On May 25th, 2018, the GDPR will come into affect, and people are under stably concerned about the implications from a marketing point of view. However, I think that as with any major change, there will be opportunities for those that move the fastest, and I want to speculate for a moment as to what they might look like.

The first, and this may not be the most glamorerous, but from an organisational perspective, I think this represents an opportunity to get our houses in order. We’re all guilty of it. We all have old databases, lists on mail chimp, and even business cards tucked away in drawers. It’s disorganised and unsegmented. I think this is an opportunity to start using this data far more effectively.

The second is from an engagement point of view. Yes, GDPR will almost certainly mean that we end up with smaller databases, but that data will be more targeted, which means more engagement and less wastage. And as we know, social media algorithms favour brands with content that achieve high levels of engagement, so those brands will then be rewarded with even more exposure.

The third, and perhaps most important, is from a brand differentiation perspective. This hasn’t just come about because regulators want to be a pain. It’s come about because it really matters to the public, to consumers. In fact when they have been surveyed in recent years in terms of what impacts their ability to trust a brand, consistently what comes out on top is matters of data privacy and security.

The final point is around SEO. If this matters to consumers then it will matter to Google, so I think it stands to reason that those websites that prioritise these issues and build them into the design of websites, are going to benefit within the search engines.

So rather than moaning about GDPR or burying our heads in the sand, we need to be proactive, think positively, and ultimately try to turn this to our advantage.

See you next time.