The bottom line: you need to be thinking about data management. Not just to get compliant, but for innovation and your growth strategy too.
At Pensar, we’ve been working with marketing agencies from the start. Here’s what you need to know about managing your data in the modern world.
1. New regulations (and why you shouldn’t fear them)
But at the core, the new regulations are pretty straightforward. They just mean people have the right to:
Marketers will have to rethink how they collect, store and process data to achieve compliance. But you shouldn’t see this as a huge task or insurmountable challenge. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to be proactive around security, make new business discoveries, and build a resilient data protection strategy.
Reviewing and ‘cleaning’ your data across all channels - from spreadsheets to social media - is the first step to compliance. But data audits are important your business’ sake too. Why? Because bad data happens to all good marketers.
You’ll probably find some dodgy data somewhere, or you’ll find that you’re targeting people with wrong or irrelevant messaging which, as we know, is marketing suicide. But fear not, quality data and a 360-degree view of your customer are actually legitimate ways to get compliant. Win-win.
Lots of modern companies are adopting ‘unified communications’ technology for data management. But this is really about people and processes. The point is, everyone has a digital identity and data is logged, categorised and accounted for on one secure platform.
This makes data sharing efficient and collaborative, and pulling off reports a breeze. But as everyone who processes data is accountable, make sure educate and train employees properly and get an IT security policy.
Managers are often guilty of giving the whole team access to data, and don’t necessarily track where it is or who has it. This can leave you wide open to accidental data leaks or data breaches - especially in today’s increasingly mobile workforce.
Luckily, the GDPR promotes a stricter and more deliberate approach to information sharing and access. People should only have access to data they really need, and you should be able monitor data and grant or revoke permissions easily.
We recommend getting certified with Cyber Security Essentials, which is backed by the government. This is a start, but eventually you’ll need to protect data comprehensively - whether it’s static, in transit or in a different location.
New regulations only reflect public interest and the studies you already know about - people want brands that are upfront and honest about data, privacy and communications. This means there have been changes to how and when you collect consent from individuals:
Greater consumer power around data doesn’t mean you should sacrifice the effectiveness of your marketing strategy. Double opt-in actually improves your click-through rates, and new modes of consent set you up for more qualified leads while putting an end to chasing people who aren’t explicitly interested.
New regulations aren’t just about compliance. They are about setting the global bar for best practice, and encouraging a culture of trust, transparency and privacy round data management. This is perfectly achievable with a good partner on hand.
At this stage, you just need to prove you’re making steps towards a better data culture. And if you take an iterative approach and show some social responsibility now, you’ll earn trust and be more popular with prospects than your competitors.