No matter what you do or what industry you are in, if you are online and use the Internet to perform any type of activity, your data will be collected, tracked, and observed. This is especially relevant in the marketing industry, where marketers depend heavily on consumer data to create successful campaigns and evaluate how customers think about their brands.
But marketers do not just take data and use it as they please, especially since the recent introduction of more wide-ranging regulations. So, to be a successful marketer who builds trust with consumers, you need to know GDPR and comply with its requirements.
Therefore, today, we will cover GDPR, why it’s relevant to marketers, and the steps in the GDPR compliance checklist. Let’s begin!
What Is GDPR, and How Does It Affect Marketers?
A recent consumer insights report from DESelect finds 33 percent of consumers try to never sign up for marketing emails. Over half believe companies should keep communications to a minimum, and 40 percent say too many emails are the worst part about using the channel.
How do marketers ensure their campaigns align with consumer preferences?
General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is a set of rules the EU implemented in 2018 to provide better consumer protection for EU citizens and modernize data privacy and security laws. It applies to all businesses that process data from EU citizens, no matter the location of their headquarters.
Beyond the legal requirements, marketers must abide by GDPR if they wish to inspire long-lasting, trusting relationships with customers. Following the GDPR compliance checklist reassures customers that you:
- Will not use their data without their explicit consent
- Only collect the data you need to provide services, nothing more.
In turn, consumers have more control over their personal information, and your reputation benefits, as this communicates you operate responsibly and will hold yourself accountable if any data breaches happen.
43 percent of marketing executives report GDPR compliance has resulted in just that – increasingly trusting relationships with consumers.
The carrots are rewarding, but of course, there’s also the stick. Those who do not follow GDPR but continue to process data from EU citizens will be fined up to 4% of the company’s annual turnover. In 2022, these fines totaled nearly €3B across the EU.
Overall, GDPR compliance shows customers that you will provide them with data transparency, security, and privacy, making them more inclined to do business with you on a regular basis.
GDPR Compliance Checklist
To become GDPR compliant, you must complete the following steps:
- Audit your database regularly to identify where the personal data you’ve collected comes from, how you use it, and where you store it.
- Determine the legal basis for processing data. For marketers, this needs to be either legitimate interests or user consent.
- Regularly check whether you have explicit consent from customers to use their data.
- Make sure customers can choose whether they want to receive emails or any other marketing communication that involves data collection.
- Only use GDPR-compliant services and vendors.
- Document your data processing methods as proof of your GDPR compliance.
By following the steps in the GDPR compliance checklist mentioned above, you appear more trustworthy to customers, prevent costly fines, and improve your business’ reputation. These, in turn, result in more customers wanting to do business with you because they know you will protect their data and not invade their privacy.