GDPR: Compliance Challenge Or Marketing Opportunity?

There has been much hand-wringing among marketers over the European Union’s recently implemented data privacy rules. Yes, they have important implications for marketers doing business in Europe. And it’s true that failure to comply can result in significant penalties. But seen in the right perspective, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation is actually an opportunity for marketers to deepen their customer relationships and sharpen their focus on what’s important. In fact, in its engagements for global business-to-business firms, my company has worked with marketers who are implementing GDPR and helped them connect these requirements to positive customer experience goals.

As Data Proliferates, So Do Concerns

The Economist has declared that oil is no longer the world’s most valuable resource — it’s data. While the proliferation of data has spawned entire industries and created global behemoths, like Google, Amazon and Facebook, data is transforming virtually every company that sells its products through the internet, social media and direct marketing. The data collected through these channels is a prized resource for marketers.

It’s also ripe for theft and misuse. According to a PwC report, 85% of consumers surveyed said cybersecurity and privacy risks are among society’s biggest risks. And a survey conducted for the Chartered Institute of Marketing found that 37% of respondents don’t trust brands to use their data responsibly.

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