GDPR: 10 tips to create strategic advantage

By February 8, 2018Blog

I recently wrote about how GDPR is a major opportunity for some brands and a significant threat for others.

At the moment, it seems like every day I receive a scary email from some company with bright red capital letters threating multi-million pound or Euro fines for non-compliance (and then offering their course to tell you what you need to do)

So rather than get the bright red marker pen out, as the May compliance deadline fast approaches, I thought I would explain how we are working with clients to take advantage of the new legislation.

I have translated the key themes into 10 tips to achieve not only compliance, but more importantly how to use GDPR to build a strategic advantage.

1: Get your Data House in order: With so many customer touchpoints capturing data, even the best businesses can have fragmented data, but the days of excel spreadsheets are gone and you must stop running non-compliant databases.

– Invest time now to conduct a data audit and to make sure you have policies in place to securely handle data.

– Use the deadline as an opportunity to identify not only what data you have, but also how you can use it to enhance the shopper experience.

– Ensure you clean the data and amalgamate all your customer data sources.

We have worked with several customers who have consolidated their data to a simple structure, are now much clearer about how they access the data and why, and also built a stronger CRM strategy as a result.

2: Be transparent: Make sure your process takes the friction out of any touchpoint – including unsubscribing. It is also vital that you are explicitly clear what customers are signing up for and only use the data for that purpose.

3: Be flexible: A person’s relationship with a brand can fluctuate, so build flexibility into your CRM strategy – ensure your marketing strategy doesn’t bombard a customer (see point 6) and that your CRM system gives them the flexibility to tailor how much they receive and through what channel.

4: View the next few months as a chance to re-engage with lapsed customers: Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder, so plan now with your marketing teams for proactive ways to rekindle the relationship that the customer previously had with your brand. And let technology help make it easy for the customer.

5: View the next few months as a chance to get to know your customers better: Nothing more than an email address has little value to anyone, but a name, some preferred retailers and some simple demographic insight presents the chance to wow them.

6: Segment your data: If there is one thing we should learn from the legislation is that the days of carpet bombing the entire database are fast disappearing. Our customers are now introducing segmented, automated emails that serve the right communication, with the right brand right at the moment when the customers are actively shopping in a destination.

7: Test your Marketing campaigns: With an improved level of insight about your customer segments, test what really resonates with them to ensure Marketing campaigns deliver a better ROI. We have spent lots of time working with client marketing teams on how they can introduce A/B testing to understand what campaigns work best.

8: Use the media attention to build trust: Enhanced legislation is intended to improve the CRM sector, so communicating (and demonstrating) to the customer how you will engage with them will create, and build trust.

9: Act on the insight: Many of our clients have the ability to create reports for their clients, such as retailers in a major mall, or franchises running multiple sites for global coffee brands. The reporting presents a real opportunity to create strategic advantage as the less prepared struggle with mere compliance – this insight may also prove the catalyst to introduce new features such as geo-located offers or automatically triggered rewards.

10: Recruit more customers: Armed with a strong CRM strategy, confidence in the compliance and a Marketing team skilled to build stronger relationships with your brand, the time is perfect to actively grow your database; We are busy planning many campaigns for clients in the period immediately after May 25th and exploring ways to introduce best practices such as validating the customer during sign-up.

Wherever your company is on the route to May 25th, there is still time to plan, to execute well and to create strategic advantage. If you need help to get your data house in order, feel free to contact us – I promise there isn’t a red pen in sight!