GDPR:‘God Damn Pain in the Rear’ or Reason to be Cheerful?

Anyone got a serious bout of GDPR fatigue? With the deadline fast approaching, the sense of panic appears to be setting in as more opt-in emails arrive in my inbox, and more Data Protection job adverts appear on LinkedIn.  As much as GDPR has added lots to everyone’s to do lists in recently, it is ultimately making us up our game to become more efficient, effective and ethical - as researchers, marketers and as organisations.

The media has really focussed on the size of the fines for non-compliance. Don’t get me wrong, the fines are huge (up to €20 Million or 4% of turnover), but we shouldn’t just be complying because of the stick when there are some carrots to enjoy too.

Here are my top 5 reasons to feel positive about GDPR:

  1. It shows you are customer focussed – GDPR puts the power back in the individual’s hands. No more bundled permissions, impenetrable T&Cs or pre-ticked boxes. Brands that are proactive, open and honest about how they handle personal data will reap the benefits by building stronger relationships with customers.
  2. It shows you are a trusted partner for B2B clients – having robust procedures and being able to evidence them is a clear selling point, particularly if your client base includes the financial and legal sectors.
  3. You have to clear out and tidy up – this can be cathartic and therapeutic, whether it’s your desk drawer or your servers. Once you get rid of the ROT (redundant, obsolete & trivial data) you can also save money on server space. This is the dawn of a new era where your marketing lists, CRM and HR files will have never been so clean.
  4. Improved cyber-security – yes, it is another big task on the GDPR to do list, but if your organisation does not have adequate security in place already, that’s a big risk. Once you have the security strategy and measures sorted, you can relax (a little bit).
  5. Increased marketing ROI – with clean marketing lists and customers more consciously opting in according to their specific needs, GDPR actually enhances personalisation which will result in more bang for your buck.

 Kate Glencross, Research Consultant at Prescient