Although the majority of organisations are now making preparations for the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a concerning portion still do not have a plan in place to be compliant by May 2018. All businesses will be responsible for managing, protecting and administering personal data under regulations coming into effect from May 25 2018.

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) surveyed over 1,000 companies and found that while 15% of marketers believed their businesses are on track with GDPR, a further 17% are falling behind their current preparations. This is up from 11% from May 2017.

In terms of marketer’s awareness and preparations for the update, 77% rate their awareness as ‘good’ and 74% feel somewhat or relatively prepared for the changes. However, despite the majority (85%) implementing their plans for GDPR, 58% believe they are fully prepared for the forthcoming changes.

“We should use the new laws as a catalyst to transform the way we speak to customers, making every engagement human-centric. This will enable organisations to build trusted, authentic and transparent relationships with their customers,” commented Chris Combemale, CEO of the DMA Group.

Marketers are feeling the brunt of GDPR with 42% expressing their organisation will be affected by the regulations, while a further 65% said the new law will be a hindrance to their marketing.

Top concerns for marketers on the GDPR law are consent (28%) and legacy data (18%) respectively, while the main priorities are updating privacy policies (15%), integrating systems (12%) auditing current data (12% and managing data breach processes (11%).

Combemale responded that businesses must “keep in mind the customers’ right to privacy”.

“It’s important that businesses put the principles of accountability, transparency and trust at their core. Allowing them to go beyond simply being the right side of the law and actually build a sustainable long-term relationship with customers about their data,” he added.

GDPR and discussions around data handling form the basis of a number of discussions at PI LIVE next week from October 24-25. Find out more here.