Steve Lowell, Indicia’s Director of Insight and Data, offers four predictions as the GDPR dust settles…
If you’re reading this, thank goodness. It means the world did not implode on GDPR day. The last time we saw such frantic prep from businesses for a deadline was 1999, when the Millennium Bug was looming.
So what now? What can we expect to see? Predicting the impact of GDPR is challenging, as there are many moving parts that will affect how the new regulation plays out.
Here are a few thoughts on what we can expect now 25 May has come and gone…
1. Efficiency will trump volume
Companies that adopted clear opt-in practices long ago will clearly be in a great position to plough on with their email marketing. However, most businesses will have fewer contactable records available to them, because of the need to demonstrate clear opt-in for each record.
However, when the dust settles, lists may be smaller, but they should also be much better in terms of data quality. Businesses are more likely to yield engaged customers, given that customers will have actively given their consent.
You would expect direct marketing to be smaller volume but more efficient – and businesses will need to shift their strategies away from bulk, blanket marketing.
2. People will want to exercise their rights under GDPR
With GDPR in place, consumers will be able to request sight of what data is being stored about them. Individuals will be able to demand to be “forgotten” and, above all, get transparency as well as how their data is being utilised by businesses.
There is no doubt that there will be people who will want to exercise their rights under GDPR. What we generally see is that stories such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal create a short-term spark in consumer enquiries but it still feels like there is a long way to go before consumers really start to get interested in the how and why of data privacy legislation.
3. Consumers will bring different expectations to different industries
GDPR affects all industries, and everybody needs to get their ducks in a row, but some sectors will receive closer customer examination.
Both the financial and healthcare sectors handle extremely sensitive and personal information in order to deliver their services. With the new regulations, and with consumer awareness driven by publicity and news coverage of the 25 May G-Day deadline, clients and patients will have a heightened sense of what they’re comfortable with.
4. A large-scale breach will change consumer attitudes
The Cambridge Analytica data scandal evidenced the degree to which unethical practice can weaken consumer trust. GDPR is more important than ever to brands due to events like these.
Consumers only really react when issues such as the Cambridge Analytica data scandal affect them as an individual. So, whilst there is generally widespread condemnation of what Cambridge Analytica and Facebook have done (and rightly so), it does not really register in consumer’s minds unless it affects them.
The run up to GDPR day has certainly given it a scary reputation for people in marketing. Now the deadline has passed, though, it’s a chance to take stock and start to build your comms strategy within the regulation. Ultimately, it’s time to start seeing GDPR as a tool for more effective relationship building, and stop fearing it.