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How New GDPR Can Affect your Marketing Strategy?

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gdpr affects on marketing strategy

Trust in Marketing

Trust is the most powerful variable when it comes to monetary issues. I agree to sell you my watch because I believe that you will pay me the price I think it is worth. This is why PayPal and eBay were so revolutionary in human development when they emerged on the scene. Without trust, these organizations ultimately would have failed. Trust is also the driving force behind the new blockchain technologies which are bursting onto the scene because they take out the need for an intermediator middle-man. Trust is irradiated. In an ever increasingly interconnected world, with the expansion of online platforms in the internet age, people are more than ever looking for trust.

It is unfortunate for your business then that trust in the marketing and online business sphere has all but been decimated in recent years due to controversies like Cambridge Analytica and Facebook. Consumers are fed up with being deceived and having their data used without their informed consent. Indeed, data is becoming one of, if not the most valuable resource in the world and so it is natural that it is starting to have a regulatory framework dedicated to its control. This articles thesis is for your business to update its marketing strategy in light of GDPR in order to consider trust as the currency which will ultimately enable your business to thrive.

What is GDPR?

A brief overview of GDPR is to be provided in order to jog your memory. GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, it is a new law that applies to all EU citizens, but also affects any businesses that operate in the European market. The law was adopted in April 2016 with a two-year transition period ending on May 25, 2018. The deadline has now passed, so it is vitally important your business quickly plugs any GDPR holes it may still have.

Its directive aims to protect EU citizens in a new global economy which has seen the likes of Amazon and Facebook emerge since the previous 1995 EU Data Protection Directive, by holding companies to compliance via fines of up to 20 million euros or 4% of annual global turnover. Ultimately, it is hoped that the new regulations will hand back control of citizen’s personal data to the individuals themselves.

GDPR consists of 11 chapters and 91 articles, the full text of which is available here.

Users must be given clear opportunity to provide informed consent regarding their data information. Soft opt-ins such as pre-ticked boxes and disclaimers are no longer tolerated. Users must now actively opt-in, and the requester must be able to prove consent with evidence. If you’re using paper, it must be signed. On digital platforms, tick-boxes must be manually ticked… you get the idea.

Individuals have now been enshrined with several certain rights in regard to their data. They have both a ‘right of access’ and a ‘right to be forgotten’. This means that upon request a company must supply the requester with all the data they have on them, within a month, for free; and to have this information deleted.

Ultimately GDPR holds organizations to a higher standard of transparency, security, and accountability when it comes to the way they collect and store data that has been seen previously.

The Problem

Urban et al (2000) asked several questions at the turn of the millennium “When consumers visit a retail Web site, how do they know that the information describing the products or services they want to buy is accurate and unbiased?”

“When they order and pay for a product online, how do they know that their financial records will be protected, that the product will be delivered on time, or that they can return something that is damaged or fails to meet their expectations.”

Urban et al’s answers to these questions was a simple “they often don’t know”. Their conclusion? That “as consumers become more sophisticated about the internet, Website trust is going to become a key differentiator that will determine the success or failure of many retail Web companies.” (Urban, 2000).

Eighteen years later consumers have certainly become more sophisticated with the internet. Most adults in the western hemisphere at least have access to a computer and the internet.

One look at the lack of confidence for Facebook in regards to data protection tells a broader story of lost trust in online services:

gdpr affects on marketing strategy

This is compounded by The 2015 Marketing Mix Survey conducted by ReRez research found that 83 percent of marketers think advertising — online, broadcast, and print — is effective in influencing buying decisions. But less than half of consumers — 47 percent — trust or believe advertising.

gdpr affects on marketing strategy

gdpr affects on marketing strategy




The dilemma presented here suggest that the modern internet user is picky about who they trust and that this trust is an important factor in purchasing decisions.

GDPR – a Possible Solution?

Abhishek Rishi, a leading the Cognizant Digital Business consulting practice in Analytics and Information Management in the Nordics suggests there are two possible approaches when addressing GDPR: business model thinking vs. compliancy only thinking. By choosing the first option websites can shake the shackles of acting as merely self-service catalogs towards a trust-based service.

Here are several ways GDPR can help your brand image:

Enhance your Reputation

Implementing the new GDPR guidelines stringently will enhance your business’s reputation. Consumers will see your website as a secure server with which they can do business with. The greater the reputation you build. The greater the trust, the greater the conversion rates will be. Position your company as an agent of trust amongst a sea of dishonorable merchants. Once a customer sees your business in a trustful light, they are more likely to be loyal customers in the future. Due to consumer’s lack of confidence in online brands, once they’ve found a trusted source they are unlikely to test the waters anywhere else.

A New Customer-Centric Vision

GDPR will force businesses to engage more closely with those whose data they harvest. Proper vetting of information is necessary to comply with the GDPR guidelines. Hard questions have to be asked like why is my company storing this person’s data? This will mean your company will have a better understanding of its customers and thus a superior relationship. Instead of seeing thousands of atomized dots in your data, a new clearer picture should emerge regarding individual customers. A more personalized touch with those visiting you will lead to them giving consent to store personal data, allowing you to gain better insights and increase the relevance of your offers.

Increased Transparency and Trust

Transparency and innovation are the foundation of marketing and sales collaboration. With this approach, you can create customers for life, just like the “more-value” approach that Apple deploy.

How to Use GDPR

* Produce a fair processing notice explaining the company’s lawful basis for its data policy, including what data you will be seeking from people, and how to use it.

* Use a universal consent tool to deliver a message for when a user enters your website notifying them of cookies and seeking permission to track the user’s onsite activity.

* Organize your data for speed and accuracy to be able to comply with potential data requests or investigation. Know exactly where you got the information from, how you acquired it, and how it’s being processed.

* Designate a data compliance officer to take responsibility for data adherence. They should be proficient in managing IT processes, data security, and other data issues.


Ultimately, your company needs to develop clear aims for how GDPR is going to affect your business model. Does your business simply wish to be GDPR compliant, whilst doing the minimum to enforce its requirements? Or does your company see an opportunity to transform itself into a trust-based model that is at its center customer-centric, transparent, and value driven? As famous online brands such as Facebook and co continue to face the heat regarding data protection, it is going to become more vital than ever for your online business to stand-out from the crowd in order to be successful. GDPR is a chance to get ahead of the curve and offer a trust-based service while consumers desire one before they start to expect one as mandatory, which we are already starting to witness today. The good business strategy incorporates roadblocks and turns them into advantages, GDPR is the latest example of this and should be incorporated accordingly.

Betipy has compiled the below infographic titled “55 Things You Need To Know About GDPR” so you can get a better idea about new GDPR.


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Beverly Lerch
Beverly Lerch prides herself on taking a detailed and in-depth approach to all of her freelance writing. Her past experience as a social media marketer has given her the ability to really get to the heart of a subject.