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What Does GDPR Mean For Marketeers?

For marketers the main point for them to focus on during the introduction of the new GDPR regulations will be the principles for legal processing that concern ‘consent’ and ‘legitimate interest’. These state that processing can only be completed after obtaining the consent of the subject and that data should only be collected for “The purposes of legitimate interest pursued by the controller or a third party, except when such interests are overridden by the interests, rights or freedoms of the data subject.”

How will consent effect marketing activities?

Many of the instruments in the marketer’s toolbox will be affected by the need for consent, but not hugely. Audience monitoring platforms such as Google Analytics which collect and store personal data such as cookies and IP addresses will need to obtain informed consent to continue to track such data and must also provide users with an ‘opt out’ option. Although the marketer can’t control Google’s implementation of GDPR compliance, it is their duty to notify customers that they are able to opt out.

Direct Marketing

The GDPR states that ‘the processing of personal data for direct marketing purpose may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest’.However, it is important that there is a balance of interest on the part of marketers and the person receiving the marketing.

With this in mind, the processing of personal data for email marketing will still be possible, as it could be seen that a business sending updates, is in the interests of both parties. But akin to with Google marketers need to check the compliance of their processors and offer an opt-out option.

If a data subject does choose to opt out, then their request should be met. Although rules point out that data should be deleted and the subject should be notified of this, there may still be the possibility that marketers need to hold onto data, such as the retaining of their email address to ensure no marketing is resent to the individual.

Demographics and Remarketing

Using social media marketing or Search Engine Advertising relies on targeting certain behaviours, sectors of society, and interests to reach the ideal audience. Although the marketer and their clients are not always aware of the specific individuals that this software is targeting, it is their duty to be transparent and their use will again require consent and opt-out measures.This also applies when a marketer is serving personalised ads as part of remarketing campaigns, as this process collects cookies.

Weighing up the good and the bad

So with all these changes is this going to help or hinder marketers? Due to the compulsory opt out options now available, there is the potential for clients to lose the interests of their customers. But, as digital marketing experts, we think with a bit of hard work we can win them over. Now marketers will have to really focus on providing even more value to their clients and will have to not only attract customers but earn the right to speak with people. But we’re not scared of rolling our sleeves up; in fact, we think attention is a valuable commodity that has been abused by the industry.

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