The General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) came into force on 25th May 2018 and has significant implications for marketers, and how organisations obtain, store, manage, or process the personal data of EU citizens. Research conducted by the HubSpot team revealed that only 36% of marketers had heard of GDPR, and 15% of companies have done nothing to comply with the regulation. The GDPR will apply to any organisation controlling or processing the data of EU citizens, even if they are based outside of the EU. Potential penalties for non-compliance can be severe, and companies may incur fines of up to €20 million or 4% of their global annual revenue (whichever is greater).
However, the legislation is a positive step and an opportunity for good marketers to put people and their concerns at the forefront, work harder to earn attention, and gain the right to communicate with people on an ongoing basis. The GDPR principles should be considered at various stages of the inbound marketing methodology. In terms of data collection, organisations need to ensure more transparency between themselves and the individuals whose personal data is being collected. Individuals must be informed clearly about how their data will be used and need to give informed, specific, unambiguous, and revocable consent. Data subjects also need to be told about their right to withdraw consent. Additionally, organisations need to collect data that is adequate, relevant, and limited to what is necessary for the intended purpose of collection.
In conclusion, marketers need to become more creative and innovative to succeed under GDPR. The regulation is likely to hasten the demise of outdated marketing tactics like buying lists, cold emailing, and spam. By using transparent methods, delivering value to customers, and fostering long-term relationships, marketers can thrive and stay ahead of the curve.