GDPR is not as scary as it seems. Respect, honesty and transparency along with a good nurture marketing platform will let companies continue generating great content, as well as talk directly to the people they most want to reach.

On May 25th, 2018 the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)—a set of regulations centred around data protection and privacy within the EU—went into effect.

Whether based within or outside the EU, companies that market or monitor the behavior of EU citizens— a potential audience of 750 million people—are now required to build privacy settings into their websites, conduct regular privacy impact assessments, seek permission to use collected data, document the way data is used and improve communication around data breaches. Failure to comply may result in fines of up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 Million (whichever is greater).

Without a doubt, the GDPR has changed the landscape for business.

In May 2017, The Economisti called personal data “the world’s most valuable resource.” Yet when Hubspot Researchii surveyed consumers in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland they found 84% agreed companies should not contact them without permission and 73% would opt-out of all communications if given the option.

Tighter regulations combined with consumers’ distrust that companies are adequately protecting their personal data, now means marketers must explore new avenues and redirect their energies toward providing greater value to customers.

Here are a few tips to help content marketers survive and thrive in this new climate.

Data management
Under the GDPR companies must ensure users can easily access their data and remove consent upon demand, yet according to a study by W8 Data,iii the GDPR has made up to 75% of marketing databases obsolete and only 25% of existing customer data meets GDPR requirements.

By implementing a permission-based data platform, like a CRM system, data collection will be centralized, and users can better access their information.

Responsible Marketing
Marketing automation that provides “express consent” is a must in the era of GDPR. People have been trained to look for an unsubscribe feature on the bottom of emails sent to them and (typically) all marketing platforms have this. If people have the option to easily opt-out, there should be no compliance issues.

One size doesn’t fit all
Under the GDPR, companies are only permitted to collect data that is relevant and necessary. Gone are the days of blanket-washing a market. This shift away from the age-old numbers game presents a great opportunity for marketers to convert website traffic into high-quality leads.

Now when asking consent to use an individual’s data, marketers can replace simple opt-in or out choices with options better geared toward insights on the preferences and behaviors of potential customers.

Provide Value
Offering users relevant content in the form of white papers, guides, blog posts and eBooks are a win-win opportunity. When a visitor accesses and downloads material from a website, not only is their digital experience enhanced, but they have also agreed to share their contact information.

Be Transparent
Websites must now indicate clearly why users’ information is being collected i.e. to email them an eBook, what their information will be used for i.e. to construct an email list that provides select consumers the chance to receive more great content, as well as provide users the option to unsubscribe at any time.

Being upfront and honest with users fosters brand trust and allows companies to continue engaging with their online consumers.

Things have indeed changed, but resourceful marketing will lead to an increase in data quality and provide content marketers an opportunity to better identify the needs of prospectsiv and customers.

Be sure to drop us a line and let us know how you intend to adjust your marketing strategies in this era of GDPR.