Why I Don’t Panic and Run When I See ‘GDPR’
#GDPR #pbm #personalization #b2b
Yes, I have prospects in EU.
Yes, I use email marketing.
Yes, I know what GDPR stands for… something about Glazed Donuts, right?
Lately we have all been on the edge trying to align our marketing with GDPR, excluding cold emailing and calling from our strategies and running around with a fear in our eyes, as if our lives depend on it.
Quick reality check – GDPR was announced in April of 2016…two years ago, so why the scared faces? It has not been sprung on us, it didn’t come as a surprise, we had 2 years to prepare for it.
I don’t believe that all of us, fellow marketers, are procrastinators and we just waited till the last-minute, hoping that GDPR just won’t happen. I also don’t believe that we found out about the EU regulation just now (it is impossible not to know about it with the number of newsletters we all get).
So why the panic?
We all fear what we don’t understand
Yes, I did just use a quote from a novelist at the risk of losing credibility.
No matter who said it, it is true. We fear what we don’t know, what we can’t predict, what we can’t control. Unfortunately, it is all true for GDPR.
So, what do we do?
It is quite obvious – we educate ourselves.
And we don’t need to read all 260 pages of official GDPR text to understand it (but just in case you have an intercontinental flight, can’t sleep and already watched all seasons of Game of Thrones, here is a full copy of GDRP).
In case you are like me and your next longest flight is under two hours, there is plenty of articles of all shapes and sizes (thank heaven for content marketing) that give you a pretty good idea about GDPR. Here are some content pieces that I found helpful:
MarTech Today’s Guide to GDPR by MarTech
6 GDPR Compliance examples - GDPR Example by TipsWithPunch – this one is rather informal, but very well explained through actual examples
Once you educate yourself on what GDPR actually is, you are no longer afraid of it.
In fact, you can see that GDPR is a blessing.
GDPR, I love you. (don’t tell my bf)
GDPR is meant to protect us as users and help us as marketers.
(Yes, I know that it is true only for EU citizens, but US regulations are on their way).
As a user, content consumer and a bit of a control-freak, I’d be very happy to be able to filter information that ends up in my Inbox without extra hassle.
Seriously, there are at least 5 newsletters in my inbox that I delete each week without opening. The only reason I don’t unsubscribe is because the opt-out process is not obvious at all. I don’t even remember how I got those subscriptions in the first place…
Now, marketers, who send me those copies are spending their time and budget on someone like me – someone, who will never convert or even read their newsletter, product update or pitch.
That’s just wasteful.
So, as a marketer I consider GDPR a blessing, because by having a consent from a consumer I get
- Relevant Audience. My audience will consist only of those, who want to read my content, meaning my efforts are well-spent.
- Higher Open Rates and CTRs. Users who’ve already expressed and confirmed their interest in my content or offer are more likely to engage in a further conversation.
- Good Marketing. Marketing is not supposed to manipulate, advertising is not supposed to annoy, GDPR helps to achieve just that. Let’s give marketing meaning again and reduce the noise.
- Bonus: Extra Topic to write about in your blog. GDPR made us all talk and it is great, more content for us all.
Another reason I am not scared of new privacy regulations is because there are still lots of other marketing channels in B2B that don’t require marketing consent and are in line with GDPR.
Marketing channels that work with GDPR in B2B
Here is a list of those that I have already included in my B2B marketing plan.
Email. Yep, still using it. More so, GDPR gives me an excuse for the long overdue ‘clean up’ of my email list. Meaning, I will need to ask to reconfirm subscription from EU users that have previously signed up for a newsletter. We are also adding a simple opt-out form and here we go – 1046 emails sent only to those, who want to get it.
SMM. Not posting, but engaging. Social media is still a go, and you can easily engage with decision-makers online via content they post on their social media profiles. Yes, it takes time, yes it requires research, but if your primary clients are enterprise, it is worth it. Spend some time on actually getting to know who is sharing what and engage in a meaningful discussion in a comments section under their post.
Person-based ads. I am using Influ2 for Influ2. That is the only way I can ensure that it works. So, yes, I create campaigns that are targeted at specific people, my target audience and show them ads of my blog articles and other content that I think they will like. I don’t need a marketing consent for that, yet I definitely know who saw what when and how they’ve engaged with it.
These are just three channels, there are many more that can work very well in B2B, no matter EU regulations.
Actually, it is real simple to operate in line with GDPR in B2B – think personalization, transparency, relevance.