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Why your Sales and Marketing performance will improve after GDPR


The 25th May 2018 is an important date to mark on your business calendar next year because it is the day when a radical shake up of data protection laws comes into effect. The letters G.D.P.R stand for the General Data Protection Regulation and failure to comply can lead to some heavy fines (4% of turnover is some case) and restrict your future ability to use data for marketing your business.  It probably feels like another blow to your business aspirations and something that makes it harder for you to find new customers. However, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to reset your sales and marketing on the right path and start generating a true Return on Investment.

Let’s start with giving broad support for the values behind this initiative. As individuals we care about the information businesses hold about us and would expect them to keep that information safe, not to misuse the data or use it in ways that we have not consented to. So the mantra for your business is to “treat the data you hold about your customers and prospects in same way as you would expect your own data to be treated.”

The key elements and changes to note for your sales and marketing are;
  • No longer a distinction between business (B2B) and consumer (B2C) data
  • An extended definition of what personal data is 
  • Privacy by default (requiring the need to gain explicit consent, have a legitimate interest or a contractual agreement for use of personal data)
  • The right to be forgotten
  • The right to ask for a copy of your own personal data
  • The burden of proof is on your business to show the relevant permissions have been granted should a complaint arise
The Lawyers View

Lawyers are advising that companies use ‘Legitimate Interest’ as the legal justification to use for storing and processing personal information for Marketing.  This allows you the opportunity to market to individuals who could benefit from the services you provide.  However, alongside GDPR comes another set of rules called the ePrivacy regulation and this states that explicit consent is required for cookie tracking and unsolicited email. Talking to your own lawyer and establishing a point of view based on expert advice is essential. 

Take a new approach to marketing in 2018

As the GDPR and ePrivacy requirements take effect they will impact on how you use the data you hold. The opportunity for marketing is to find new ways to drive engagement with prospects and customers. Sales will need to adapt to a more considered approach to data collection and management. This will lead to more relevant and valuable conversation with prospects about your companies’ services.

Here are 8 things your need to do get your Marketing GDPR ready;
  • Get together: The implications of GDPR not only impact Marketing but Sales, Finance and IT. View this as a company-wide issue that needs to be addressed by all Departments.  Appoint a leader from your team or get some outside help.
  • Take Stock: Complete a full audit of data within your Sales and Marketing systems. Find out where it resides and who has access.
  • Future Plans: Whatever marketing and sales activities you have planned for the future need to align to the new rules for marketing. For example, any forms will need updating to capture consent.
  • Maintain the data: Rules and processes for data governance, which may not have existed before, need to be in place. How and who will maintain your data to GDPR standard needs to be clear.
  • Have a clear out: Personal data that lacks consent needs to be removed form your marketing systems. You will need to show that data has been put beyond use. 
  • Training: Staff who process personal data will need to be briefed on GDPR and ePrivacy.  Eventually, it will become another business activity as normal as being polite to customers or complying with TPS (Telephone Preference Service).
  • Test yourself: If you get into trouble a Supervisory Authority (SA) may come knocking at your door. The onus will be on you to demonstrate compliance so your GDPR policy needs to be reviewed and tested from time to time.

An obvious impact of GDPR is that your sales and marketing database is going to shrink. This feels like bad news at first glance. However, for most businesses the vast majority of their database contacts are dormant. They are not responding to your messages and maybe getting to like you a little less every time they receive an email from you. If you focus on those contacts that want to hear from you and find engaging ways to pull others into your communication channels your sales and marketing investment will generate a higher return.   

So think of May 2018 as the deadline for re-inventing your sales and marketing processes. If you want help with preparing you business for GDPR Business Doctors are here to help. 

If you are looking to grow your business, Business Doctors Kingston Upon Thames offer a free business health check where we can help you to set a clear vision to understand the key steps you need to take to fulfil your aspirations.

Contact John Sweeney by phone on 07702 300167, or by email on, or visit the Business Doctors website.

Click here to book your free Business Health Check.

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