Marketers today face the challenge of providing personalized content to expecting consumers while respecting their privacy. This privacy is monitored closely through General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR). This legislation provides guidelines to companies on how they obtain, store, manage and process the personal data of their audience. Follow along with GROWL as we walk through exactly what GDPR entails so you can ensure you're complying while also giving an excellent customer experience.  


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was implemented in May 2018 to standardize different legislation privacy regulations. The introduction of GDPR means that companies are now required to build privacy settings into their digital marketing platforms and have them on by default. Not only do marketers have to consider these privacy settings during initial setup, but it’s also expected that organizations conduct privacy impact assessments to improve how they communicate data breaches as their organization grows. 

It's important to research GDPR, and how it might impact your specific marketing efforts. It can vary based on consumer-to-brand (and vice versa) expectations and the disclaimers you provide. For example, if the consumer provides their email to download an ebook, that doesn't automatically qualify them for marketing emailsHowever, if you provide a disclaimer stating that by providing their email, they agree to receive marketing emails from you can contact them for additional marketing purposes.  


Now you might wonder, what happens if I don't follow these regulations? Besides losing the trust of your audience, you could also face hefty fines. Depending on the type of violation, you may see fines of up to $21 million or 4% of your global annual revenue. At the end of the day, it's in the best interest of you (and your audience) to follow GDPR guidelines.  

While they may seem tedious, GDPR guidelines positively impact the marketing industry overall. By following GDPR, marketers provide their audience with more transparency, which can create closer relationships through improved communication. Marketers are held accountable to provide clear explanations about the data they collect, why they need it, and how it will return value to the consumer. This accountability helps consumers to build trust with compliant brands and companies. 


Now that you understand why GDPR exists and why you need to take it seriously, we can explore how it impacts your processes for personalization moving forward. There are 3 primary areas that GDPR impacts marketers: data access, data permission, data focus, and data intention. 


When collecting data, it's essential to identify critical data points and have a clear end goal for what you'll be using the information for. Start by mapping out touchpoints and contact records to see what you already have and what information you still want. Start small and build data as you nurture your relationship with your audience. By doing this, you're gradually building trust and forming a relationship first, which makes them more inclined to provide information down the road.  

Dynamic functionality, such as HubSpot's landing pages, is your best friend when it comes to data focus. Integrated tools, such as a CRM and form builder, can help you pre-populate forms with data you've already acquired based on contact records. 



As a marketing professional, it's crucial that you pay attention to the permissions you have on the marketing communications you're sending. Just because you have a contact's email doesn't mean they agree to receive communication about promotions or newsletters. To follow best practices, you must have specific opt-in forms explicitly dedicated to marketing communications. If a visitor filled out a form on your website, they didn't sign up to be contacted for marketing purposes unless it is clearly defined. Additionally, if someone purchases something on your site or partakes in a transactional element where you receive their email, you don't automatically gain permission to use this for marketing communications. 


Now that you have a game plan on what information you want to collect, how are you going to be using it? To follow GDPR, it's essential to justify asking for the personal data you want and how it will be used. If you can act on their data and incorporate it into your strategy, then you must be able to communicate that.  

It's also crucial to ease consumers' minds by ensuring that you have no intention to sell or share their personal information.  

Now that you have a better understanding of GDPR and how it impacts you as a marketer, you can take steps to give consumers peace of mind. Need help understanding how GDPR affects your marketing efforts? Schedule a free consultation today.

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