GDPR has likely been a hot topic of conversation for most organisations in the last few months, but since we’re so close to the date it’s due to take effect, it’s important to make those last minute checks and run through all your procedures around data-handling to ensure you’re compliant.
There’s quite a bit of speculation around how the GDPR is going to affect the way businesses connect with customers – some have even likened it to the Millennium Bug in terms of the affect it has already had. The most important thing to remember is, as long as you are making these changes and working towards compliance, you’re doing everything you need to.
Now is a fantastic time to gain consent from your customers in order to store their data and market to them. Remember, according to the ICO, consent must be ‘specific and unambiguous’, so don’t forget to outline exactly what it is you’ll be using customer data for and where it’s going to be stored. Remember that, according to the ICO, consent cannot be inferred from silence, so don’t forget to pull out all the stops now to get those opt-ins.
Trust is one of the main reasons why the GDPR will be taking place, and it is your greatest tool in ensuring you’re leading successful campaigns after 25 May. As long as you’re open and honest with your customers and foster great relationships built on trust, your subscribers will of course still want to hear from you and work with you.
Another part of the GDPR that has put marketers on edge is the fact that even after you receive specific opt-in consent to store and process (or use) an individual’s data; that consent will not last forever. Just because a customer has said “yes, I’d like to continue to hear about your new range of jackets”, doesn’t mean they will forever and, according to the ICO, that means you will have to ask several times in future. Best practice says consent can last around 6 months, so don’t forget to make the arrangements you need to now.
The GDPR will bring with it a huge change to the way we communicate with and engage customers from now on, whether we like it or not. Being proactive about managing data doesn’t need to be a bad thing though – it could lead to closer and more transparent relationships with customers.
If you’re considering your GDPR options, we recommend you contact a specialist who can advise you on your own specific needs.