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General Data Protection Regulation

Consumers warm to brand data handling post-GDPR

Two in five consumers (41%) say they are more comfortable and confident that brands are handling their data correctly due to the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In addition, fewer people find themselves often questioning how a brand got their data in the first place than a year ago, according to the DMA’s ‘Consumer email tracker 2019’ report.

The research delves into consumers’ perceptions and preferences – when it comes to the channel most (59%) prefer brands to get in touch through email. In 2018, consumers believe they received less email than ever before, estimating this at around 57 per week to their personal inboxes – down from 73 in 2017 – and less than half of these (44%) are from brands.

In addition, consumers estimate they’re signed up to receive email messages from around nine different brands, which has also declined from 12 in 2017. The DMA says the figures are a potential by-product of the new laws and consumers’ belief they have more control over the marketing emails they receive.

Rachel Aldighieri, MD at the DMA, said: “Despite the challenges that the GDPR may have brought to marketers and their organisations, it has clearly had a positive impact on consumers. The fact that so many of the people we surveyed said the new rules have made them more confident about how brands treat their personal data should be seen as a very positive step. This year’s report highlights the power of email to be at the heart of brands’ communication with customers, being the central channel that others can then be built around. However, it’s fundamental that marketers combine convenience and relevance, building relationships based on transparency and trust.”

Phil Draper, Chief Marketing Officer at dotdigital, which helped pull together the data, said: “Creating powerful, two-way relationships with consumers should be at the core of all modern marketing strategies. It’s what consumers want, and what marketers are working to deliver. The fact that brands have reduced the number of emails they’re sending is an indication that brands are focusing more on delivering relevant and interesting content.”

Unsubscribe doesn’t have to mean unsubscribing

The most predominant reason for unsubscribing from a brand’s email programme is receiving too many messages (59%), followed by the information no longer being relevant (43%) and not recognising the brand (43%). Most people (70%) take action via the brand’s website or the button within an email, with 40% expecting to never hear from that brand (via email) again or only receive transactional emails (23%).

However, almost one in five expect to be taken to options where they can change their email preferences (9%) or to some form of survey (7%), offering marketers the opportunity to retain that customer by changing their approach or, at the very least, better understand why they’re leaving.

When offered this opportunity for control, around a third (36%) say they would like to reduce the frequency of emails they receive or specify the products/services they hear about (31%) – two of the key reasons they may have clicked unsubscribe in the first place.

Marcus Gearey, Chair of the DMA Email council’s research hub and Analytics manager, Zeta Global, added: “The management of the inbox is an attempt to maximise utility and minimise disruption. The right message of the right value still wins: too many of the wrong one makes it difficult to get that consumer to change their mind that your brand belongs in their spam folder rather than their inbox.”

IAB responds to EU privacy complaints

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) Europe has responded to complaints filed by campaigners with Data Protection Authorities (DPA) in the UK, Ireland and Poland, which make specific reference to the IAB OpenRTB Protocol and IAB Europe Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF).

The complaints allege that programmatic advertising using real-time auctions are inherently incompatible with EU data protection law. The premise of these challenges is based on communication between IAB Europe and the European Commission, from April 2017.

At the time, these conversations were part of a dialogue around the planned implementation of GDPR and revisions to the ePrivacy Directive.

IAB Europe was asked to provide details of potential challenges that would be faced within the digital advertising ecosystem, to ensure regulations developed were appropriate for use and could be implemented without limitation across the entire value chain.

The limitations identified at that time focused on how notice and choice could be given to consumers regarding the use of their data for targeting purposes. These limitations have since been addressed by the development of the Transparency and Consent Framework and IAB Consent Management Platform (CMP) by IAB Europe.

IAB Europe says it remains engaged with the European Commission and regional DPAs on behalf of members and the broader digital advertising industry, and adds that a similar dialogue has been attempted with the instigators of the complaints.

The IAB statement read: “These claims are not only false but are intentionally damaging to the digital advertising industry and to European digital media that depend on advertising as a revenue stream.

“IAB Europe has consistently tried to outline the counter arguments and correct information, mentioned above, to the claimants. However, they have consistently chosen to ignore the facts, bringing more inaccurate information to support their case. Their errors of omission could therefore be characterised as either misrepresentations or just fabrications.”

Click here to read the full statement from IAB Europe.

Has GDPR made marketers more data conscious?

The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018 has undoubtedly disrupted inbound and digital marketing strategies.

From adding compliance overhead to the soaring cost of inbound campaigns and fear of non-compliance undermining confidence in outbound campaigns, marketers are struggling to meet revenue targets.

But GDPR has also served as a massive wake-up call: marketing teams have, finally, recognised the sheer inadequacy of existing data resources.

James Isilay, CEO, Cognism, welcomes a new generation of revenue focused, data-aware marketers who are confidently combining trusted, compliant data resources with Applied Intelligence to deliver focused, targeted outbound marketing campaigns that result in a significant revenue uplift…

Blessing in Disguise

Marketers have had six months to come to terms with the realities of a post-GDPR world, but as the dust settles it is not the fear of punitive fines that is dominating the agenda but the challenge of achieving ROI given the spiralling costs affecting every stage of the sales and marketing funnel.

From the addition of the Data Protection Officer to the sheer weight of compliance overhead now borne by marketing and the spike in PPC costs, the marketing budget has taken a massive hit. The logistics associated with meeting GDPR requirements for routine data cleansing, ensuring that contacts are registered and that any out of date records are deleted are without doubt a challenge for many companies.

Yet what has really taken many by surprise is the sheer inadequacy of existing sales and marketing databases – and the knock on implication for marketing campaigns. The fact is that approximately one-third of data degrades every year and most sales teams have been using data that is up to 60% out of date: recognising and addressing this fact alone will make GDPR a blessing in disguise for marketing teams.

Data Confidence

This new era of data awareness is, in many ways, long overdue. If companies want to maximise the value of marketing data resources, the number one priority has to be accurate and up to date information. That means ditching the spreadsheets and embracing a CRM platform to achieve better data control; and it means ensuring that any data provider is by default providing GDPR compliant data and can prove strong privacy and compliance credentials. But it also means recognising and addressing the speed with which data degrades: how is the business planning to ensure data is kept up to date, accurate and alive?

It is only when armed with a trusted, accurate, real-time and GDPR compliant data resource that a business can truly begin to transform marketing performance, and hence improve the revenue stream. Combining this trusted data resource with Applied Intelligence (AI) marketing can transform performance – from gaining more insight into customer personas to identifying purchasing triggers, and delivering highly targeted, highly effective outbound campaigns.

Global Compliance

Compliance to data privacy regulations is becoming a fundamental requirement for marketers globally – from Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) to the diverse interpretations of GDPR throughout Europe and state-specific demands in the US – and that is great news in raising data awareness and understanding. But no marketing team is rewarded for achieving regulatory compliance: it is driving revenue from those data resources that remains the primary goal. And with the cost of inbound marketing campaigns continuing to spiral, there are very real opportunities for those companies able to combine real-time, compliant data resources with AI to deliver highly targeted, highly effective outbound marketing to drive tangible revenue uplift.

GDPR

Only 6% of UK firms fully prepared for GDPR

Britain’s top firms and charities urgently need to do more to prepare for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), according to new Government research.

The findings were part of the FTSE 350 Cyber Governance Health Check – the UK Government’s annual report providing insight into how the UK’s biggest 350 companies deal with cyber security.

The Government will soon be introducing its new Data Protection Bill to Parliament. With this coming into effect next May, implementing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the report for the first time included questions about data protection.

The new data protection law will strengthen the rights of individuals and provide them with more control over how their personal data is being used.

The report found:

  • Awareness of GDPR was good, with almost all firms (97 per cent) aware of the new regulation
  • Almost three quarters (71 per cent) of firms said they were somewhat prepared to meet the GDPR requirements, with only 6 per cent being fully prepared
  • Just 13 per cent said GDPR was regularly considered by their board
  • 45 per cent of Boards say they are most concerned with meeting GDPR requirements relating to an individual’s right to personal data deletion

The Information Commissioner’s Office has produced guidance for organisations on implementing the regulation, including a checklist for businesses on the actions they need to take; and a series of interactive workshops and webinars.

The ICO will also produce guidance for organisations about the responsibilities under the GDPR and individuals on their rights under the GDPR.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will continue to work closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) during this transitional period.

The FTSE 350 Cyber Governance Health Check is carried out in collaboration with the audit community, including Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PWC.