Media coverage of GDPR tends to focus on the possible negative impacts rather than the opportunities. The fact is that many of the key requirements for GDPR compliance can also help marketers to enhance their activities and boost customer engagement. By implementing a cohesive data-driven marketing strategy, brands can alleviate the risks of GDPR and maximise their data to build meaningful, long-term relationships with their customers.

Research by Jaywing has found that most marketers feel unable to implement effective data-driven marketing strategies in their organisations. Even though 92% of marketers see managing data better as a priority, just 57% of teams say they have the right data skills and only half believe they are using the correct data management approach.

With the GDPR deadline fast looming, it is more important than ever for marketers to be confident with their data. As well as avoiding heavy fines, GDPR compliant data can also help businesses to understand their customers better and build compelling, personalised marketing content that will deliver ROI in the long term. Here, Inderjit Mund, Data Management Practice Director at Jaywing, outlines his top five tips for delivering a data-marketing strategy that is both effective and GDPR compliant.

Better, smarter data

GDPR-compliant data that is current, accurate and structured can help brands to understand customers and build compelling, personalised offers. Likewise, customers who give permission for businesses to use their data in line with GDPR are much more likely to engage, giving brands a base of ready-qualified, open targets for relevant communications.

As well as delivering more appropriate, compelling messages and offers to customers who have opted in to receive them, GDPR-readiness can also help to reduce time and resources spent on hit-and-miss, blanket-marketing approaches. As a result, more resources can be allocated to engaging with those customers who are likely to respond, and less on inactive customers who would rather not hear from you.

Be prepared

Being well prepared for GDPR will help to shift your marketing strategy from one based on gut feel and historical data, to a data-driven approach that can help deliver appropriate, personalised and timely communications to customers and prospects.

Our research shows that most marketing teams are still been unable to implement data-driven marketing in their organisations – even though most want to. Despite the fact that 92% of marketers see better management of their data as a priority, only 8% currently personalise customer communications across all channels. What’s more, just 57% of teams said they had the right data skills and resources to support data-driven marketing and only 50% think they are using the right data management approach.*  

Permission is everything

For forward-looking brands, GDPR compliance creates opportunities to improve data-driven marketing from more personalised, timelier communications, to more effective brand building. A key element of GDPR compliance is gaining customer permission to use data for specific use cases. But relationships aren’t built on compliance alone. Adopting best practice data, channel and brand management strategies to drive positive engagement is one of the biggest opportunities right now for brands. Permission becomes the single most important piece of data for brands in aspiring to build meaningful, long-term and rewarding relationships.

Brands can extract insight from data to develop channel and brand management strategies that focus on opportunities to build meaningful relationships that work on terms appropriate to the customer and brand.

Better data equals better relationships

Compliance with GDPR will also ensure a better start to the customer journey as individuals will be parting with their data with a greater understanding of how it will be used. Those who don’t want to engage won’t provide their data. This means no wasted time chasing, and no resentment before you even begin communicating.

Review and rebuild

Regulatory change on the scale of GDPR implies significant business, process and technology changes. It’s necessary that brands carry out a review of their entire data environment to assess whether customer and prospect databases are compliant.

Additionally, brands need to review their multi-channel communications strategy and define compliant ways to contact customers. They also need to build trust and loyalty with compliant communications that retain existing customers and inspire new opt-ins.

The complexity of GDPR can be daunting, yet underneath the prescriptive text, there is vast opportunity to make business and marketing activity compatible with our digital future. Responsible brands should not fear GDPR, but learn to work with it to unlock and future-proof data-driven marketing practices.

Seven ways you can benefit from GDPR compliance

  • Maximise conversion with personalised marketing.
  • Increase campaign ROI by targeting engaged customers first.
  • Improve customers’ cross-channel customer experience.
  • Increase marketing success with the right customer communications at the right time.
  • Build creative campaigns that are more compelling and effective.
  • Build customer trust by becoming a data custodian.
  • Deliver GDPR compliance and enhance your team’s reputation internally.