June 28, 2018 James Burke

GDPR and the 10 Optimistic Truths of Data Protection

GDPR is now a month old and as we continue working with our global clients and observing our European counterparts, it has become obvious that data protection is a result of heavy consumer nagging. Actually, it is an opportunity for organizations that embrace change to get ahead and prepare themselves for a better tomorrow.

1. Brand to consumer trust.
In the midst of the European GDPR act going into place is a global, consumer-driven movement calling for a higher level of data transparency from the brands they interact with most. Although, I do think the push for increased transparency is really just a follow up to consumers wanting more transparency across the board. It started with the “No hidden fees” in the airline industry, then again with the farm to table movement, and then to purchase products that were made with ethical labor and sustainably sourced materials. We are in the age of information and for consumers to truly trust your brand they feel it is their right to know exactly what they are purchasing.

One of the main pillars GDPR is built upon is transparency – so why wait for it to come to America? Now is the time to get ahead and become a democratized brand – speak directly and honestly to your prospects and customers.

2. A focus on inbound tactics and producing content that is actually useful!
Organically attracting and nurturing your prospects has never been more valuable. As mentioned last month, no more cold outreach to email lists purchased online. This means we must collectively work towards a scheme that puts content first. The brands that can shift to truly useful content and engage consumers will be the winners.

Post-GDPR world is an inbound world.

3. A hard earned lead is a high-value lead.
Bringing prospects into your funnel will take more work and the effort to create great content will take a creative knack. But, the leads that come through will be prospects who are truly interested and have a much higher chance of converting. Now is also the time to invest in your content strategy and learn what truly drives interactions. Money spent on bad content will be glaringly obvious and hurt that much more to your overall spends.

4. Opportunity to streamline systems.
Should an EU citizen come through and you were to retain their information without direct consent you make yourself an eligible candidate for penalties from the EU. Fines up to 4% of your gross revenue up to €20 million. The real threat to organizations is siloed databases and legacy systems that aren’t integrated and leave organizations unaware of the data they possess.

Steep fines and loss of gross revenue should make the pitch for new and improved systems fairly easy. Any system worth their salt will be GDPR compliant by design and will work to ensure you are always GDPR compliant.

5. Data refining, data cleansing, data prioritizing.
Simply put – organizations are full of useless and outdated data. Data that doesn’t contribute to your ROI and simply consumes money and storage.

GDPR is the time to export that data, decided what is immediately impactful, and then delete the rest. Best case, you find something you didn’t know existed, worst case you can cut down your spend on data storage.

6. Opt-in CTA’s are a chance to send a message, test content offerings, and learn more.
Continue to drive transparency through your content offerings. GDPR requires easy to understand language that clearly shows what a user is opting in to receive or give. With the average person willing to spend more time ensuring their data is safe, don’t be afraid to take the opportunity to capitalize a few different ways.

Option one is a simple and elegant design with a CTA that is a truly represents your brand. Make a note that you care and are an advocate for their right to privacy. It is simple and quick but will be appreciated by informed consumers.

The second option is to unbundle content offerings and learn what is truly engaging your prospects. Do prospects only check the box for coupons or special offerings? Or do they come for your thought leadership content? There are numerous other options, but the point is you can improve data and invest smarter because of your CTA’s!

7. Improved security practices and procedures.
GDPR has laid out security frameworks and procedures to follow should a breach occur. This is an exceptional time to revisit your procedures, improve policies that are outdated and future-proof anything that needs it.

Cyber attacks are here to stay and unfortunately, people will continue to fall victim to them. Be the leader that puts your company in a position to mitigate risk and all the downfalls that comes with falling victim to a cyber attack.

8. Social media community building.
Haven’t invested in social? Or are you like one of the many groups that have a half-hearted social presence? As you build that inbound strategy, social is a great place to focus. In fact, Instagram just hit a billion users! Regardless of industry, a strategic social plan will allow you to find your community and easily interact with them on a daily basis.

9. Improve your reputation.
Educated consumers are actively watching how companies react and invest in the protection of their customers. As you invest in getting up to speed and improving your systems let your followers know that you are investing in them! Many companies will be slow to react and slower to implement any procedures. If you’re doing the work, making yourself better, then be shameless! Tell the world! It’ll be a competitive advantage and another way to improve your ROI.

10. It’s happening in Europe first and now!
The best part of all of this is that it’s happening in Europe first! If you are a company that operates strictly within the USA, Europe is a daily case study on the do’s and don’ts of data protection.

Identify what is most crucial to your organization and set a plan to meet the goals in a time frame your budget allows. Although GDPR may not directly translate to American law, it is almost unavoidable that at some point lawmakers will install a similar system here and GDPR will be their starting framework.


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