How will GDPR affect marketers and sellers?

Having customer data in the digital form, and storing it in the cloud, has become the norm. At the same time, data theft and data breaches, and issues related to privacy are increasing more rapidly than ever.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an attempt to regulate the source of information and legalize the flow of information based on the prospect or customer’s permission. GDPR is a regulation that defines how organizations need to protect the personal data of EU citizens. It is applicable to all organizations that handle personal data of EU citizens regardless of where the organization is geographically located.

What does it mean to marketers and sellers?

If your idea of prospect reach-out was mass emailers, cold calls or anything that intrudes a prospect’s experience – then GDPR is going to affect you badly. Having poor-quality customer data could become a major issue for many businesses.

Rightly so! If you are going to have wrong information or decayed data about a prospect, your marketing attempts are not only going to fail, but create a bad experience about your brand/product in the mind of your prospect.

Now, as part of the GDPR act, companies found to be using inaccurate customer data without a legal basis, such as explicit consent, could face a fine of up to 4% of global turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater.

gdprTherefore, from a customer experience (CX) standpoint – it is an absolute welcome regulation. So, purchasing a contact list without a prospect’s consent is no more an arrow in your quiver.

Why is GDPR an immense opportunity for marketers and sellers?

If you can stop looking at this as a problem, you’ll see that there is immense opportunity for marketers and sales people to build quality relationships and engagement, and more importantly an opportunity to improve the quality of data you work on.

A good place to start is to have a Data Stewardship program. Data stewardship refers to managing and overseeing organization wide data assets and ensuring consistent availability and accessibility of high quality data. It is mission critical because it controls the data quality and flow across the organization.

Leverage data stewardship programs to not only continuously enrich data, but to personalize and hyper-personalize customer communications and build meaningful relationships. According to the RMDS research, 61 per cent of marketers consider enhancing customer information with contextual intent data, useful for nurturing customer relationships.

This tells you that quality data alone is not enough. You need to be able to contextualize customer data using B2B sales intelligence tools such as Fiind, to get contextual information on prospect intent and why would they be a good to your product. With this information, you can have conversations relevant to your customer and prospects.

CX is the only and ultimate differentiator

GDPR helps marketers more than customers, if you look closely. For instance, if you take a neuro marketing outlook, especially with David Rock’s SCARF model – you will know that “F” stands for “fairness”. A customer’s mind always seeks a fair deal or fair treatment. Even if they are donating for a noble cause, they need to know if the money is used fairly.

Now, look at the article 5 of the GDPR from that perspective. It says that personal data shall be “processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner”, and sets out how companies need to let customers know what they are doing in a concise, transparent and unambiguous way.

So, if you want to live and breathe CX, embrace GDPR and get your organization ready for it powered by data stewardship and artificial intelligence.

About the Author

Yaagneshwaran is among the top 100 global martech influencers, an author, columnist and also the Director of Marketing at Fiind Inc. He has a certificate in Strategy Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode and an MBA in marketing from Jansons School of Business, Coimbatore.