.
With the current relationship between online consumers and digital advertisers being detrimental to both parties, the GDPR emerges as the huge first step towards repairing the relationship and improving the quality of personal data being collected.
THE GDPR ENSURES TRANSPARENCY OF CHOICE
The lack of transparency around the consequences of sharing data and how it is managed post-share are a huge part of why so many online consumers are reluctant to disclose their personal information. Convoluted terms & conditions, for example, force many customers to skim the text or forego reading it entirely when purchasing online. What’s more, even those who do read the terms and conditions are often presented with complex legalese and don’t fully grasp what they’ve read.
The digital space is littered with misleading data collection tools that don’t provide consumers with options which are granular enough, thus forcing users to share their personal information in order to proceed with the primary action they are trying to take.
With the GDPR coming into effect, businesses will become more open about what their consumers’ data is used for. This can only be positive – with transparency come trust and a loyal consumer base, meaning more quality data and better ROI’s for your business. It’s a win-win!
USE THE GDPR TO MAKE ADVERTISING BETTER
Even with the clarifications that the GDPR will bring around how you should be using clear opt ins with your data capture, we have not seen the last of grey hat data collection tactics. Similarly, issues around the efficiency of rule enforcement and the ways in which individuals can actually exercise their rights are likely to highlight the imperfections of the GDPR legislation.
It is down to us then as digital marketers to embrace the improvements in online advertising transparency that the new regulations set the scene for. We are the ones who have the power to make the transition from non-transparent data practices to a digital world where the objectives of businesses and the interests of customers are aligned to make online advertising better.
THE GDPR AND THE BENEFITS OF DATA SHARING
If the GDPR lives up to its true potential for improving data transparency and placing more control in the hands of the individual user, we as marketers will see the relationships between businesses and customers dramatically improve.
If individuals are able to assess the benefits of data sharing by being presented with a transparent breakdown of what their personal information will be used for, they will be more incentivised to disclose it. A genuine value transfer, highlighting the ways in which sharing data will benefit customers – i.e. better services, more tailored product offering – is a great way to approach the matter.
An open data economy, which is the ultimate aim of the GDPR, is also beneficial to marketers. With increased consumer trust comes more opportunity for personalisation and service developments, improved communication efficiency and therefore the economic benefits of a budget well distributed, as well as the wider social benefits of collating a global network of information.
For tips and examples that will help you get the ball rolling for compliance with the GDPR, take a look at our blog on getting started with the GDPR. We can also help you create targeted communications for the new post-GDPR digital environment – Get in touch here and our team will get back to you to talk about your requirements.