B2B Marketing blog

GDPR and B2B marketing: Are you informed?

About the enormous risk of degradation and how to prevent it.

The new European privacy regulations caused a great deal of controversy within the marketing world. The scope of this General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is broad. After all, it is about data, about personal data in general. And therefore, it also affects marketing.

How do you deal with your contacts and leads within your marketing efforts? And, what is and isn’t allowed after May 2018?

Who from your database can you still approach next year?

As of May 18th 2018, all companies operating in Europe need clearly granted permission before they are allowed to collect, save, and use data regarding personal information. If sales and marketing do not take action, but rather wait, the risk of degradation becomes enormous. Because who are you still allowed to approach from your database when the new law comes into play? Nevertheless, the GDPR could offer the opportunity to improve your marketing results. You will be forced to work on establishing improved data quality.

The B2B marketer as ‘data processor’ or ‘data controller’

The new regulation recognizes different roles in dealing with data, the so-called ‘data processors’ and ‘data controllers’. As a marketer, your position is within at least one of these roles, and possibly even both. Whatever systems and processes you use to approach your leads; your database, CRM, email software or newly acquired marketing automation platform. They all fall under the new privacy regulation. This means that you have to have your business and contacts in order.

Important principles to prevent panic

Some key principles of the GDPR to keep in mind during the implementation of your B2B marketing strategy and activities:

  • Permission: Within 72 hours, you will have to be able to prove that the contact (Iead) has given permission (an opt-in) to be approached by you (and your marketing activities): both online and offline.
  • Opt-in renewal: When a contact has not shown any activity for 24 months, you need to renew this opt-in in order to continue using this person’s contact information. If you don’t, you are not allowed to use or save this data.
  • Processes in order: Do you work with external parties who generate leads for you and/or work with your data? Then the rules also apply to them and you need to be able to prove that all processes meet the new GDPR.

No need to get nervous. The GDPR ‘only’ makes you face the quality facts. On data level, but also on process and content area. By taking action now, you will stay one step ahead of your competitors and you can even take advantage of it.

The opportunity of GDPR – How does it work?

 Better data leads to better insight, and therefore to better dialogues with leads in your campaigns. Y your lead will gain more trust in you, which allows them to see you as more relevant to their needs and therefore, they become more involved in your content.

From risk of degradation to quality opportunities

5 tips avoid the risk of degradation in B2B marketing

1. Everything starts with mapping your database; who is in there, what do we know of them exactly? Are they active or ‘asleep’? And does the current given permission suffice? This audit clarifies how much your data is worth in the light of the new regulation and what opportunities there are. Are the contacts in your database really (potential) buyers?

2. Map who deliver leads and how they do that now. Do your sales colleagues add names and information to the database themselves? Do you buy lists with contact information? Do these processes suffice or do they need to be altered? Determine starting points per lead generation channel and take the lead. Try to make sure that you as a company gather and save as much data as possible. This makes you less dependent on external processes.

3. Critically review your current ‘customer processes’ regarding the new regulation. Do the given opt-ins suffice? And where do you save this information? Preferably, you keep everything at one central spot, in one system. So that, if needed, you are able to access your data and submit it to a supervisor within 72 hours. In addition, make sure you can track when an opt-in has been given and undertake action when this opt-in needs to be renewed.

4. Actively share and gather knowledge within your own organisation. What do not only your Sales colleagues know of the new regulation, but also your colleagues from Customer Service, Operations, and other departments? A good start is starting with the departments that have direct customer contact. They can help you sharpen your processes in order to meet the new rules in a smart manner. Test these processes with Legal when no clear guidelines have been formulated.

5. Together with your team or an external party, create a phased plan of action based on the audit results of your database, the lead generation channels you use, and the processes that need to be improved. For example, start with a campaign aimed at the ‘sleepers’ in your database. Activate and inspire them with your best performing (gated) content. Or test a new onboarding campaign on newly provided contacts.

If you start now, you will have time to experiment, measure, and improve. So that you and your marketing team are not only ready for the implementation of the GDPR, but also add value to your data and improve the quality of your campaigns and content.

Also worth reading: 10 Questions and answers about the GDPR

We hope that these answers will help you in your preparation for the GDPR. If you would like to know more related to your marketing activities? Feel free to contact us via info@spotonvision.com.

Maia Hemkes

Maïa Hemkes is Senior Marketing Program Manager at spotONvision. Her areas of expertise are buyer personas, content marketing, lead nurturing and sales enablement. Creating comprehensive and innovative marketing strategies and implement them, fits Maïa like a glove. She uses her long term experience to help international B2B organizations optimize their marketing strategy.