Why the new GDPR legislation should be a marketer's best friend, not their mortal enemy

Come 25th May 2018, the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be in full swing. We can all grunt and grumble at the prospect of yet another set of rules to follow or, like in life, we can suck it up and get on with it.

We are already in an environment where consumers are increasingly reluctant to give up their personal data. If you haven’t already thought about your data plan, then you should take this as an opportunity to implement a robust data strategy that will gain conviction from your consumers.

Although a ‘data sharing depression’ is occurring, trust is pivotal. We must continue to strive towards having in-depth ‘big’ and ‘thick’ data to truly understand consumer habits and increase the overall value proposition.

As marketers, we often forget that we are also consumers and these regulations can help us to convey one of our core values: to be the voice of the consumer. If data protection is what is required to safeguard the consumer, then it is our responsibility to step up and take the strain.

The GDPR regulations should not be too much of a shock (apart from the increased risk of noncompliance with a potential fine of 4% of annual turnover- scary!). We should already be well versed with the Data Protection Act of 1998- the GDPR effectively builds on this to become more relevant and pertinent to the increasingly data-centric marketing sphere.

The purpose of this blog is not to give you a complete lowdown of the idiosyncrasies of the GDPR - you can access this through the ICO or the IPA - but to give you some reassurance.

Although penalties are higher, there are opportunities for brands and agencies alike to embrace this new legislation and truly build up a value exchange with consumers. Data is extremely valuable and there must be ‘something in it for them’ to continue to be a loyal and faithful consumer.

RAPP (2017) have argued that customer expectations of handing over data vary by sector. For example, if they were to have a data relationship with a bank they would want in return a loyal relationship i.e. to give them guidance and life stage support. By contrast, if consumers were to have a data relationship with a travel brand they would seek imagination in return i.e. suggestions and experiences. Brands and agencies can increase inclination to share data by framing the value exchange in line with relationship expectations and observations of value.

Despite the average consumer not being aware of the new GDPR legislation, it is likely that once it is in the ether this may proliferate another PPI compensation scandal. Brands and agencies need to be multiple steps in front by understanding the effect of GDPR and continuing to put consumer interests and most importantly, consent, at the centre of the data systems.

GDPR legislation should be your new best friend and not considered a mortal enemy.

It is a catalyst to providing a more positive and inclusive brand experience and enables brands to be even more advanced to tackle this increasingly data-centric marketing sphere.  Likewise, customers that do give consent to marketing materials are more likely to actually want to hear the brand message- hopefully reducing wastage and improving lucrative ROI.


Sophie Beckley, Planner

Talk to Sophie about how we can help you with your data strategy - 01902 714 957