GDPR 'an opportunity to improve customer relationships'
Businesses are failing to grasp the opportunity to improve consumer trust under the approaching General Data Protection Regulation, according to industry experts.
With just eight months until the biggest shake-up to data law of all time, recent statistics show 61 per cent of businesses have still not started preparing for GDPR compliance.
During a live webinar hosted by cloud and colocation firm UKFast in Manchester, GDPR experts claimed a more positive view on the regulation allows marketers to strengthen their relationships with customers by delivering more appropriate messaging and gain an advantage over their competitors.
Kristina McGuirk, marketing director at UKFast, said preparing for compliance might feel like a daunting and overwhelming task, but if handled in the right way, presents an opportunity for marketing teams to improve efficiency and build trust amongst audiences.
She explained: “It’s daunting to think you need to go through and cleanse your entire database; but what you have left at the end will be a lot richer, far more qualified, and within the right marketplace for your brand or business.
“See the opportunity, clean things up and use the next eight months to get consent for that critical data by adding value through your content.
“The key thing for many marketers is brand trust, and GDPR gives you an opportunity to build a greater trust and be really transparent with potential prospects and customers.
"GDPR is pushing you to work harder, so be more creative with the messaging you’re putting out there. Ask the right questions and provide transparency.”
Nigel Tozer, solutions marketing director at data protection and information management company Commvault, urged companies to see GDPR as a catalyst for positive change.
“At Commvault we really focus on providing value first, and talking about our business second. If you do that, people want to hear from you,” he said.
“They’ll be the ones who tick those boxes for consent. So use GDPR as an opportunity to show your customers you’re a moral, honest business they can trust.”
Steve Kuncewicz (pictured above), principle lawyer at Slater and Gordons, recommended companies use their time wisely, and utilise data more creatively.
He said: “There’s no avoiding GDPR. However, if marketers embrace it they can reap the benefits. You’ve got to remember the purpose of this is driving the right behaviours. It’s making people think ‘do we really need this data?’ Building value is only going to keep people engaged with you.
“Some companies are being too pushy, leading people on or not checking marketing preferences and it’s leaving them in a very sticky situation. This is the wrong way to go about it.
"Don’t be daunted by the timeframe left to be compliant; there is time to get everything sorted, but use that time wisely.”
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