Why GDPR is a good thing

Why GDPR is a good thing  (or how to stop fearing your data)

Yes, we’re going to use a dirty word in this post. And we’ll use it repeatedly.

GDPR.

But it doesn’t need to be a dirty word. We’ve been working under GDPR for a year now. People hated it at first because they didn’t understand it. Much of the news coverage focused on the huge fines for getting it wrong.

Yet at its heart, GDPR is a move in the right direction. In fact, 92% of marketers see GDPR as a positive opportunity. Strip away the jargon and it’s basically about using data properly.

It’s also about helping customers know what you’re doing with their data. After scandals like Cambridge Analytica, it’s vital to be a transparent and responsible brand. 73% of customers say they’re frustrated by not being able to trust companies with personal information.

So, we’re going to walk you through why you don’t need to fear customer data. And we’ll show you what you can do with it.

What data do you have and where did it come from?

Compliance depends on you knowing what sensitive information you store. That’s not just payment details. It’s also dates of birth, addresses, and so on. As a marketer, you don’t need to know a customer’s credit card number. What you’re interested in is what they bought using that card. The initial sensitive information is less useful than how they interact with you.

You also need to consider where your data comes from. Did you pay another company to research users and create a report? This is most likely second-hand data. Second-hand because they didn’t have direct access to your customers. Instead, they may compile a report using a range of websites, or other reports. It’s only got limited use.

Stick to your own data. This comes from your customers and how they interact with your brand. It’s irrelevant to know how customers in your sector behave as a whole. It’s far more useful to know how your customers behave towards you.

This is ‘clean’ data becomes it comes directly from the people who matter most – those who already spend money with you. It’s given voluntarily (with consent).

And by not sharing this data with other brands, you earn the trust of your customers.

Incidentally, data must be searchable and indexed. Why? GDPR introduced the ‘right to be forgotten’. This means you must delete a customer’s data if they ask you to. Being able to index data makes finding it (to delete it) much faster.

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How does data help your marketing?

Why GDPR is a good thing? Two words for you. Better leads.

Thanks to GDPR, customers have to opt-in to hear from companies. Brands can’t buy lists of subscribers to add them manually to a mailing list. Well, they can do that, but they’d potentially be breaching GDPR if they did.

By getting that manual opt-in and consent like this…

When you collect with consent, you know your leads are warmer.

Potential customers have shown an interest in hearing from you. Combine your email marketing with content marketing to pinpoint where customers sign up. That shows what they’re interested in, letting you send more relevant emails.

GDPR forces marketers to think in terms of segments, not lists. Which leads to more targeted emails, anyway.

Remember, GDPR is the ultimate in permission marketing. And that lets you send the right message at the right time for the subscriber. More targeted emails mean higher open rates and better conversions. Because you sent a message the subscriber needed to get, rather a message you needed to send.

Your customer data could also include email preferences. Some contacts might want personalised content and a monthly curated newsletter. Others might only want sales messages related to their account. Use this data to inform the segments you create so customers receive what they’ve asked for.

And let’s go back to that clean data we talked about earlier. Examine your data, provided by your customers. This can help supercharge your marketing, both towards existing customers and potential buyers.

What can you use this customer data for?

We’ve talked a lot about why GDPR is a good thing. And why managing your data is a great idea. But what can you use that data for?

Check your sales data to find out what products are popular and when. That lets you plan advertising campaigns well in advance. If you find there is a slow trickle of sales for a product before a big spike? Start your advertising during that build-up.

Find out how people find you in the first place. Is it through your blog? Adding a shortcode to your sign-up box is a simple way to segment subscribers. Check out our guide to combining content and email marketing for more tips.

Pinpoint your actual demographic, compared to your imagined target audience. Been in business for a while? You might find the people who actually buy your products differs from who you think buys them. Knowing who you appeal to helps you solidify your brand positioning. That guides future marketing campaigns, helping you target the right people.

Learn whether customers respond better to loyalty programs or sales. If you keep offering sales, but customers would rather pay full price and get a reward? You need to change your approach. But you only know if you’re getting it right by checking your data.

Test if your lead magnet works. Do potential customers sign up for your newsletter for your lead magnet? Or do people only sign up when they become a customer? Analysing your data lets you know if your lead magnet works. Or if you need better offers to convert website visitors to customers.

See? Data doesn’t have to be scary

Science fiction has trained us that data can be scary. But no one’s asking you to ‘see the Matrix’. Just the possibilities.

If it helps, don’t think of it as ‘data’. Think of it as clues that help you create a picture of your customers. Knowing them better helps you provide more of what they want (and need).

Still not sure how to manage your data/clues? Or what to do with it? Contact Websand today and we’ll help you get started.

And in case you are wondering, we thing GDPR is a good thing, in fact our platform has GDPR compliance baked right into it.

We’re standing by!

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