Marketing and privacy; like hand and glove

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The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will change the way companies need to manage and process their data. But what are the consequences for you, as a marketer? What should you watch out for – and what opportunities does it present?

First things first.

What is GDPR? GDPR stands for the General Data Protection Regulation. This set of rules is a reform to privacy and security regulations which seeks to cover all possible bases, and takes effect on 25th May 2018.

Yes, a lot has been written on GDPR and its potential impact on brands – fines and penalties can reach as high as 20 million euro or 4% of revenue – but rather than scaring marketers witless; what value can we take from these considerations?

How can companies’ careful consideration of privacy ‘by design’ serve as a competitive advantage when done correctly?

Modern marketing means focusing on putting your customer first: thinking from their perspective, seeing the world through their eyes, and offering gentle nudges based on their behaviour. But, serving personalised, contextual messages means acquiring and using a wealth of data too.

This is something GDPR still advocates, in part. Its aim is not to cut-off data gathering at the knees, but instead create ethical boundaries (in a legal framework) to control the amount and type of data gathered, and how it’s stored.

This means only gathering data required for the intended business purpose. If you can show why you are gathering data and to what end, you may well have the green light – with the exception of political inclinations, religious opinions, and genetic data – which are already prohibited. Then there’s the question of how long you can keep it. After the data loses the value of its original purpose; it needs to be removed.

It is an opportunity to rethink a marketers infrastructure, to unify the data organisation and message orchestration. It’s a chance to reestablish proper trust connections with customers.

Cross-channel marketing

Striking a balance between the regulations and limitations set by the GDPR and understanding your customers better is a crucial balance to strike. It means marketers have to reassess the value of what they’re doing; with something at stake.

This ‘cross-channel’ marketing is serving your customers with unique stories, tailored to their person, but also maintaining the storyline across different media they visit. Being relevant is key.

This requires a structural rethinking of how many companies work. Currently the focus is on singled-out silos (e.g., web, chat, social media, print), which leads to unfathomable complexities. Think of the large variety of digital channels and integrations without central ownership – with silos not being up-to-date considering the regulation change. Specific data exports from the main CRM to serve custom audiences, uploading data facts to external databases, managing cookie permissions and user tracking. How are you going to keep track of all of it?

The gatekeeper technology to manage GDPR

Instead of managing all channels individually, a central, adaptable technology seems the solution – and one which pioneers a security and privacy orchestration approach. A central gatekeeper to let your company stay in to control of security measures, and at the same time creating an opportunity to orchestrate your marketing message. Basically, data management done right.

Relay42 offers a unique solution – the data management platform (DMP) – the central meaner in an increasingly complex network of social media, third party websites, personalised home-pages and also your traditional physical stores. The solution is a one stop shop for your interactions with first, second – and third parties. Otherwise known as integrations.

A central solution allows you to serve your customers with the so-deserved relevant, contextual, and personalised offers, and be ready for the GDPR at the same time. The DMP functions as a gatekeeper with respect to all your integrations in the digital marketing space. Having a single place where you organise these interactions makes it easy to see what data you are currently processing, who accesses the data, how it is stored, and what you are sharing with which party, when.

Technologies like this offer a unique balance between customer engagement and an ingrained propensity to privacy and security. But instead of being on the defense, trying to detect data breaches and struggling with user permissions across tens or hundreds of channels; take back control.

Now is the time to take charge: make the GDPR an opportunity to centralise security and privacy orchestration.

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