Posted By: Mike Moore, Averetek /
For any company who markets to citizens of the European Union, GDPR compliance presents a new set of challenges.
The European Parliament adopted The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in April 2016. GDPR has provisions that require businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of European Union (EU) citizens for transactions that occur within EU member states.
GDPR is scheduled to take effect on May 25, 2018. The penalties for non-compliance are severe. Organizations can be fined up to 4% of annual global revenue for breaching GDPR or €20 Million, whichever is greater.
GRPR affects companies of all sizes, whether they have a presence in the EU or not.
What this means: Companies that utilize email marketing will be required to demonstrate that any contacts in the EU that receive a marketing email from them have opted-in to receive that communication.
I predict that a poor understanding of GDPR and a lack of preparation is going to cause companies to freeze their email marketing efforts which, in turn, will lead to a significant reduction in leads generated – or as I’m calling it, “The GDPR Dip”.
Unsure who opted in and who didn't? Stop sending emails. Too afraid of being fined? Stop sending emails.
For companies who rely on a steady stream of emails to generate a steady stream of leads, the GDPR Dip is going to be shocking.
I believe the GDPR Dip will make a material impact on the lead generation efforts of many global brands. Marketing through-partners is a terrific opportunity to mitigate this risk, but only if your partners are ready.
For brands who market through partners, I recommend considering the following:
- Awareness – what steps can you take to build awareness of GDPR among your channel partners? Companies like Salesforce have excellent resources that you can utilize in your to-partner communications.
- Assessment – what action can you recommend to your partners? We’ve created a GDPR Self-Check for Marketers that can help brands and partners determine how much of their marketing database contacts live in the EU.
- Planning – rather than freeze all email marketing and experience the GDPR Dip, what program plans can you help partners develop so they can take advantage of others’ lack of preparation and continue with lead generation efforts? Someone will win in 2018. Why not plan ahead to help you and your partners succeed by launching a training program and a social media push in Q1?
- Action - Software tools that make it easy for partners to customize and send your campaign offers help reduce friction for all. Having interesting and useful offers, like eBooks that offer helpful information, will make it easier to attract leads, particularly through social media, so that partners rely less on email.
If you need help with GDPR readiness for partners, please let us know.